Lida of Veritas. Quid est veritas?posts:
So… something interesting happened last night. The business manager for our a cappella group was contacted by the organizer for our next event, which is a sort of "sing-off" between different a cappella groups from Cal and Stanford, as a precursor to the Big Game. It’s a thoroughly secular event, and our director was initially a little queasy about participating, but the rest of us held firm.
It turns out that some of our audience at one of last week’s performances were "offended" by some of our lyrics. Just what were those lyrics?
You poured out all Your blood
You died upon the cross
You are my Jesus who loves me.
This is so irritating, especially in light of the fact that Berkeley just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. We had Howard Dean come and give a speech and everything. (Wheee.)
Why is free speech allowed everyone except for those who don’t agree with the liberal ideologies that so permeate this campus? Maybe I’m exaggerating. After all, the event organizer certainly didn’t kick us out or anything. She just suggested that she was "concerned" about our repertoire, which made our director even more worried than usual.
This type of response really mystifies me. Even more that more than one person actually took the time to complain that they were offended about the lyrics. I would be curious to see the playlist in their MP3 players as to what music they listen to that simply hearing about Jesus’s death and love for us could cause their neurons to fire off an offended response. Even in my most militant atheist days religious lyrics never bothered me. I saw it as just another aspect of cultural mythology. It now comes to the idea that free speech can be confined to free speech zones. It is easy to be tolerant of ideas you mainly agree with and that is what tolerance has come to mean today. Multiculturalism as long is it isn’t western culture. Freedom of religions just as long as it isn’t Christianity. You can hold and practice any idea on sexual morality just as long as it isn’t traditional sexual morality.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the reaction to the lyrics about the cross. What St. Paul said is still very true today.
…but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
It doesn’t mystify me because (and I think you put your finger on it) it only illuminates what I already knew, that the other side in this culture war – beneath all their talk of freedom and liberation and the equality of all cultures – stands for little more than a hatred of Christianity.
I’m reminded of something a priest once told us when I was young. It went something like this: imagine being in the presence of someone you’ve hurt or rejected but who loves you anyway. For most people, such a situation would be awkward, even if they didn’t harbor any love for the one who loves them. Then imagine being in the presence of God, who loves you infinitely and perfectly, even though you have rejected Him. For eternity. Wouldn’t that be Hell?
Putting aside for the moment the question of whether that is an orthodox description of the afterlife; my point right now is, that is what it must be like for those who reject God to hear of His loving sacrifice. Hell on earth! (Or, since it is not eternity; their own little purgatory on earth.)
The reason you weren’t bothered in your most militant athiest days was that you were able to totally deny the presence of the Person who loved you. My guess is that these ‘offended’ people are not so certain that there is no God who loves them; thus it makes them uncomortable to hear about what He did for them.
Just a thought.