The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak And The Death Of Free Speech

“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it…. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.” ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use.

In totalitarian regimes—a.k.a. police states—where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used. In countries where the police state hides behind a benevolent mask and disguises itself as tolerance, the citizens censor themselves, policing their words and thoughts to conform to the dictates of the mass mind.

Even when the motives behind this rigidly calibrated reorientation of societal language appear well-intentioned—discouraging racism, condemning violence, denouncing discrimination and hatred—inevitably, the end result is the same: intolerance, indoctrination, and infantilism.

It’s political correctness disguised as tolerance, civility, and love; but what it really amounts to is the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite.

As a society, we’ve become fearfully polite, careful to avoid offense, and largely unwilling to be labeled intolerant, hateful, closed-minded, or any of the other toxic labels that carry a badge of shame today. The result is a nation where no one says what they really think anymore, at least if it runs counter to the prevailing views. Intolerance is the new scarlet letter of our day, a badge to be worn in shame and humiliation, deserving of society’s fear, loathing, and utter banishment from society.

For those “haters” who dare to voice a different opinion, retribution is swift: they will be shamed, shouted down, silenced, censored, fired, cast out, and generally relegated to the dust heap of ignorant, mean-spirited bullies who are guilty of various “word crimes.”

We have entered a new age where, as commentator Mark Steyn notes, “we have to tiptoe around on ever thinner eggshells” and “the forces of ‘tolerance’ are intolerant of anything less than full-blown celebratory approval.”

In such a climate of intolerance, there can be no freedom of speech, expression, or thought.

Yet what the forces of political correctness fail to realize is that they owe a debt to the so-called “haters” who have kept the First Amendment robust. From swastika-wearing Neo-Nazis marching through Skokie, Illinois, and underaged cross burners to “God hates fags” protesters assembled near military funerals, those who have inadvertently done the most to preserve the right to freedom of speech for all have espoused views that were downright unpopular, if not hateful.

Until recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has reiterated that the First Amendment prevents the government from proscribing speech, or even expressive conduct, because it disapproves of the ideas expressed. However, that long-vaunted, Court-enforced tolerance for “intolerant” speech has now given way to a paradigm in which the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum. Justifying such discrimination as “government speech,” the Court ruled that the Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles could refuse to issue specialty license plate designs featuring a Confederate battle flag. Why? Because it was deemed offensive.

The Court’s ruling came on the heels of a shooting in which a 21-year-old white gunman killed nine African-Americans during a Wednesday night Bible study at a church in Charleston, S.C. The two events, coupled with the fact that alleged gunman Dylann Roof was reportedly pictured on several social media sites with a Confederate flag, have resulted in an emotionally charged stampede to sanitize the nation’s public places of anything that smacks of racism, starting with the Confederate flag and ballooning into a list that includes the removal of various Civil War monuments.

These tactics are nothing new. This nation, birthed from puritanical roots, has always struggled to balance its love of liberty with its moralistic need to censor books, music, art, language, symbols, etc. As author Ray Bradbury notes, “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”

Indeed, thanks to the rise of political correctness, the population of book burners, censors, and judges has greatly expanded over the years so that they run the gamut from left-leaning to right-leaning and everything in between. By eliminating words, phrases, and symbols from public discourse, the powers-that-be are sowing hate, distrust, and paranoia. In this way, by bottling up dissent, they are creating a pressure cooker of stifled misery that will eventually blow.

For instance, the word “Christmas” is now taboo in the public schools, as is the word “gun.” Even childish drawings of soldiers result in detention or suspension under rigid zero tolerance policies. On college campuses, trigger warnings are being used to alert students to any material they might read, see, or hear that might upset them, while free speech zones restrict anyone wishing to communicate a particular viewpoint to a specially designated area on campus. Things have gotten so bad that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

Clearly, the country is undergoing a nervous breakdown; and the news media is helping to push us to the brink of insanity by bombarding us with wall-to-wall news coverage and news cycles that change every few days.

In this way, it’s difficult to think or debate, let alone stay focused on one thing—namely, holding the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law—and the powers-that-be understand this.

As I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, regularly scheduled trivia and/or distractions keep the citizenry tuned into the various breaking news headlines and entertainment spectacles and tuned out to the government’s steady encroachments on our freedoms. These sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions are how you control a population, either inadvertently or intentionally, advancing a political agenda without much opposition from the citizenry.

Professor Jacques Ellul studied this phenomenon of overwhelming news, short memories, and the use of propaganda to advance hidden agendas. “One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones,” wrote Ellul.

Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but he does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man’s capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandists, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks.

