By Dr. Donald Whitchard
One of the most thought-provoking books that I have ever read or owned was a work by the late Christian philosopher and theologian Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) entitled How Then Shall We Now Live? The thesis of the book was that, according to Dr. Schaeffer’s observations of the progression of Western civilization, whenever a country or society as a whole based its purposes, art, law, sciences, history, political philosophy, and reason for being upon the foundation of the life, teachings, and example of the Lord Jesus Christ and the assets of Christian thought and practice, that society tends to operate in a fashion that not only produces moral clarity and behavior, but it also provides spiritual benefit to the society as a whole. Based on a standard given by the work of a Standard Moral Lawgiver, a people and the nation in which they live and to which they contribute, either through work, thought, prayerful intercession, and be free to express opinions and thoughts that have a strong ethical foundation will not just exist, but thrive and be a part of the long term historical narrative.
One of our Founding Fathers, John Adams, referred to our Constitution as applicable to the citizen that had a moral and religious standard and that it was not fit for another people. In other words, national law must be founded upon an established moral standard that brings a better way of operation as a nation. Laws cannot be based merely on an opinion or emotion, but carefully thought out so as to be of a means of the prevention of a nation or civilization from collapsing in on itself and suffering the consequences of alternative governments or legal practices of future generations espousing beliefs and practices that are only beneficial for tyrants and totalitarianism and godlessness in general. Schaeffer wrote that whenever a society or government abandons their foundations, the fruit of that decision is what he feared would come upon this nation in the future. He wrote the book in 1976 and when one reads it today, it is a prophetic observation that has come to pass and has gotten even worse than what he proposed.
It all comes down as to upon what one bases his behaviors and thinking. A follower of Jesus Christ, like most of the Founding Fathers and early governmental leaders were, based laws and concepts on the Bible, which is civilization’s best written book of ethical, moral, and spiritual behavior. It has God for its author (2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17; Psalm 119:105) and if that is true (and it is), then He knows what is best for the good of His creation. Now, that might sound simple to some, but it’s usually the simple explanation that solves the problem. When that standard is questioned or rejected over a period of time and is replaced by pure humanistic thought, which declares that man is the center of all things, it is a fact of history that what is first thought of as abhorrent soon becomes acceptable and then ends with forced compliance and an end to opposing thought through coercion or other extremes. The deliberate rejection or removal of an established moral absolute or standard brings about a harvest of intellectual, ethical, and often legal anarchy, which produces a society founded upon the whims of the few in control.
The steps often used throughout history by those who want to produce a change in society, especially from what I’ve observed in the ideological struggle between what would be classified as conservative, traditional thought and that of liberal and highly secular belief and practice begin with what I refer to as the tool of selective outrage. Nowhere more so do I see this than in what is happening to the structure of this nation and its history. It has occurred in other countries, but I want to focus on this country because I theorize that the events occurring right now will be the seedbed for the overall plans of and its father, Satan, to establish what will inevitably be the New World Order under the absolute rule of the one known as the Antichrist as presented in prophecy. What do I mean by selective outrage? It can best be defined as an idea in someone’s thinking that change needs to occur in a society that would benefit a representative people, idea, or observation of what is acceptable law and behavior and through protest, speech, demonstration, activism, and persuasion, society comes to agree or support the new idea or lifestyle with the overall goal of controlling the accepted narrative and denouncing any opposing thought. For some, the idea ends up being part of a forced compliance and a weapon of tyranny. The overall idea is to get the population outraged over a perceived injustice and then once the goal is achieved, regulate the original thought to the footnote of history and make it irrelevant so as to not bring up the counter-idea that this may have been a mistake or bring about a counter-rebellion.
