Bully Tactics Aren’t As Effective As a ‘Charm Offensive’ … Will They Ever Learn?

For those shaped by pop culture’s currents, it’s pert’near impossible to avoid the conclusion that “gays” (and, increasingly, transgenders) are the wisest, wittiest, most talented, tolerant and valuable human beings walking the planet. Why mince words? They’re flatly superior to the rest of us bland, benighted, hetero types. Today’s music, literature, mainstream media, never mind television and movies, all bear flamboyant testimony: to be “gay” is to be a better person, practically on every front.

It’s certainly far removed from formerly widespread and unflattering representations of our same-sex-preferring neighbors; a much more favorable development for them, no denying. You’d think the homosexual and gender-fluid set and their supporters would regard this state of affairs an unalloyed positive and scrupulously rebuff anything that might scupper it.

Yet, bizarrely, it appears they’ve no intention of leaving well-enough alone. Salient elements within the “gay”/trans camarilla, instead, are treading treacherously close to wrenching public opinion back against their movement. Maybe this is a newsflash for some of them: everyday janes and joes generally don’t respond warmly to those who traffic in shrieking thuggery — even if it’s absolutely fabulous!

More and more nowadays, standard operating procedure for the rainbow ranks is to blatantly bully those conservative Christians, traditionalists or insufficiently “evolved” persons who aren’t ultra-hyped about equating same-sex sodomy with offspring-producing, man/woman, husband/wife marriage. Not cool with homosexual canoodling for religious, philosophical, pragmatic or biological reasons? You’re to be muscled into politically correct compliance. Not willing to hop aboard the trans-train? Watch out! There might be a lavender locomotive bearing down on you.

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A pair of just-decided Supreme Court cases are driving home, in case we’d forgotten, the ruthless lengths to which homosexual activists will go to handle those who disapprove of their lifestyle or their cause — and “handle”, in this instance, means “destroy”. Also becoming brighteningly clear? Minimalist tolerance or even outright affirmation won’t satisfy the LGBTQ absolutists; everyone must be drafted into abetting practices the Jewish-Christian Scriptures, every major historical religion, Western Civilization and, until relatively recently, modern science have adjudged disordered and dangerous perversions for centuries.

For a generation, proponents of special “homosexual rights” have painted a dystopian scenario of jackbooted, truncheon-wielding religious enforcers bashing in citizens’ doors, catching them flagrante delicto performing … well, whatever it is they’re performing in private. Today? It’s effectively business’s entryways being breached. Bakers, photographers, rental property owners, florists are not so much being prevented from doing something their heartfelt convictions require of them, but, rather, compelled to do something their faith forbids.

As Michael Brown has framed it, “[T]hose who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet. … ‘Those who were once put in jail want to put us in jail.’ ”

Not long ago, I came across a meme which said something to the effect: If I ask a baker to make me a cake and he declines I can respond in one of two ways: I can take my business to another bakery down the street … or I can destroy the baker’s life.

Yep, as is regularly the case with internet memes, that one succinctly nails the ludicrous hideousness of this whole situation: here in the land of the free, Christian entrepreneurs are facing the potential eradication of establishments they’ve dreamed about and raised up with their time, money and sacrifice — simply because they take their Bible-centered faith seriously enough to apply it to their day-to-day doings.

In 2012, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner — and follower of Jesus — Jack Phillips politely turned down the request to provide a personalized cake for two male customers’ “wedding” – following which, his entire world was turned on its head. The miffed couple sued and, writes Phillips,

[A]fter the government forced me to stop designing wedding cakes, I lost 40% of my business. Since then, I’ve been worried that I’ll have to close my shop … And I’ve been greatly distressed by the death threats hurled at me. Few things approach the horror of hearing another vow to take your life.

The Lakewood, CO pastry-chef adds he “worrie[s] that [people like him] would face the loss of their livelihood, financial ruin, death threats and even jail time for their beliefs.”

People like Barronelle Stutzman, for example. The Southern Baptist florist ran headlong into a similar predicament when her Richland, Washington’s “Arlene’s Flowers” passed on providing a customized arrangement for a gay nuptials’ 2013 ceremony. You guessed it, the offended parties filed legal action and years of financial and emotional tumult have followed for the seventy-three-year-old grandmother.

FRC.org elaborates: Stutzman’s

home, assets, and livelihood [were] all on the line. … [Alliance Defending Freedom’s] Kristen Waggoner remarked, “[I]t takes a special kind of focused hostility to target this woman, to relentlessly pursue her business and personal assets … Yet that’s exactly what the State of Washington is doing. … Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson … handpicked Barronelle to make an example of her, even suing her in her personal capacity to frighten her and anyone who dared to live out those same beliefs about marriage…

Thankfully, the nation’s highest court lately ruled in both Phillips’ and Stutzman’s favor; in the process, breathing a revivifying wisp of legal hope into the cause of religious liberty (i.e., the First Amendment).

Still, this entire assault upon decent folks quietly pursuing their chosen vocations yet subjected to this life-traumatizing harassment for the effrontery of … conducting themselves as actual Christians? It’s downright pornographic in its grossness.

I confess, I’m not seeing much manifestation of the amicable throngs of sensible, easy-going, tender-hearted “gays”-next door presently populating television and film fare and the rest of trendy imaginations. Instead? There’s chorus-lines of screeching, hissy, drama-queen stuff; lots of operatically insecure, oversensitive hysterics garnished with civil-rights speak; terrorizing those who dare not behave themselves and play along.

As a teen, I read Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. Details are foggy, but I’m rather certain there was nothing in there about reflexively lambasting your fellow man; targeting for obliteration those who deviate from one’s opinions, lifestyle or creed.

If LGBTQ warriors object to the denigrating stereotypes that have dogged their community since forever, it probably doesn’t help when their public face validates those pasquinades: fragile, over-the-top, prickly, catty, neurotic.

Ruining the lives of innocent individuals trying to follow Jesus? Not the way to amass a broader, more enthusiastic following.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Steve Pauwels
Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH. He serves as Opinions Editor at Clashdaily.com. He's married to Maureen and is proud of their three grown sons.

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