Patti Armstrong is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. Her latest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious. She has a B.A. in social work and an M.A. in public administration and worked in both those fields before staying home to work as a freelance writer. Patti and her husband live in North Dakota, where they are still raising the tail end of their 10 children.
Our thoughts may be our own, but the radical left wants them. Pushing agendas, whether about marriage, bathrooms, or climate, is only their first step. The second step is not allowing disagreement. Without even touching the First Amendment, our right to free speech is being bullied away.
For instance, an opinion that was once mainstream not so long ago, is now grounds for firing. In 1996, when President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into Law—defining marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman—it passed both houses of Congress by large, veto-proof majorities. Twenty years later, TV shows get canceled, Chick-fil-A gets boycotted, bakeries and wedding service businesses get shut down, adoption agencies are closed, and people are denied college degrees, if they dare to express such an opinion.
Fired For Supporting Tradition Marriage
Thousands signed a petition threatening not to use Mozilla software unless Eich openly endorsed gay marriage or was fired. Had Eich solicited prostitutes or sneaked into women’s bathrooms, he would probably still have his job. Instead, he supported a position on marriage that was mainstream since the dawn of civilization. Eich chose to leave with his mind intact. He is launching a web browser that blocks ads that will be available later this year. Bravo!
Bible Beliefs Not Allowed
When the owners of the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A publically supported the Biblical definition of marriage, protestors across the country boycotted them. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino vowed to prevent them from opening a franchise in his city. The Bible has always been their owners’ guide, even closing on Sundays. And the company has a policy of non-discrimination: “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race creed, sexual orientation or gender.” But the outrage was not about behavior; it was about expressing opinions.
Then there was Jason and David Benham whose scheduled do-it-yourself program was canceled by Home and Garden Television (HGTV) over beliefs on gay marriage and abortion. “When you love God, you will love others, but that does not mean you will love all ideas, [and] that does not mean that you will love all actions,” David had said in an interview with The Blaze following the 2012 cancellation. “God doesn’t love all of my actions, no matter what they are. My heterosexual adulterous longings, at times, he doesn’t love that. Those must stop. And it’s the same way for any type of action that’s outside of the will of God.”
That is what is called hate speech these days. If people in high places cannot safely love God and love people while hating sin, what chance is there for the little guy? Not much, but Andrew Cash is giving it a shot.
University Punishes Independent Thinking
Cash was dismissed from the masters in counseling program at Missouri State University over his religious convictions concerning same-sex marriage. He was an excellent student, but his refusal to reverse his opinions labeled him as having mental issues such as being resistant to authority and argumentative.
On April 21, the Thomas More Society filed a federal civil rights complaint against the university asking for Cash to be readmitted. He had entered the program in September 2007 and was nearing completion when the problem erupted in 2011. Cash had already completed 51 of his required 240 intern hours at the Springfield Family and Marriage Institute when it became known that to his advisor that they were Christian-based. The Institute counsels individual gay persons but it refers gay couples for relationship counseling to counselors whose religious views are a better fit.
The Institute was immediately taken off the university’s approved list and Cash was stripped of the 51 hours he had already worked. When he would not recant his own views on marriage, Cash was forced into "remediation" classes. A year later, in November 2014, the University expelled Cash from the program and his appeals fell on deaf ears.
“[Cash’s] advisor wrote to the department head with trumped-up charges and lies,” Jason Craddock, an attorney with the law firm explained. “She claimed that Cash made discriminatory comments against homosexuals, that he became hostile and angry during their meeting, that Cash had compared homosexual to pedophiles, and that he had not participated in the counseling sessions at the internship. All of it was not true.” And so, Cash is suing to be allowed to complete what he started, to earn an M.S. in counseling.
Politics of Science
Then there is global warming. George Will wrote in his April 24 newspaper column that progressivism is determined to “regulate thought by regulating speech.” He discussed the move underfoot to criminalize skeptics of the supposedly “settled” conclusions of climate science. The U.S. Department of Justice has been considering whether people should be prosecuted for the offense of climate change denial.
Will wrote: “Now, from the so-called party of science, aka Democrats, comes a campaign to criminalize debate about science. ’The debate is settled,’ says Obama. ‘Climate change is a fact.’ Indeed. The epithet ‘climate change deniers,’ obviously coined to stigmatize skeptics as akin to Holocaust deniers, is designed to obscure something obvious: Of course the climate is changing; it never is not changing — neither before nor after the Medieval warm period (end of the 9th century to the 13th) and the little ice age (1640s to 1690s), neither of which was caused by fossil fuels.”
Will noted that questioning if manmade change is really occurring and if change is even necessarily ominous because today's climate is necessarily optimum, is not allowed at universities. “There is, however, no limiting principle to restrain unprincipled people from punishing research entities, advocacy groups and individuals,” Will wrote. Debates are shut down with business and university funding blackmail techniques.
And so, friends, hang onto your thoughts. Although they may become illegal and will certainly incite persecution, it is God we care about pleasing. “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)