One of the many downsides of a twenty-four-hour news cycle is how a story can quickly take on a life of its own.
If enough people hear it, read it and believe it, it doesn’t matter it’s not true. Fiction becomes fact. Social media can spread lies like wildfire in a parched forest.
The reporting and fallout of Florida’s HB 1557 is a grand illustration of what happens when a dishonest press and cadre of activists deliberately mislead the public in order to advance a radical agenda. Many in the media want you to think the bill is mean-spirited and discriminatory. It’s not.
At the heart of this legislation is a desire to stop activists from bringing LGBT topics into the classrooms of kindergarteners through third graders. Frankly, the legislation doesn’t go far enough. I wouldn’t want our younger boys, who are in the fourth and fifth grades, subjected to the confused and dangerous propaganda served up in many public schools today. I know I’m not alone.
Yet, incensed that sensible and sane state legislatures and parents have begun to reign in the radicals, the war of words is on. It seems if you can’t beat ‘em, the next best thing is to lie about what they’re doing. Hence mislabeling a completely reasonable and responsible bill as somehow being “bigoted” and claiming it says something it doesn’t.
It’s important for Christians to think clearly and critically on these matters in order to make sure the left’s attempt to corrupt language doesn’t somehow corrupt our own sense of discernment.
For example, a group called “PEN America” – which supposedly champions free speech – has falsely labeled Florida’s (and other similar laws from other states) common-sense legislation as being “educational gag orders.”
It’s a richly ironic charge, because these bills actually serve counter government overreach, prohibiting the gagging of moms and dads, whose authority is being usurped by state bureaucrats. We applaud legislation that protects the freedom of parents to determine how and when their children should be taught about delicate and complex moral issues.
What’s curious about this latest fracas, though, is that many of the same radicals who are upset teachers aren’t allowed to chat up LGBT topics with very young students have no problem with the strict prohibitions placed on public school teachers sharing about their faith.
Those objecting to the legislation say LGBT teachers shouldn’t have to hide who they are and what they believe – but those of us with deeply held religious convictions must remain silent?
Hypocrisy is an age-old frustration of the human condition, and Christians are certainly not immune from falling prey to such sin themselves. There is plenty to go around.
But while the left’s attempt to mislead and take down Florida’s parental rights bill has been a concerted effort, public opinion polls suggest it’s not working – even among usual allies.
Maybe that’s because C.S. Lewis was right when he wrote, “A little lie is like a little pregnancy. It doesn’t take long before everyone knows.”
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