The Myth Of Neutrality

In our culture there is a dangerous myth going around. It is one that is used frequently against Christians to persecute and bully them for having a position on a moral issue different than what the culture supports. It is called the myth of neutrality. The reason it is called a myth is because no one is neutral when it comes to morality; although they may think they are. In reality, the minute a person opens their mouth and gives their opinion – they have surrendered their neutrality.

Because many people nowadays talk like they are neutral, with no position on moral or spiritual issues, it is vital for Christians to identify these myths of neutrality and shine light on the contradictions built into this kind of thinking. The hardest part for many people can be learning to spot the misconceived ideas in a person’s speech in order to expose them.

Here is an example sentence of what someone who thinks they are neutral would say:

“There are two things I can’t stand: people who are intolerant of other people’s beliefs, and Christians!”

Not only should this type of sentiment sound familiar, but it should be easy to point out the lack of neutrality in this statement. Someone who says or thinks in this way, usually feels they are neutral when it comes to other people’s beliefs. They also more than likely don’t recognize that Christians have their own beliefs, and that they are being disrespectful of others views.

Here are some other common examples of how this myth of neutrality makes its way into everyday conversation, and some possible ways we can point it out to people.

1. “I personally believe abortion is the murder of a human being. I certainly wouldn’t do it. But I think    women should have the freedom to choose for themselves.”

Is this person neutral on the issue of abortion? Of course not. They think women should be allowed the freedom to kill their children for whatever reason they want. They are pro-abortion. This type of stance is often used by politicians.  A few simple questions can usually help to show the person that they are not neutral.

Sample Response 1: “Let me see if I understand your view. You think abortion is murdering a human being, but you think women should be able to do that if they want to?”

Sample Response 2: “I agree with you. It’s kind of like slavery right? I personally think slavery is wrong, but I am not going to try and pass a law that says people can’t own a slave if they want to. I am neutral like you.”

People make statements like this so they can seem neutral on an issue. In their minds it seems more moral to be both against something like abortion, and at the same time for free choice. Substituting something like slavery, quickly reveals the error in this confused sentiment. It’s very mistaken, and hardly neutral.

2. “You shouldn’t force you views on other people!”

Now here is someone who believes they are truly neutral because they don’t think they force their views on anyone. The reality is, they are forcing their view on you; the view that says “it is wrong to force your view on others!” How should we respond then?

Sample Response:

“You shouldn’t force your views on other people!”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s “wrong’ to force your views on other people!”

“Is that your view?”

“Yes.”

“Then why are you forcing it on me?”

The reality is that no one can escape this trap. The person who says this, is not neutral; they have a position, and they want force it on you.

3. “You are intolerant to say that other religions are wrong!”

This person is basically saying it is wrong to tell people they are wrong. However, they don’t seem to think it is wrongto tell you that you are wrong!

Sample Response:

“You are intolerant!”

“What do you mean by intolerant? Is it because I think I am right?”

“Yes!”

“Do you think you are right about that?” (Of course they think they are right, or they wouldn’t believe it.)

“How come when I think I am right, I am intolerant; but when you think you are right, you are just right?”

The reality is neither person is being intolerant just because they think they are right. A person becomes intolerant when he treats others as unequal, not when he expresses an opinion. There is a concept of tolerance in our culture now that says we must accept all ideas as equally valid. Even if they completely contradict each other. However, this is a horribly mistaken understanding of what it means to be tolerant. In fact, the only reason you tolerate someone in the first place, is because you disagree with them. You don’t have to tolerate a person you agree with. This tactic is often used to bully Christians into submission and can result in people losing their jobs, losing their freedoms, and losing their rights. The reality is – no one is really neutral – and it‘s ok. That is the way society works. Our culture tends to act like Christians are the only ones who have ideas or positions that exclude or disagree with the beliefs of others, but this is simply not the case. It’s obvious that every organization has its own rules, and that none can really be neutral. Most of them don’t include everyone, especially those who don’t share their view of things.

Christians believe in and follow the Bible, and being a Christian entails certain beliefs that don’t mesh well with those of other groups. However for the most part, it seems the culture is intent to try and force only the Christian population to go against their beliefs, if what they believe is inconsistent with the politically correct positions of the time. This does not seem to work the other way around. I can’t go into a mosque and demand they follow the Bible and believe Jesus is God, nor join a gay rights organization if I don’t support same sex marriage. No group is neutral, no matter how much they say they are.

In reality, we Christians are the only ones who have this myth of neutrality used against us to make us look hateful, intolerant, and bigoted. And it is happening because we never answer back. Christians are the most persecuted group of people in this society, and it will get worse before it gets better. We must learn to stand our ground, with gentleness and respect, and expose this myth of neutrality for what it really is – a dangerous misconception.

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