The cancel culture: the intolerance of the tolerance agenda

Jul 12, 2020 by

by Roger Kiska, Christian Concern:

One of the only certain things we can say about these very uncertain times is that there is an oppressive air of incivility within the public square which is nowhere better evidenced than by the cancel culture. As far as social justice goes, the cancel culture is the lowest common denominator of public debate. Often it is little more than merciless mob intimidation, a virtual form of the medieval storming of an abode with pitchforks and torches. Almost always, this is done with little regard for the circumstances of the individual being targeted, or interest in why they said what they did or the context it was said in.

The goal of the virtual mob is to utterly ruin their target. They do so with little reflection or pangs of conscience, not caring if their successful efforts may lead to a person not being able to feed their family, pay their mortgage, or purchase medication or treatment for an ailing loved one. The cancel culture dehumanises its target. Their efforts are at best negligent and at worst hateful. This type of mob mentality is the antithesis of tolerance, and by this I mean genuine tolerance, not the kind social justice warriors often beat us over the head with.

Franklin Graham

In February 2020, Franklin Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, had all 7 of his planned UK speaking engagements cancelled by the venues with whom the organisers had contracted. Graham faced mounting backlash from protestors in the UK because of his views on such issues as same-sex marriage and Islam. Even though Graham had publicly stated that he did not intend to discuss either issue during his scheduled talks, and even though his views are held by millions of Christians around the world, the events were nonetheless cancelled.

The backlash Mr Graham faced is a watershed moment for anti-Christian bias in the UK, when a speaker can be so vilified simply for being a famous evangelist identified for Christian views that some segments of the population disagree with. The precedent set by the cancellations speaks very poorly to the state of both religious freedom and religious expression in the UK. The fact that a small number of protestors, greatly disproportionate to the number of people who wanted to attend the events, could cancel speaking engagements across the country is alarming and should be addressed by policy makers.

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