And that is the beginning of the end of any reasoned discourse. Its the end because that statement precludes the use of reason, intellect, evidence, and common sense.
In his defense of his articles and works, Martin Luther had this to say: In our country, fruit grows on trees and from trees, and meditation upon sin grows from contrition. But in your land, trees may grow on fruits, contrition from sins, people walk on their ears, and everything is upside down. And that is exactly where we are today.
Disagreement is racist; disagreement is hate; disagreement is misogynist. The list goes on ad nauseam because logic and reason have been placed on the trash heap of relativism and logical fallacy has become the accepted norm. No longer can we use point/counterpoint as a tool of debate because the feelz are now the sole arbiter of right and wrong. Evidence, fact, and reason be damned, if it chills the warm and fuzzy it is hate.
It is bad enough that it has destroyed public discourse and made even the most harmless expression without backlash impossible; it has invaded our pulpits. Those who have been charged with shepherding and guiding the faithful have relinquished their responsibility as pastor and shepherd in favor of furthering their own political and ideological agendas. They have traded truth for lies, integrity for popularity, and have turned the sacred into the secular and all because they have bought the lie that opposition equals hate and compassion requires the abandonment of reason, law, and order. They have abandoned and twisted the Gospel to browbeat those for whom they are responsible into submission to the social justice gospel of the day.
Compassion is good. We are commanded to be compassionate. But compassion does not encompass a total and complete abandonment of law and order. It does not require the sacrifice of the well-being of those to whom we have always been responsible for those who have forced themselves upon us. And it does not require that we twist for our own political and ideological purposes everything we hear or read. It is not and never has been racist, homophobic, misogynist, xenophobic, to confront evil head on and oppose it. It has never been racist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc. to suggest uncomfortable solutions to real issues we face. But it is intellectually dishonest to construe statements and ignore the parts that we don't like to advance a false narrative that furthers an ideological and political agenda. And priests and pastors who do this in any forum should be condemned in the strongest language possible.
I would remind everyone, but especially those who are charged with the cure of souls of the words of Justyn Martyr:
Reason directs those who are truly pious and philosophical to honour and love only what is true, declining to follow traditional opinions, if these be worthless. For not only does sound reason direct us to refuse the guidance of those who did or taught anything wrong, but it is incumbent on the lover of truth, by all means, and if death be threatened, even before his own life, to choose to do and say what is right.
I leave you with a poem written by C.M Battersby which is really a prayer and a reminder that we, as Christians have a higher moral responsibility in the face of popular public opinion:
If I have wounded any soul today, If I have caused one foot to go astray, If I have walked in my own willful way, Dear Lord, Forgive.
If I have uttered idle words or vain, If I have turned aside from want or pain, Lest I myself shall suffer through the strain, Dear Lord, Forgive.
If I have been perverse or hard or cold, If I have longed for shelter in Thy fold, When Thou hast given me some fort to hold, Dear Lord, Forgive.