The following is part 2 of A Social Justice Warrior Meets Jesus and is based on recent events on America’s college campuses. Please leave a comment!
The young man, the crowd of students behind him, looked at the older man, his displays still standing just behind him in the free speech area of the university campus. “Yes, you are wrong about me. I am not the bigot: You are. And I will show you for the ignorant bigot you are.”
“Very well,” the older man said. “How am I a bigot?”
“Easy. You believe things that are hateful.”
“I believe things that are hateful? Tell me: Do you hate me?”
“I hate everything about you!” the young man responded.
“So you also believe things that are hateful: At least what you believe causes you to hate. You are even willing to use violence against those you hate. How is that any different?”
“Because what you believe is hateful to people! What I believe is hateful to what you believe!” The crowd of students applauded.
The older man responded, “So let me get this straight. I am a bigot for hating people, but you are not a bigot, even though you also hate people, because you only hate people who hate other people.”
“You got it, Einstein!” the younger man retorted.
“Clearly,” the older man answered, “hating people is not the problem. That is, hate alone is not what makes me a bigot. But there is another problem: I do not actually hate people. I accept everyone’s right to believe what they want. You, on the other hand, do not accept anyone’s right to believe what they want, if it does not line up with what you believe. You promote hate and violence.”
“No, you are the one promoting hate and violence!” a woman from the crowd yelled.
“How am I promoting hate and violence?” the older man responded.
“Your message is hateful!” she answered. “Your message is violent! You are attacking women, immigrants, black people, minorities and everyone who does not share your views!”
“But how is my message violent? How is it hateful?” The man asked. “Is my message, ‘I hate women?’ or ‘I hate minorities’? Or ‘I hate anyone’? the man asked. “I am afraid you have been misled to believe that those who do not see the world exactly as you do hate the world. But I do not hate the world; I love the world. If that were not so, I would not be here today. I would have stayed home and allowed you to live your lives and go your own way.”
“That is a bunch of crap!” the woman yelled. You do not love the world! What you believe is oppressive and hateful and violent to everyone on this planet!”
“I do love this world, even more than you do. But how is my message hateful and violent?” the older man asked. “You still have not shone me this.”
“Isn’t it obvious?” the younger man shot back. He grabbed one of the older man’s displays. “Look at this!” he yelled. “Look! Can’t you see this is hateful? Can’t you see this is violent?”
“But How is it hateful and violent?” the older man simply said.
“It just is!” the young man shouted. “This is such Bull****!” With that, he put his fist through the display he was holding. He then heaved it across the free speech area. It hit the hard stone pavement and collapsed into a heap. The students applauded. They admired him for standing up against hate and violence.
“Why don’t you just get out of here!” someone in the crowd yelled. The mob was growing steadily.
But the older man continued, “Look at you. You call my hateful, and yet you are filled with hate and violence yourself. Can no one tell me why my message is hateful and violent?”
He turned to the younger man and said, “Listen: I do not I hate you.” The young man suddenly looked a bit shaken.
“But listen everyone. I have come because this issue affects each and every one of us. We are talking about life and of death here. We are talking about the sanctity of life.”
“Religious freedom is bigotry!” someone shouted. “You’re the ones holding America back!”
“Back from what?” the older man asked. “Back from a world in which those speaking out for justice and mercy are silenced because they do not believe as you do? These are the very seeds of fascism.”
“We are not fascists! You are the fascist!” the woman shouted. “You are the one promoting hate and intolerance! You are the one saying women and minorities and everyone do not have the right to choose to live as they wish! You are the one traumatizing us with your images and ideas! You are causing emotional genocide! And that is why you must be shut down!”
The older man paused. “Ah. I understand now. Clearly I am not denying anyone’s right to choose; I am only giving voice to everyone’s right to live.
“But I see now: You want a world where how you choose to live, even what you choose to believe, is never questioned. You think freedom is not freedom from oppression but freedom from scrutiny. This is why to you, the mere presence of an opposing viewpoint is an act of violence. It is because you think your beliefs are either too sacred, or your minds too fragile, to have them challenged. I see now.”
“Isn’t anyone going to shut this guy up?” someone shouted.
But the man kept on taking. “Unfortunately, it does not work this way. Our commitment to freedom can never exceed our accountability to truth. Truth does not bow to our wishes or our idols. Truth is uncompromising. Truth, in fact, is the worst form of intolerance and oppression. To the lawless, truth is the worst form of bigotry there is.”
Pointing to one of his displays, he said, “These remain. And every one of you will be held accountable to what you have seen and heard today.”
That was the final straw. A jagged piece of concrete struck the older man on the side of the head, and he had fallen to the grown more suddenly that seemed possible. Blood ran on the pavement. Several students charged the displays and destroyed what remained. Others ran from the scene in fear. Fights broke out between some of the students. The words “Shut him down! Shut him down” could be heard over the chaos that ensued.
“Keep the students safe! Keep the students safe!” someone could be heard saying.
Instinctively, the young man knelt down beside the older man. He was still conscious. “Somebody call 911!” he shouted. Turning back to his elder, he said “You should have stayed home, old man” he said.
“No,” he whispered. “This is why I have come.”
Not far off, an image of a man on a Cross in agony was still visible on one of the collapsed displays. Below it, you could still make out the words: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.