This concept could be used for good when presented by someone with moral grounds based on a biblical standard of right and wrong. For example, look at the Civil Rights movement championed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1950’s and 1960’s, especially in the South and some areas of the industrialized North. The outrage did not begin with him, but he spoke out about what were obvious prejudices against the African-American population, which had its beginnings in the post-Civil War South during the period of Reconstruction. As a Southerner, I look upon this period of American history as a dark spot of human behavior towards a conquered foe, and this radical action of punishment and humiliation produced generations of animosity towards the North, and some who hold an ongoing grudge, especially in the older generations who witnessed it. The tragic fact is that this time didn’t have to exist in the first place if Abraham Lincoln had not been killed. Even before the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia to the Union Army’s General-in Chief Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, bringing an end to the Civil War, President Lincoln, in his Second Inaugural Address, spoke of “binding the nation’s wounds” and knew that the aggressions would have to come to an inevitable end. He proposed an idea he called the “Ten Per Cent” plan for the Southern States. He proposed that if the new leadership of those states which had been part of the Confederacy would have a population that was willing to promote a 10% loyalty to the U.S. government, they would be welcomed back into the Union and there would not be any further action taken towards them. For all practical purposes, it was an act of benevolence that could be welcomed and enacted. The terms of surrender could have been much harder had Lincoln harbored a vengeful spirit. This was not to be.
The President was assassinated by an unrepentant Confederate sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth, who saw Lincoln as a tyrant who would not leave the South alone and operate its own government and policy. He allegedly championed state’s rights and saw Lincoln as a violator of that principle. History does not excuse him, however, for what was an act of premeditated, deliberate murder. I do not excuse him, either. Whatever his motive, it was based on an evil and a cold-hearted attitude that, had he lived to face a trial, would have remained unrepentant. His action destroyed, in the mind of the North, any chance to put Lincoln’s plan into action.
From that point, Northern legislators decided to humiliate and punish the South for its actions during the war and demote every former Confederate state into an occupied territory under the hands of military personnel who seized lands for taxes that couldn’t be paid, brought in men called “carpetbagger” who claimed properties and assets by paying the taxes and essentially making families homeless, controlled crop production, threatened to hang every former Confederate officer, and put freed slaves into Northern-controlled state legislatures with voting powers. All of this was a product of members of the U.S. Congress known as “Radical Republicans” with a Southern president who had been sympathetic to the Northern cause. This act, called “Reconstruction”, lasted for twelve years, bringing with it an even deeper animosity by humiliated Southerners towards the North and especially towards the African-American population. When Reconstruction was lifted in 1877, the white Southerners, who were sympathetic to the Democratic Party, threw out the Republican legislators, most of whom were former slaves, establishing “Black Codes” and the “Jim Crow” legal system that prevented black citizens from voting and began a nearly century long era of deep prejudice and the backing of Supreme Court decisions like Plessy v. Ferguson (1897) which promoted but did not enforce the concept of “separate but equal” in terms of blacks and white having equal access to education and other rights. Democratic Southern legislators used fear and intimidation to keep minorities under control. The growth of the Ku Klux Klan as an enforcer of segregation grew rapidly in every major Southern city and town. The black man and family could not find justice under this system and it should be noted that there was just as much prejudice in the North, though not as obvious as in the South.
Here is where the concept of selective outrage worked for the betterment of American society. In 1954 in Montgomery, Alabama, a domestic worker named Rosa Parks got on a city bus to go home and took the first available seat. Now, buses in that time were segregated, with blacks riding in the back and white riding in the front. Mrs. Parks was sitting in the white section and was told to get up and move back to the rear. She refused and was jailed as a result. This caught the attention of a young black pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr., who saw the entire concept of segregation as a wrong that needed to be addressed. He saw it as a violation of the Christian principle to love your neighbor as yourself. He organized a city-wide bus boycott for the black population. The refusal of the minorities to pay for riding buses took an economic toll on city finances and soon segregation on city transportation was made illegal.
This started the movement known as civil rights and was in essence a righteous rebellion against an ungodly state of mind. In that same year, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education ruled that segregation as a whole was unconstitutional, especially in education. This case was argued by a young lawyer for the NAACP named Thurgood Marshall, who would later be nominated by Lyndon Johnson in 1967 to be the first black Supreme Court justice. The ruling was fought tooth and nail for the next decade by segregationist legislators, often with violent results such as the murders of civil rights workers in places such as north Mississippi in 1964. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, not known to be a sympathizer of the movement, went so far as to wiretap the home of Dr. King and attempt to blackmail him for alleged affairs and suspected Communist activity. He reluctantly assigned agents to the state and investigated the matter as a Civil Rights violation, which resulted in local Klan leaders and officials in cities such as Philadelphia, Mississippi serving lengthy sentences for murder and intentional interference with a Federal investigation.