Already, the outrage over the Charleston shooting and racism are fading from the news headlines; yet the determination to censor the Confederate symbol remains. Before long, we will censor it from our thoughts, sanitize it from our history books, and eradicate it from our monuments without even recalling why. The question, of course, is what’s next on the list to be banned?

It was for the sake of preserving individuality and independence that James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely.

This freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society. Conversely, when we fail to abide by Madison’s dictates about greater tolerance for all viewpoints, no matter how distasteful, the end result is always the same: an indoctrinated, infantilized citizenry that marches in lockstep with the governmental regime.

Some of this past century’s greatest dystopian literature shows what happens when the populace is transformed into mindless automatons. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, reading is banned and books are burned in order to suppress dissenting ideas, while televised entertainment is used to anesthetize the populace and render them easily pacified, distracted, and controlled.

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, serious literature, scientific thinking, and experimentation are banned as subversive, while critical thinking is discouraged through the use of conditioning, social taboos, and inferior education. Likewise, expressions of individuality, independence, and morality are viewed as vulgar and abnormal.

And in George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.” In this dystopian vision of the future, the Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the Ministry of Peace deals with war and defense; the Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs (rationing and starvation); the Ministry of Love deals with law and order (torture and brainwashing); and the Ministry of Truth deals with news, entertainment, education, and art (propaganda). The mottos of Oceania: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

All three—Bradbury, Huxley, and Orwell—had an uncanny knack for realizing the future; yet it is Orwell who best understood the power of language to manipulate the masses. Orwell’s Big Brother relied on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary. To give a single example, as psychologist Erich Fromm illustrates in his afterword to1984:

The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as “This dog is free from lice” or “This field is free from weeds.” It could not be used in its old sense of “politically free” or “intellectually free,” since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed as concepts….

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts, and expressions that challenge their authority.

This is the final link in the police state chain.

Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—we have nowhere left to go. Our backs are to the walls. From this point on, we have only two options: go down fighting, or capitulate and betray our loved ones, our friends, and ourselves by insisting that, as a brainwashed Winston Smith does at the end of Orwell’s 1984, yes, 2+2 does equal 5.

 

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

BREAKING: The Supreme Court Just Made A HUGE Move That Threatens Dem Campaign Cash

In a surprise move that could pose a major threat to organized labor — a key Democrat constituency that supports liberal candidates with vast amounts of campaign cash — the U.S. Supreme Court has just said it will hear a controversial case out of California. USA Today reports that the justices have agreed to consider the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, “challenging the requirement that teachers contribute to unions, even if they don’t join them or agree with their positions on issues.”

The USA Today article points out that, in the most recent case to come before the court in which the forced union dues have been challenged by people who don’t support what those dues have paid for politically, a sharply divided court ruled against the union policy.

“…the court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines that home-care workers in Illinois do not have to pay dues to public employee unions. The workers said the unions lobbied the government, often on issues the workers oppose — thereby abridging their First Amendment rights.”

In the California case that will bring the critical issue back before the Supreme Court in late fall, two lower courts have upheld the demand by the California Teachers Association that teachers contribute to the union, even if they don’t belong to the union or don’t agree with the group’s position of issues.

The Los Angeles Times article on the high court’s taking up the case notes just how important the eventual outcome of the matter could be to public employee unions and the causes, candidates and campaigns they support with massive amounts of money. What makes this pending decision even more critical is its timing as the 2016 election cycle moves into high gear.

The case is likely to be seen as crucial test of public employee unions, which have under political attack in several Republican-led states. The outcome may well have a political impact as well, because these unions have been reliable supporters of the Democratic Party.

The Times coverage notes just how much money the public-sector union collects from each member and non-member. “The lawsuit said full dues for teachers who join the union are about $1,000 a year, but non-members still have to pay about $650 on average for their share of the cost of collective bargaining….”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Obamacare’s Best Allies: The Courts And The Republicans

By ruling for the government in the case of King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court once again tied itself into rhetorical and logical knots to defend Obamacare. In King, the court disregarded Obamacare’s clear language regarding eligibility for federal health care subsides, on the grounds that enforcing the statute as written would cause havoc in the marketplace. The court found that Congress could not have intended this result and that the court needed to uphold Congress’s mythical intention and ignore Obamacare’s actual language.

While Obamacare may be safe from court challenges, its future is far from assured. As Obamacare forces more Americans to pay higher insurance premiums while causing others to lose their insurance or lose access to the physicians of their choice, opposition to Obamacare will grow. Additional Americans will turn against Obamacare as their employers reduce their hours, along with their paychecks, because of Obamacare’s mandates.

