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Timid with Tolerance

Biblical “hate speech” and its impact. 

On the topic of censorship, the British-American author Christopher Hitchens once eloquently said:

It’s not just the right of the person who speaks to be heard; it is the right of the audience to listen and to hear. And every time you silence somebody, you make yourself a prisoner of your own action because you deny yourself the right to hear something… Every time you violate — or propose to violate — the free speech of someone you, in potentia, make a rod for your own back.

His words are a stark foreshadowing in an age of ever-increasing passions to silence and censor opposing viewpoints.

Here in America, we have the luxury — for now at least — of the First Amendment, which affords us the great liberty of Free Speech and Press.

But across the pond, our English brethren in the U.K. are less fortunate.

recent survey revealed a startling insight into the minds of the younger generation. According to Whitestone Insights, twenty-three percent of British young people [ages 18–34] agree with the following statement:

“Unless the offending parts can be edited out, books containing what some perceive as hate speech should be banned from general sale, including if necessary religious texts such as the Bible.”

What does the U.K. survey reveal? That impressionable young minds have bought into this [putrid] postmodern notion that speech contrary to their own subjective beliefs is somehow a form of hatred or harm.

This is, of course, nonsensical.

The obvious questions must be asked: who gets to decide what constitutes hate speech? Who possesses the esteemed credentials to make such an astute judgment on behalf of the entire population?

To whom should we delegate the massive responsibility of deciding what we can and can’t read?

I find it fascinating that we’re always met with non-answers, an evasive change of subject, or emotional pleas. No one seems to be able to nominate and declare an independent and objective third party.

Hate speech is never defined — only insofar as it assaults the deeply held beliefs of those who are most offended.

Situations and sentiments regarding banning something such as the Bible on the grounds of [potential] hate speech force our backs against the wall, and we must seriously ponder what fruit will sprout from such a stern action.

Admittedly, this is nothing new.

C.S. Lewis rightly criticized and debunked the early manifestation of this movement, labeling it the Poison of Subjectivism.

At the laity level, the censorious impulse is deeply rooted in subjective emotion and a desire for control and power. Those who favor it must always mask their true intentions under the banner of tolerance.

Beware those who claim to be so tolerant that they must shut down conversations and perspectives that contradict their own [subjective] views.

The levity, causal tone, and temperament often portrayed by those who are open or advocate for censorship are disingenuous, if you catch my drift.

For you intellectually curious readers, I propose this inquiry: suppose Britain actually went through with banning the Bible. What’s their plan and course of action regarding other religious texts, such as the Quran?

Are we foolish enough to believe that somehow Muslims will go quietly into the night without a fight? I can’t imagine that banning the Quran will be met with silence and indifference.

With a steadily growing Muslim population in Britain, it would be easy to conclude that there would be mass protests — maybe even riots — at the mere prospect of banning the Quran to quell the uneasy conscience of so-called tolerant people.

We must suspect and deeply examine the censorious instincts and motives of those who claim to be the most open-minded and tolerant, and yet find themselves at the forefront of stripping away the liberties of others.

If having access to and reading the Bible is such a perceived threat to the tolerant echelon, one can only imagine how dangerous they must think people are who actually believe and put into practice the things written in God’s word.

Who would’ve thought that being a Christian in a post-Christian world would be so hazardous to the mental health of open-minded individuals?

The Bible is currently banned or illegal in 52 countries.

But in all these places, you will find some smuggling contraband effort to get Bibles into underground, local Christian communities.

Why? Because where the Bible is banned there is an increase in its demand by those who seek the Lord.

In other words, the hunger and fervor of God’s people grows most intensely in these dark and tumultuous atmospheres.

Secularism flourishes when God’s word is marginalized and pushed out of purview. And ironically enough, that is where the word of God thrives. In the heart of God’s disciples, devotion becomes deeply sweet and transforming amidst the dark chaos of opposition.

Let them ban the Bible if they wish. But if they do so, let them be conscious that they will inadvertently plant the seeds of faith into the hearts of the devoted and those who desire, above all else, the glory of God.

If history has taught us anything, it is this: even in the dark, the light of God’s word shines forth.

“The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.” [Isaiah 40:8]


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AuthorJaron Alexander | BCWorldview.org 


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