The good that selective outrage towards the evil of prejudice initiated by Dr. King saw the acceptance of people of other races as part of the betterment of society and the beginning of rights that made our country a “shining city on a hill” where people from all areas of the world could legally immigrate and start new lives. However, the morally based selective outrage that he championed ended when an equally outraged bigot named James Earl Ray killed Dr. King on a hotel balcony in Memphis in April 1968. Race relations since then have been both good and bad. Political opportunists like President Lyndon Johnson saw the signing of the 1965 Civil Rights Act not as a means of enacting justice and benevolence, but a weapon that would see the black population, which up to that time, been in line with the Republican Party, switch loyalties and embrace the very political party that had fought integration and equality. It should be noted that no Southern U.S. legislator voted for the Civil Rights Act. The Republicans in Congress were the ones who saw it pass and become law, but revisionist historians conveniently leave that fact out and for years afterwards, the Democratic Party, who keeps the narrative of selected outrage alive for their political benefit, told black citizens that it was the Republicans who wanted to keep them down.
This is not an exercise in protection or benevolence, but is a means of a deliberate strategy to have an available voting bloc to keep themselves in power. I’m not letting the party I support off the hook, though. Republican lawmakers and officials past and present have used the outrage of citizens over an issue or law that may be seen as a detriment to the well-being of the nation to their advantage, oftentimes supporting the cause what seem to be selfless purposes, but the ulterior motive is that it is a convenient means of being re-elected to office as long as they are in agreement, at least on the surface, with the representative voting bloc that will keep them in power. The fact is that motive plays the key role in advocating an idea or position. Common sense will tell you that this works both ways. Let me now come to the concept of the use of selective outrage that champions those groups of people who possess an ulterior motive to further an agenda that is initially rejected by the majority of the population.
Constant focus on the perceived injustice and the use of willing accomplices in areas of influence turn the tide of opinion in the group’s favor and leads to not only acceptance, but may lead to circumstances such as the possibility of forced compliance that breeds opposition against any alternative belief. You don’t have to look any farther than the proponents of the LGBTQ agenda for an example. In spite of some individuals in this group who may possess an attitude of “live and let live” and are respectful towards other points of view, the movement as a whole is, quite bluntly, a deliberate rebellion towards God’s design for men and women. By saying to me that someone is born that way and it can’t be helped is that you’re saying that the very God who created you and holds your life in His hand is somehow guilty of a mistake in design? That is saying that God is a liar and that His plan can be challenged by a mere creature. I seem to recall in my study of the Scriptures that someone did just that, and he is now known as Satan, the devil, who promotes behaviors, words, and plans that are always in opposition to God and will not end until Christ’s return. Now, I know that some of you who have been weaned on the spoiled formula of tolerance have now already written me off as a hater and bigot. Get off your ideological high horse and finish reading what I have to present, which is, hopefully, an objective study of what happens when the tool of selective outrage benefits just a particular group at the expense of opponents being socially ostracized and seen as an enemy of the state. The blunt truth is that the malevolent use of this tool brought about the terrors of Nazi Germany and the bloodshed of the Communists in the last century. It will be used by proponents of those who wish to see the end of Christianity in this country, mark my words.
The perceived outrage started in 1969 in a gay bar in Manhattan. Police were initially sent to the Stonebridge Bar to break up a gathering of homosexual men. The incident turned into a fight and advocates of homosexual behavior began to speak out about what was seen as a blatant injustice towards a select group of society. Gay bath houses had also been raided and men were charged with acts of sodomy, which was at that time, against the law. There was not a lot of sympathy towards this group by American citizens as a whole, seeing it as a perversion. Up until 1973, as an example from medical science, psychiatric journals condemned homosexual behavior as a form of mental illness. This diagnosis would be rejected just a few years later. The new cause rallied producers and actors in Hollywood and New York, some of whom had kept their sexual preferences secret so as to not miss out on parts in movies, TV, and theaters, started to use this movement to their advantage. Media personalities in charge of studios began testing the waters for reactions by the public. In the James Bond film Diamond Are Forever, released in 1971, two male characters who murdered a diamond broker by setting off a remote device that caused the helicopter in which he was riding to explode, viewed the aftermath, and walked off into the sunset holding hands. A year later, a movie made for TV presented a character struggling with homosexual feelings towards a friend. There was some reaction, but nothing that registered national outrage or condemnation as a whole. A prime time TV show produced in 1977 featured an openly gay man as a regular character who presented himself as a regular guy with a great sense of humor.
