December 8, 2005

Politically Carrot

capThese days, no one dares to say the word ?carrot? for fear of offending carb-counters. And I?m not ?bald? any more; I?m ?comb free.? Also, please drop the word ?roadkill? from your vocabulary; now it?s ?vehicularly compressed maladaptive life forms.?

It is in this context of our politically correct world that I received an invitation to write an online column for the Adventist Review. My online boss wrote, ?You may like to comment on current events, theological trends, new research, social trends, culture, or other topics of interests?.Don?t be afraid to make the material a bit edgy.? You read correctly. My marching orders are clear: Write edgy material.


I?m really okay with that. Frankly I get tired of pansy footing around people who feel called to call me on every article I write. For example, some years ago I received a toxic missive that voiced ?grave concern? and called me a ?bigot,? a ?racist,? and a ?white supremist.? Harsh language, don?t you think? This came in response to an article I wrote describing a basketball game where I noted that all the players were black except for one short white guy that looked out of place.

I honestly did not mean to disparage anyone, black or white. I was merely describing what I saw. But I should have known that you can?t say anything without offending someone.

Until now.

My friends at the Adventist Review have invited me to work as an online columnist. Month by month we can meet here in cyberspace for a dose of truth. If it?s a dual between political correctness and truth, let?s agree that in this tiny corner of the universe we?re going to opt for truth.

Jesus Himself didn?t cower to political correctness. Instead he boldly proclaimed, ?I am?the truth? (John 14:6).He didn?t say ?I am one of many viable truths.? He said, ?the truth.? Our quest for truth then is not a rebellious romp in hopes of offending people; rather it is a journey to Jesus. Together we?re going to explore ideas and Bible texts in search of truth as it is in Jesus. Mind you, this is no small feat given our world today.

In the words of Carol Tharp, ?Western culture has made a fundamental change in its religious base. We have exchanged that One who said, ?I am the Truth? (John 14:6) for the incredibly expensive doctrine of Freud and the words of all his varied disciples. Our new religion says with Pontius Pilate, ?What is truth?? and teaches that our status is one of ?original victim? rather than ?original Sin.?? [1]

Writing for the Seattle Times (1994), Bill Leubrie expands Tharp?s thought:

"All women are victims. One wonders how the poor fragile dears function in daily life. All minorities are victims. Of course they are.Just ask them.No misfortune is ever their fault."

If you have committed a crime, no matter how horrible you have the right to escape punishment, or be punished for a lesser offense. You have the right to have your case discussed in loaded language.

Now we have new values that boast many liberating values over traditional ones. Personal responsibility is old hat. You see, in this brave new world, we are all rudderless victims, damaged by every passing breeze. Self-determination is out. Personal strength of character is neither required nor admired. Those quaint, antique concepts are obsolete. The new master values are whining, blame-shifting vengeance, opportunism and greed.

We buy into this bunkum and even pass it along to our kids. I?m reminded of the fourth grader who had to be so careful to keep from offending anyone that she reported on the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday in this way: ?The pilgrims came here seeking freedom of you know what. When they landed, they gave thanks to you know who. Because of them, we can worship you know where.?

Enough already! I say it?s time to speak out and take responsibility and fully embrace truth. Edgy, offensive, politically incorrect?let the quips fall where they may. There is such a thing as sin. There are moral absolutes. There is right and wrong. And there is only one way to salvation?Jesus Christ.

If that offends you then write me a letter. I?ll read it while I?m carbo loading on carrots.

[1] Carol Tharp in a letter to the Chicago Tribune Magazine (Apr. 17, 1994). Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 7.