You were probably as grossed out as I was the other day when you picked up the newspaper to see a picture of two men kissing. The occasion? They were celebrating the demise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Everywhere you turned, homosexual and lesbian members of the military “came out” very publicly to celebrate what the media is heralding as a huge victory for human rights.
Why the huge media splash? Most Americans, after all, are either indifferent or opposed to gays openly serving in the military. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” served most Americans well — it kind of fit the prevailing public mood on homosexuality, which is this: “What you do in private is your business, just don’t shove it in my face.”
But that’s not good enough for the gay-rights lobby or the media. Make no mistake: The celebration of the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a calculated step on the path to gay “marriage.” This is a battle for the heart and soul of marriage.
And it is brought to us compliments of the less than 10 percent of Americans who belong to the cultural elite. They are the ones who, when they speak, people read about it, hear about it. They control the TV networks, the internet service providers and the newspapers.
And actually, they are more of a governing influence on us today than Congress and the White House, which are in total gridlock. The real centers of cultural power — Hollywood, New York — are disseminating a clear message about homosexual behavior: That it’s normal, here to stay and you’d better not say anything against it.
They are cowing the majority of Americans into what German sociologist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann calls the “spiral of silence.”
It works something like this: The mass media portray a given issue in a certain way with an eye to actually shaping public opinion. Once individuals see the issue as “decided,” they clam up, even if they disagree. That’s because most people don’t like to go against the grain; they don’t want to be socially isolated, they don’t want to seem to be cranks or be labeled as bigots.
So how do you control America today? You control it by shaping the ideas of the people and silencing the opposition. And we’re letting a small, unelected elite shape those ideas and define what is and what is not permissible to say.
Shame on us. Because we should be shaping ideas, proclaiming truth from our pulpits and from every platform we have — from the neighborhood cookout to the school board meeting.
Look at England in the early 19th century. The slave trade was legal and lucrative. The slave traders literally owned Parliament. They seemed invincible. But when the Wesley holiness movement got involved, when Wilberforce began to write and preach, they so infiltrated and shaped public opinion that Wilberforce himself could march into Parliament with nearly 400,000 signatures on a petition demanding the end to the slave trade.
Folks, only this kind of a popular movement can stop the gay-“marriage” crusade. Remember, the people with the real power are the people with the microphones in their hands.
And the only way we can break their power — the only way we can save the institution of marriage — is to wake up, reject the spiral of silence, and create and motivate a movement that will speak out.
You’ll be hearing much more about this from me in coming weeks.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: September 22, 2011