Viewers grew to love the character for his jokes and wit in a house of straight relatives. The idea that gay people were funny, warm-hearted, and nice (and many are) caught on with a large portion of the populace who began to see them as just a part of the American fabric. The movement received a serious setback in the 1980’s with the onslaught of the AIDS virus and the rise of sexually transmitted diseases in young gay men. Celebrities who had kept their homosexuality a secret, such as the actor Rock Hudson and the entertainer Liberace, were openly diagnosed with AIDS and this brought about the ruination of carefully crafted reputations they had established over the years. Christian ministers such as Billy Graham urged those in the lifestyle to repent and trust in Christ for salvation before it was too late. Others in the religious community cursed them and consigned them to hell, which goes against the very message of the Gospel. As the years passed, more and more celebrities and people from all walks of life declared their sexual orientation and were encouraged to do so by a growing number of Americans who were sympathetic towards the movement, considering it a form of civil rights and calling for laws to be passed protecting their way of life and making it more acceptable to the business and entertainment venues.
Conservative Christians who were dealing with this changing attitude, started ministries and programs to help gay people who wanted out of the lifestyle to surrender their lives to Christ and look into traditional relationships or at least stay celibate and control their passions. Many in the gay rights movement took offense to this and started advocating for laws against what they referred to as “conversion therapy” and opposed any attempts to evangelize and discuss alternatives. There arose a growing animosity towards evangelical Americans and some activists soon began declaring that Christians were the ones who were hateful and the enemy of social progress. This attitude began spreading even to the straight community and politicians who were sympathetic to the gay cause. Now, if you say anything contrary against the gay movement and its sister movement transgenderism, you risk being sued, fined, thrown in jail, fired from your job, or censored on social media. Selective outrage has now become forced compliance in this country with dangerous consequences for the opposing viewpoint. As leftist movements continue to grow and their narrative of opinion against people of faith continues to spread, the risk of persecution as believers increases each day. The truth of prophecy confirms that people as a whole are going to get more wicked as time progresses (Isaiah 5:20, Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-18; 2 Timothy 3:1-9) and will not stop until Jesus comes back to this world to conquer, rule, and reign for all time. We tend to forget that God Himself is outraged over the effects of our rebellion and blatant wickedness. He is outraged at the wanton acts of evil that people do to each other and the abuse and murder of the innocent. His wrath is being stored for the Great Day of Judgment that no one will escape or avoid. God will have His way at the end of history, and all the perceived outrage you may possess will disappear at the brightness of His coming. You can have all the outrage you want in hell, but it will be of no use. Now is the time to get right with Him. You have been warned, and if that still outrages you, then I’ll know I have done my job.
Don was born and raised in the true Cajun Country of Louisiana. He holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Louisiana College, a Masters Degree in Christian Education from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Theology from Andersonville Baptist Seminary in Georgia. Don has served as a pastor, interim pastor, high school teacher, and hospital chaplain over the past thirty years. He currently serves as a volunteer chaplain (2008-present) with St. Francis Hospital and also served as the pastor/teacher from 2013-2016 at the Gospel Rescue Mission, both of which are here in Muskogee. He was called to Meadowbrook in February 0f 2017 and began his ministry in March of that year. He has also served as President of the Muskogee Baptist Association’s Pastors Conference, which is a weekly meeting that presents speakers and ministry ideas and concepts to church leaders in the greater Muskogee area.
Don’s top priority is to see that the good news of Jesus Christ is shared with our lost and hurting world and that the people of God are taught sound doctrine and preparation for our Lord’s soon return.