As dissatisfaction with Obamacare grows, there will be renewed efforts to pass a single-payer health care system. Single-payer advocates will point to Obamacare’s corporatist features as being responsible for its failures and claim the only solution is to get the private sector completely out of health care.

Unfortunately, many Republicans will inadvertently aid the single-payer advocates by failing to acknowledge that Obamacare is not socialist but corporatist, and that that the pre-Obamacare health care system was hobbled by government intervention. In fact, popular support for Obamacare was rooted in the desire to address problems created by prior government interference in the health care marketplace.

Republicans also help the cause of socialized medicine by pretending that Obamacare can be fixed with minor reforms. These Republicans do not understand that replacing Obamacare with “Obamacare Lite” will still leave millions of Americans with inadequate access to quality health care, and could strengthen the movement for a single-payer system.

Republicans’ failure to advocate for a free-market health care system is not just rooted in intellectual error and political cowardice. The insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the other special interests that benefit from a large government role in health care are just as — or perhaps even more — influential in the Republican Party as in the Democratic Party. The influence of these interests is one reason why, despite their free-market rhetoric, Republicans have a long history of expanding the government’s role in health care.

Those who think a Republican president and Congress will enact free-market health care should consider that the last time Republicans controlled Congress and the White House, their signature health care achievement was to expand federal health care spending and entitlements. Furthermore, Richard Nixon worked with Ted Kennedy to force all health care plans to offer a health maintenance organization (HMO). Even Obamacare’s individual mandate originated in a conservative think tank and was first signed into law by a Republican governor.

Instead of Obamacare Lite, Congress should support giving individuals direct control over their health care dollars through individual health care tax credits and expanded access to health savings accounts. Other reforms like long-term group insurance could ensure that those with “pre-existing conditions” have access to care. Another good reform is negative outcomes insurance that could help resolve the medical malpractice crisis.

America’s health care system is just as unsustainable as our foreign policy and our monetary system. At some point, the financial and human costs of Obamacare will prove overwhelming; and Congress will be forced to replace this system. Hopefully, before this happens, a critical mass of people will convince Congress to replace Obamacare with a truly free-market health care system.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

‘Gay Marriage’ Ruling: Evil With A Silver Lining

Well, that was predictable. On Friday, with its majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, five judicial imperialists perched high atop the U.S. Supreme Court bench called the Supreme Being a liar. They presumed to invent, out of thin air and through judicial fiat, a “constitutional right” to sin-based “gay marriage.” (Father God, as you exact Your perfect justice on America, please have mercy upon Your faithful.)

The horrific nature of this illegitimate decision cannot be overstated. It makes a mockery of the institution of marriage, something of which God alone has the authority to design and define. It represents a level of judicial activism unmatched since Dred Scott, Buck v. Bell or Roe v. Wade.

Man-woman marriage, as He designed it, is the metaphor God uses for the relationship between Christ and His Church. In addition to mocking marriage, this decision mocks God.

Which is by spiritual design.

Satan is laughing himself silly right now. His demonic minions, both above and below, are popping the bubbly and clinking the champagne flutes.

Evil has triumphed.

For now, at least.

But not in the end.

Because God will not be mocked.

And victory is His.

Still, on top of being an arrogant affront to Almighty God, this opinion of five unelected and unaccountable justices is also a constitutional disaster. “The Court’s decision fundamentally rewrites the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution to radically redefine the cornerstone institution of marriage, which is older than the Court itself,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

The decision also drew sharp criticism from the Court’s four dissenting justices. Chief Justice John Roberts, for example, rightly observed that the activist majority opinion hijacks the democratic process and is not based on the rule of law: “[D]o not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it,” wrote Roberts.

Justice Scalia similarly called the ruling a “threat to American democracy.” The “pretentious” and “egotistic” decision, he railed, “robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

But I promised a silver lining, and there is one. One that is sure to infuriate the anti-Christian left. The majority opinion emphasized that this newfangled “right” to “gay marriage” should not be construed to trump religious liberty:

“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.”

I’m not naïve. We’ll have to see what this actually means in coming years; but when filtered through any honest reading of the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause, what it means is that Christians cannot be forced to violate their conscience through compulsory participation in, or recognition of, counterfeit “gay weddings” or “marriages.”

Ever.

Of course, there’s nothing honest about the five liberals on this court; and Chief Justice Roberts makes that point in his dissent. He expresses skepticism as to the majority’s sincerity: “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage,” he writes. “The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise‘ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”

“Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage,” he continues. “[W]hen, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court.”

Little doubt indeed.

