A favorite slogan from our woke friends is “Love is love.” Well I say let’s take them up on that. Let’s see what “love” from them looks like in a Church of England school. That seems a safe enough place to look.
Dr. Bernard Randall, an Anglican priest and Chaplain gave a sermon at a Church of England school that was being targeted, er, blessed with LGBT+ reeducation. In the sermon, he said this about disagreements:
Now when ideologies compete, we should not descend into abuse, we should respect the beliefs of others, even where we disagree. Above all, we need to treat each other with respect, not personal attacks – that’s what loving your neighbour as yourself means. By all means discuss, have a reasoned debate about beliefs, but while it’s OK to try and persuade each other, no one should be told they must accept an ideology. Love the person, even where you profoundly dislike the ideas. Don’t denigrate a person simply for having opinions and beliefs which you don’t share.
So, all in all, if you are at ease with “all this LGBT stuff,” you’re entitled to keep to those ideas; if you are not comfortable with it, for the various especially religious reasons, you should not feel required to change. Whichever side of this conflict of ideas you come down on, or even if you are unsure of some of it, the most important thing is to remember that loving your neighbour as yourself does not mean agreeing with everything he or she says; it means that when we have these discussions there is no excuse for personal attacks or abusive language. We should all respect that people on each side of the debate have deep and strongly held convictions.
Good Christian guidance on respect and love in the midst of disagreement. This is what love looks like when our woke friends and us disagree.
(Now I will nitpick and say that some beliefs are so evil and toxic, such as wokeness and actual white supremacy, that they should not be respected even as we should respect those who hold them as best we can. But again, I’m nitpicking and rather mean, too. At the same time, I think even those who push such toxic ideologies should still retain free speech rights. Yes, I’m rather American, too.)
So how did the school respond to this kind sermon on love and respect? It reported Randall to the U. K. government’s anti-terror Prevent program. Yes, really. (Prevent found him to be no threat, thankfully.) Then the school fired him. Randall just lost his lawsuit for wrongful dismissal but intends to appeal. Rod Dreher as usual summarizes the whole situation well. Justin Welby as usual is silent about this.
So “love” along with the woke Holy Trinity of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” doesn’t extend to those who dare say it’s okay to disagree respectfully with wokeness. Not with the woke in control. “Love and DEI for me, not for thee.” Such woke love isn’t love. Far from it. “Love is love” is a cloak for control and suppression with a totalitarian bent.
Totalitarians have alway perverted language in order to control. Orwell told us. History tells us. Social media and fake news tells us.
So what should us actual orthodox Christians (not to be confused with those in charge in the Church of England) do?
We love. We should actually love. And that includes loving our enemies, including those woke ones who would cancel and fire us in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. Yes, unlike faux “love,” real love, the love of Christ, is difficult.
So, yes, we do treat our woke friends with respect even if — no — especially if they are enemies. Bernard Randall is right and worthy of being quoted again:
We need to treat each other with respect, not personal attacks – that’s what loving your neighbour as yourself means. By all means discuss, have a reasoned debate about beliefs, but while it’s OK to try and persuade each other, no one should be told they must accept an ideology. Love the person, even where you profoundly dislike the ideas.
It cost Randall to be right. We should deplore that and defend him and brave people like him. But if real love costs us Christians, so be it.
And real love of neighbors (and of enemies) includes doing our part to prevent us from descending into a totalitarian hellscape in which those who commit wrongthought or wrongspeech lose their jobs and more. We should love totalitarians — yes, even them as much as it galls me to say it — but we should love all our neighbors by firmly opposing totalitarianism, by opposing what the woke are trying to do to our society in which our neighbors live. And wokeness is the presenting dangerous form of totalitarianism today. Rod Dreher has written well about that also.
I can hear the laughs and wails of those who think it alarmist and vilifying to warn of woke totalitarianism. Such need to explain the vilification and firing of Bernard Randall among too many others. The explanations so far are wanting.
I say that with love.