Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We need a values fix

Last Saturday I was mowing the yard when I began smelling burning rubber. That’s never a good sign, especially when accompanied by a sputtering mower. I didn’t stop right away of course, because I only had a little lawn left to mow, and if the thing would just hang in there for five minutes I could finish the job and make the yard look great. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. The transmission belt was done, and so was my mowing for the day. You can’t run a mower with a frayed, worn, broken belt.

Nor can you run a nation with a frayed, worn, broken values system. The rubber is burning and the motor is sputtering. We’re not going to get the job done of keeping this country great if our once-strong moral values are reduced to threads. But that’s exactly what’s happening right here in America, in case you haven’t noticed. 

Latest case in point: last week the St. Louis Rams made Michael Sam the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL. Upon his selection, an emotional Sam turned to his boyfriend and kissed him for the entire ESPN viewing audience to witness. 

The reactions to the kiss have been mixed. One former Super Bowl champion wrote via Twitter that he felt this was inappropriate, considering younger children may have been watching the draft. He says he has received death threats against him and his family for his comments. 

A current Miami Dolphins player, Don Jones, also tweeted that this behavior was “disgusting.” The Dolphins quickly reprimanded Jones, fining him an undisclosed amount of money, and barred him from team activities until he completes “training for his recent comments made on social media.” 

So let me see if I’ve got this straight (no pun intended). If I exercise my First Amendment rights to speak out against what I believe is a disgusting behavior, I am risking a fine from my employer, ordered to take “training” to either change my mind about what I believe is right and wrong, or at least to keep my mouth shut and by my silence give approval, and probably receive death threats against me and my family. 

You might also remember the Mayor of Chicago vowed to keep Chick-Fil-A out of town because their values didn’t align with Chicago’s values. This was after COO Dan Cathy publicly affirmed traditional marriage. You’re not allowed to believe same sex marriage is wrong in Chicago and still expect to do business.

Then there was the flap regarding Phil Robertson’s comments about his belief that homosexuality is wrong – even quoting the Bible as his source! – which led to the A&E network temporarily dropping Duck Dynasty after a public outcry against Phil. 

You need to know there’s also a bill in the U.S. Senate instructing the government to monitor and analyze speech in media looking for anything it considers “hate speech.” While purporting to prevent those who might “advocate or encourage violent acts or hate crimes,” S.2219 is also believed to be a tool for silencing those who speak against homosexuality, whether on a church’s website or posts on your individual Facebook page. 

Some people, not surprisingly, are offering Michael Sam their gleeful support. President Obama said this: “The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey.” 

There’s a lot more than a transmission belt burning up in America, and the issue of the normalization and acceptance of homosexual behavior (and the silencing of those opposed) remains at the forefront of our cultural disintegration. 

If I don’t get that mower fixed, the yard will soon be a mess. Likewise, if we don’t get our values fixed soon, this nation will be a wreck. Thankfully, God still offers forgiveness to all who repent of sin and turn in faith to follow the ways of Christ Jesus. His value system never wears out.