Censorship is making quite a comeback in the U.S. of A. these days, and it may well represent the left wing’s greatest act of hypocrisy.
The list of recent examples is long. Condoleezza Rice was chased away from delivering the commencement address to the 2014 graduating class of Rutgers University. Brandeis University also disinvited Somali feminist Ayaan Hirsi from their 2014 graduation ceremony. Hirsi is known for being an irritant of Islam, especially in her criticisms of female genital mutilation.
In February, Charles Krauthammer contributed an article about global warming to the Washington Post entitled, The myth of settled science. One point he makes is that the propaganda-style use of the media by climate change evangelists “mocks the very notion of settled science, which is nothing but a crude attempt to silence critics and delegitimize debate.” Ironically, climate-change zealots collected over 100,000 signatures petitioning the Post to refuse publishing Krauthammer’s article. Krauthammer responded that, “they don’t even hide it anymore. Now they proudly want certain arguments banished from discourse. The next step is book burning… Is there anything more anti-scientific than scientific truths being determined by petition and demonstration?”
Everyone who enjoyed Ben Stein’s engaging 2008 documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is well aware of the shunning that takes place in academia for professors who venture outside of the Darwinian Evolution paddock. For a 2014 update, University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne “was pivotal in stampeding Ball State University president Jo Ann Gora to issue a campus-wide gag order on teaching about intelligent design in science classrooms,” earning him the title 2014 Censor of the Year.
Then there is the parade of dismissals for getting caught conflicting with the rules of political correctness, a more subtle form of censorship. Mozilla fired their CEO on discovering that he had personally contributed to the campaign supporting traditional marriage in California – six years earlier. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged to ban Chic-Fil-A franchises from the city for supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit.” And on a lighthearted note, A&E famously suspended the family patriarch of its hit show Duck Dynasty to muzzle his gauche comments on these social matters.
This brings up intriguing questions about truth, faith, and liberty. When competing thoughts are silenced, is there complete intellectual conviction by those holding the prevailing belief? Or is censorship merely an elixir used to quell a nagging doubt?
The most disturbing violence is employed by Islamic nations to silence religious dissent among their own, believing citizens. While the global quality of life rapidly advances all around them, the natural path to Islamic enlightenment is trammeled. It is as if the Imams themselves hold the least confidence in the ability of their practices to withstand the corrosive effects of reason.
In the new world 1776, bold faith came through deliberate vulnerability. Imagine the Christians who signed the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The founding fathers avoided the temptation to compel Protestantism. Instead, they confidently participated in creating a culture where their faith would flourish on its own merits, or become displaced by competitive philosophies. They trusted in the resilience of truth.
A virtuous faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it is mere religion when people invest their credence in a utopia of human imaginations. Charles Krauthammer called out the global warming militants with, “All of this is driven by this ideology which, in and of itself, is a matter of almost theology.”
We entrust our government with weapons to fulfill their primary objective of ensuring our rights. We entrust churches with theology to fulfill their primary objective of advancing eternal truth. The situation becomes volatile when a well-armed government assumes the authority of theology. It's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them.