PC Invades the FBI

A simple newspaper ad recently cost a woman thousands of dollars in legal bills and fines. No, the ad was not lewd or indecent. Beverly Schnell simply wanted to find a tenant to help remodel her 100-year-old home in return for lower rent. As a Christian, she hoped to offer the job to a fellow believer. So she advertised for a "mature Christian handyman." State officials were aghast. A clear case of sexual and religious discrimination, they decreed—and imposed fines and fees totaling $8,000. In today's multicultural world, advertising for a "handyman" is a gender crime. Trying to help a fellow believer is a religious crime. Across America, government coercion is steadily ratcheting up. Why is this happening? In his book Postmodern Times, Gene Edward Veith says it stems from a new philosophy called postmodernism, a philosophy that detects oppression everywhere—especially of blacks, women, Native Americans, and other minorities. In our relativistic world, the only moral imperative left is to protect these so-called oppressed groups. Postmodernism has adopted the social philosophy of cultural determinism—teaching that everyone is a product of his or her culture. The individual is merely a web of social forces. Being a woman or an African American or whatever has become more important than being an individual human being. This represents a stunning turnaround in Western thought. For centuries the Western mind—inspired by the biblical teaching of individual salvation—has nurtured a heritage of individual rights and dignity. But today that heritage is being cast off. Postmodernism puts a higher premium on collective group identity. All blacks are expected to believe the same things—otherwise they are "white inside." All women are supposed to support feminist ideology—otherwise they are trapped in "false consciousness." And by outlawing an ad for a Christian handyman, the government itself is now enforcing political correctness. The Wall Street Journal tells a chilling story about a young Capitol Hill staffer who recently underwent his periodic five-year clearance review. Later he discovered that during the review the FBI grilled his neighbors to find out whether he had ever told a racist joke—whether he ever said anything indicating prejudice. The FBI officials weren't asking about public speech, they were asking about his private conversations. In other words, today your job in government may depend on whether anyone anywhere feels you have demeaned their race, gender, or ethnic background. This could easily become open season for misunderstanding and even blackballing. Just consider how widely people differ in what they consider demeaning or offensive. From time immemorial women have told jokes about men—and men have reciprocated in kind. But now the government will decide which jokes reveal "incorrect" opinions. You and I need to be aware that postmodernism is not just one more "ism" on the intellectual horizon. It has become a powerful force shaping our culture—and even our legal rights. By reducing individuals to their social group, it is a direct attack on the biblical teaching of individual dignity. And an insidious move toward tyranny.


Chuck Colson



  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary