The postmodern definition of “intolerance” has been eating away at our society for years and cancel culture is the result.
It wasn’t that long ago that a relatively new technology — the internet — created a brand new medium for bullying. Soon enough, we had a name for it: cyber bullying. And everyone was against it, decrying it as dangerous at every turn, warning parents to monitor their children’s activity in chat rooms and on social media and taking a collective stand against it as a societal ill resulting in myriad mental health issues and prompting suicidal thoughts for some victims.
As a society, we’re still against it on a one-on-one basis. But collectively, there’s been a 180-degree turn, all in the name of social justice.
The progressive secular left has abandoned all pretense, promising to cancel any company, brand, or person who doesn’t fall in line with their predetermined, singular ways of fighting injustice. And it has nothing to do with actually taking tangible steps to stop instances like the unjust killings of George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery. Rather, it has everything to do with remolding and fundamentally transforming our culture into a postmodern, post-Christian society.
There are few people who (1) don’t see a problem with Floyd or Arbery’s killings or (2) don’t believe we need reforms in the law enforcement community. But rather than sitting down for genuine conversations, our social media feeds are littered with people consumed by a desire to see rides taken out of theme parks and restaurant chains shut down and NFL players blacklisted and police departments defunded and church’s closed.
While some individuals and groups are having those authentic dialogues, they’re being drowned out by a media culture focused solely on what divides us.
On Thursday, a church in Birmingham, Alabama, was stripped of its lease agreement with the city, allowing the congregation to use school property for its Sunday services. The city decided to revoke the lease because the Church of the Highlands pastor, Chris Hodges, “liked” conservative posts on Twitter, including one that featured President Donald Trump. The tweets were brought to leaders’ attention after a woman who doesn’t attend Hodges’ church complained to the press about his decision to “like” the posts, which she called “culturally insensitive” and “troubling.”
Others have been posting ad nauseam about Splash Mountain, a log-flume ride at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. The ride, critics say, needs to go — or, at the very least, be re-themed — because it was inspired by the 1946 film “Song of the South,” a movie many have decried as racist for its stereotypes of black people and its nostalgic depiction of the antebellum south.
That followed a decision by HBO Max to pull “Gone with the Wind” from its streaming service due to its “racist depictions.” The company has since announced the 1939 movie — which resulted in the first black American, Hattie McDaniel, winning an Oscar — will return to the service with “a denouncement of those very depictions.”
These things are, as even “The View” co-hosts Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar, and Whoopi Goldberg said this week, pointless. Hostin said it’s “much ado about nothing” and Behar added, “So we get rid of ‘Gone with the Wind,’ does that solve the problem with racism? I don’t think so.” And Goldberg voiced concerns about going too far with censorship of entertainment.
The long-running reality show “Cops” was also cancelled for “glorifying” police.
And it doesn’t stop with entertainment.
Some have also been calling for the popular southern homestyle restaurant chain Cracker Barrel to be closed because, according to activist April Reign, when you open the door to the eatery, “you get a whiff of Jim Crow.”
And none of that mentions New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who was forced into making not one, but two apologies for saying he disagrees with those who choose to protest injustice by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem ahead of NFL games. He has repented for the “pain” his opinion caused.
Facing intense scrutiny, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has turned away from his opinion as well, now saying he supports the form of protest. Some are even urging the commissioner to participate in the kneeling this fall. The U.S. Soccer Federation has likewise decided it will no longer require players to stand during the national anthem.
All of these things — from mounting pressure over a Disney theme park ride to the shuttering of a church’s leased facility — are the product of a culture that has redefined “tolerance.” No more are we able to coexist with those with whom we disagree. Instead, we force them to get on board, and if they don’t kowtow, we railroad over them.
Cancel culture is the antithesis to grace and it’s the polar opposite of what it actually means to be tolerant. These cancel culture casualties are a destructive form of politically expedient cyber bullying, and it needs to stop.