In recent days, a number of commentators have compared the year 2020 with 1968 (for my article, see here). But we have not discussed the larger cultural shift that took place as a result of the counterculture revolution of the '60s. In short, what was extreme and fringe in that generation became mainstream in the next generation. Put another way, radicals like Bill Ayers of the Weathermen (who bombed buildings in their anti-war protests) became university professors and even mentors of a president (meaning Barack Obama). Who saw this coming?
Do you think that radical, anti-family feminists in groups like W.I.T.C.H. imagined a world where legalized abortion would snuff out 60 million lives in the womb? (W.I.T.C.H. stood for the Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell—I kid you not—and was founded in 1969.)
Do you think that the 1969 Stonewall Inn rioters, hurling bricks at police and their cars and chanting, "gay power" and "We want freedom now" envisioned the day when the Supreme Court would change the very meaning of marriage? (Remember that these gay rioters tended to despise marriage as an antiquated, patriarchal institution.) Do you think the transvestite prostitute protesters envisioned the day when university campuses and big businesses would marginalize you if you didn't affirm transgender activism?
In 2000, I wrote a mini-book called The Jesus Manifesto. Looking back at some of the opening lines, it sounds almost quaint today. "The last generation's counterculture of rebellion has become this generation's establishment of revulsion, and what was unthinkable 30 years ago—daytime talk shows celebrating adultery and incest, homosexual love scenes on major network TV, 11- year-old multiple murderers, massacres in our schools and houses of worship—is a matter of course today. We need a revolution!"
Of course, the "revolution" of which I spoke was a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution, changing hearts and lives and thereby changing the society. But if that was true in the year 2000, it is much truer in the year 2020, when we stand on the precipice of an even more dangerous cultural shift.
I'm talking about the rise of mobocracy where the most radical elements of society forcefully impose their will on everyone else.
I'm talking about the "safe space" culture of the college campuses (with enforced speech codes—even thought codes—and severe penalties for every violation) becoming the national norm.
I'm talking about an even more extreme shift to the left, but this time, under mob patrol.
I'm talking about the current culture of The New York Times, where the publishing of a contrary opinion piece leads to outrage and overhaul in the editorial department, becoming the national norm. (So much for differing opinions!)
As expressed by Alexandra Desanctis on the National Review, "The result is ideological servitude, a society in which a culturally powerful, tyrannical minority owns the voice of every person willing to go along." And woe be to you if do you not agree to go along.
Of course, many of us have been warning about this for years. (When it comes to gay activism, I started warning 15 years ago that those who came out of the closet wanted to put us—meaning, Bible-based conservatives—in the closet.)
But now, with the tragic death of George Floyd, the radical activists have seized their moment. You must kneel, or else! You must embrace our agenda, or you will be trampled underfoot! You must bow down, or we will force you to bow!
If you don't shout "Black Lives Matter" loudly enough or demonstrate sufficient guilt (in particular, for having white skin), you will lose your job. Or your credibility. Or your peace.
One pastor sent me screenshots of the death threats he has received for taking issue with "queer" aspects of the BLM platform. Not today! The mob is coming your way. (This pastor's home address was revealed as well.)
Synagogues vandalized during the riots in Los Angeles have discovered that some of the rioters are also anti-Semites (why no public outcry?). As a Times of Israel headline announced on June 2, "LA Jews reeling after local institutions looted and burned in Floyd protests. Synagogues, schools and Jewish memorials vandalized with anti-Semitic, anti-Israel slogans, Jewish-owned businesses battered, particularly in Fairfax district." But this is no surprise, given that Black Lives Matter also supports the boycott, divest and sanctions movement (BDS).
And what of Black Lives Matter goals like this? "We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and "villages" that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.
"We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise)."
As for Black Lives Matters' anti-Semitic roots, Caroline Glick noted on Israel Hayom that, "Black Lives Matter was formed in 2014 as a merger of activists from the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam, the anti-Semitic Black Panthers and Dream Catchers. In 2016, Black Lives Matter published a platform that has since been removed from its website. The platform accused Israel of committing 'genocide' and referred to the Jewish state as an 'apartheid' state. The platform accused Israel and its supporters of pushing the U.S. into wars in the Middle East. The platform also officially joined Black Lives Matter with the anti-Semitic BDS campaign to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. BDS campaign leader Omar Barghouti acknowledged this week that the goal of the BDS campaign is to destroy Israel. BDS campaigns on U.S. campuses are characterized by bigotry and discrimination directed against Jewish students."
As for America as a whole, just a few days ago, the thought of defunding the police would have been viewed as a silly joke. One week later, and presidential candidate Joe Biden is being tested for his allegiance to this bizarre proposal. (Police reform, where needed, is one thing. Defunding the police is not even a bad joke.)
But shouting "Make America Great Again" and rallying around the flag are not the solution.
Instead, every one of us must stand up to the mob and refuse to move an inch from our core convictions and values.
I mean in our homes. Our schools. Our neighborhoods. Our places of business. On social media. Wherever we have a voice, we must stand and speak.
Of course, we do abhor police brutality when it occurs. We do stand in solidarity with victims of injustice. We do oppose racism. But we do it our way, not the mob's way. And we do it based on our values, not those of the radical left.
I tweeted this last night (June 8): "Rather than bowing the knee to the mobocracy of the far left or the hyper-nationalism of the far right, I say we bow the knee to Jesus, then get His marching orders and obey Him at any cost."
I appeal to you strongly; no, I warn you: This is a critical hour in our history. If we do not push back righteously today, we will have deep regrets tomorrow. And what will we say to our children and grandchildren?
In the famous dictum of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children."
What will it be?
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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