If you’re scared of offending others, you’re a part of the problem.
Last week, we heard reports that Google caved under pressure from NARAL pro-abortion activists and announced that it would no longer publish ads for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers. According to NARAL, since these pro-life ads show up when you Google “abortion clinic,” they must be a trick by “anti-choice” clinics, a ploy to keep young girls from making the decision to abort their children. The ads were “misleading, inaccurate … deceitful” and not “factually supportable,” and NARAL demanded that Google ban them. What’s more, NARAL claimed that Google did removed the pro-life ads.
It was only later that reports came out that this story of pro-choice victory was a fabrication. Google never acknowledged that these ads were “deceptive.” Nor did Google obediently agree to ban the ads. The story was a lie, designed to gin up support for NARAL by depicting the group as far more influential than it is.
Nevertheless, I did some digging into Google’s ad policies and discovered that the web giant had already caved to the pressure of the dominant Left before the NARAL propaganda campaign. Google doesn’t mind running ads that suggest the human fetus isn’t human, that murder is a “brave decision” which low-level bureaucrats should urge panicked teenage girls to make, and that the “right” to torture infants to death is sacred. Of course it stands to reason that Google will not, on the other hand, allow filthy ads that use, and I quote, “violent language” like “abortion is murder.” Don’t believe me? Read their policy.
I was raised in what is called the “Age of Google.” That this age is an age of friendliness is undeniable. The average “millennial” has dozens more “friends” than his parents ever had—just ask the next under-30 you meet how many friends he has on Facebook, or how many numbers he has saved in his cell phone.
The fact that this is also the bloodiest age in history (yes, bloodier by far than the World Wars and Communism’s mass starvations) is ignored. Why? Because, as I said, this is an age of friendliness, and it would be disagreeable to use the “violent language” of cultural war. After all, we’re entertaining friends, and wouldn’t want to spoil their appetites with talk of Heaven, Hell and infanticide.
Not all of this is new. Human beings have always had a natural desire to be agreeable. We’re concerned with our own safety and peace of mind, and would rather let a confrontation slide than risk the wrath of others, especially when we find ourselves outnumbered. But if our desire to be agreeable is natural, it’s also fallen—as any Christian ought to know. Even when the pagan Aristotle wrote that we are a “political animal” naturally inclined to form communities, he was quick to add that our communities will end in chaos and corruption if the individuals within them don’t deliberately strive to be men and women of principle.
When Christ came, He warned against our tendency to collaborate. He said we are a Body, but parts of the Body should be lopped off if they become corrupt. Against the temptation to mob morality (see Golden Calf), he brought the “sword,” instructing us to “hate” even our own brethren if they turn against Him. In the work I’ve done with young people, I’ve met few who would strongly disagree with friends on principle, and many who disagree with principles for the sake of friends. By the standards of the Age of Google, I don’t have many friends. That’s partly because I strive to be more principled than I am friendly.
But even those millennials who have inherited the now half-empty names of Christian and Conservative are adopting friendliness as their new ideology, and prefer to lie agreeably than to disagreeably speak the truth. If you won’t smile and drink the millennial Kool-Aid, then you’ll be cast into the outer darkness to wail and gnash your teeth with hasbeens like