Yesterday America’s pastor Billy Graham passed from this world into the next. As Christians and even non-Christians celebrated his life and legacy, one dissenting voice rang out in stark contrast to the positive thoughts of so many. An obscure internet troll and writer for Teen Vogue (yes, that same magazine frequently filled with stunningly inappropriate content) named Lauren Duca tweeted, “The big news today is that Billy Graham was still alive this whole time. Anyway, have fun in hell, bi–h”.
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “the proof is in the pudding”. It’s one of those phrases that gets tossed around but is incomplete. The actual saying is, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. (More info here if you’re interested.) Both mean essentially the same thing, that you must test something out once it’s completed in order to assess the value of that thing.
It’s important for me to interject here that I am a libertarian. Essentially, I believe in a free market place of ideas allowing anyone to speak what’s on their mind with the one caveat that no one cause harm to another. So I have no issue with Ms. Duca’s right to make her comment. She is free to say what she likes even though I do not condone what she said. In modern debate the alarming trend from both sides of almost any issue is a desire to censor the other side. Duca has already tweeted that she is receiving death threats from Christians because of her comment, and that’s ridiculous. Freedom of ideas and freedom of speech mean anyone has the right to say what they please, again as long as they do not slander or libel someone or provoke violence.
However, in a free market of ideas individuals become consumers of ideologies and this is where I want to focus. While I believe anyone can toss anything they like into the online ether, we must test out their ideas and see if they hold water…or, the proof the pudding is in the eating. Herein lies the major difference between Duca and Rev. Graham. One espouses a set of ideals that promotes peace and love and the other promotes a set of ideals that promotes hate and intolerance.
Somehow, over the last few decades, the progressive leftist movement has marketed itself as the keepers of the ideology of peace and tolerance. But consider the hateful statement Duca made within hours of Billy Graham’s death. How is such rhetoric tolerant or peaceful? And when did ad hominem attacks become standard in American public discourse? How did the nation founded by brilliant thinkers like Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin devolve into Pee Wee Herman-esque comebacks…”I know you are, but what am I?”?
Without belaboring the point further, my encouragement is for you to investigate this yourself. Much like recommending a restaurant, you simply cannot confirm or deny the referrer’s opinion without sampling the food yourself. Simply google some of the loudest champions of the various ideological camps in America today and read what they have written, or listen, or watch, and sample their ideas for yourself.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. As you sample their ideas and consider the implications of the truth statements each group makes, ask yourself some guiding questions:
- How do these ideas promote harmony and peace between humans?
- Will these ideas promote equity among groups of people?
- Does this group and its ideas foster freedom of speech, religion, and thought?
- How do adherents of this ideology treat each other and other people, especially those who disagree with their views?
- If I subscribe to these views, will I like the person I become?
As a libertarian thinker, I would not force my beliefs upon anyone, but I firmly subscribe to the theory that genuine, absolute truth always triumphs when free thinking is allowed. This is why I am not a progressive leftist. In response to the last question in the list above, I would not like the person I would become if I accepted and acted upon their ideological views.
When someone like Ms. Duca trumpets hateful thoughts like she did yesterday, it only exposes the dark underbelly of leftist thinking. It’s no different than the Westboro Baptist folks spouting their own version of hate, just from a different camp. I’m content with freedom of speech, but it’s only fair that the ideas put forth by individuals be examined for consistency and plausibility. Duca, and those in the leftist camp, claim to be champions of equality and free speech, but in truth they are leading the charge for government censorship of any and all viewpoints in opposition to their own.
Don’t believe me? Do your research, ask questions, investigate, and see for yourself. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.