As many of us have long warned, all this “gay marriage” nonsense was never about “marriage equality.” It was, and remains, a spiritual battle camouflaged in the formal attire of judicial and public policy wrangling. It was always about forcing Christ’s faithful followers, under penalty of law, to abandon biblical truth and embrace sexual sin. The goal of “LGBT” activists and secular progressives has long been to pit the government directly against the free exercise of religion – Christianity in particular – and to silence all dissent.

Let me be clear. You will never silence us, and we Christians don’t need liberty crumbs tossed down from some temporal bench on high. Christians, faithful Christians (as opposed to the apostate variety) will not, indeed cannot, have anything whatsoever to do with the wickedness that is “gay marriage”; and we will disobey any man-made law or ruling that presumes to make us do otherwise.

That said, it does provide some consolation to have, in the spirit of Hobby Lobby, this court at least pay lip service, inelegant though it may be, to every American’s God-given constitutional right to freedom of conscience. The one positive thing that came from this ruling is the reaffirmation of First Amendment protections guaranteeing, for instance, that the Christian baker, florist, photographer, et al., cannot be penalized by the government for refusing to participate in sin – for declining to provide goods or services for “gay weddings,” or for otherwise refusing to recognize “gay marriage” for anything other than the evil it represents.

Even so, let us not don our rose-colored glasses. Friday’s ruling comes straight from the pit of Hell. Even with its religious liberty “silver lining,” it has not ended the debate; it has only just launched it. It has opened the floodgates to anti-Christian persecution. Leftist lawsuit abuse against Christian individuals and organizations will now flow hot like the River Styx.

But don’t despair, my brothers and sisters in Christ. For we who are God’s children have already overcome.

Because greater is He Who is in us, than he who is in the world.

And greater is He who created marriage, than he who perverts it.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Judicial Tyranny And Dark Days In America

What should we do when laws are passed or upheld that go against our faith and conscience?

Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry in all 50 states, a historic decision striking down gay marriage bans and defying nature, biology, reason, and the Constitution.

First, the Obamacare ruling.

With the Supreme Court issuing its second major decision upholding abortion funding in Obamacare, we again have an opportunity to speak, act, or simply do nothing. Their decision in King v. Burwell says that millions of Americans can receive taxpayer subsidies allowing them to purchase health care plans under the [Un]Affordable Care Act.

Inconvenient pregnancy? No problem. American citizens will pay for your abortion. Next up: redefining God-ordained marriage as deviance or whatever you want it to be.

It doesn’t matter that the majority of people oppose Obamacare and homosexual behavior. We have surpassed the point in America where government power trumps the will of the people. Moreover, it was wrong of Supreme Court justices Ginsburg and Kagan not to recuse themselves from this case–seeing they gladly participated in same sex “marriage” ceremonies in the past.

Five progressive Supreme Court justices have now redefined marriage – the only definition of marriage known throughout history – completely ignoring 51 million American voters who have cast ballots in favor of biblical, natural marriage in state constitutional amendments.

In an 1820 letter to militia officer William Jarvis, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

You seem … to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy … Their power is the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.

Jefferson was one of several who warned that the courts could gain power little by little, advancing like a thief “until all shall be usurped from the states.” We truly do not give America’s Framers and Founders enough credit for their wisdom and foresight.

More than 30 states have voted to ban same-sex marriage in recent years; but homosexual activists have won numerous court battles recently, including today’s daunting decision.

When something good, moral, and biblical is eliminated or removed, something bad, immoral, and unbiblical often replaces it. (Look at what has been ushered into government schools.)

Francis Schaeffer said:

We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ.

Opposition is guaranteed. Most of us understand that living our faith in public will attract resistance, ridicule, and even hatred. If we remember our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), we will not take it personally when people come against us.

Religious leaders in America should be bracing for a cultural and legal assault on churches, ministries, and religious schools. Non-profits holding to Christian values must prepare as well.

Our founders realized that if sinful men violated their God-given parameters as well as the constitutional limits of their office, government could become abusive. Since they established a system in which all three government branches were accountable to the people, they would be astonished today that the citizens the Constitution was written to protect have done little to resist the corruption, growth, and immorality of the United States government.

We are continuing to witness the consequences of Christians taking the path of least resistance. The world often interprets our silence as approval, so we must speak up about all sin as well as the need for repentance–and live the truth regarding marriage. We also must pray for a country that has turned its back on Almighty God, and for a lukewarm church in desperate need of revival.

The stakes have been raised. God is watching, and He knows those who are His.

For the Lord is our judge, The Lord is our lawgiver, The Lord is our king; He will save us. Isaiah 33:22

David Fiorazo is author of the new book, The Cost of Our Silence.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth