Inclusivity is Not an Exclusive Right (or Left)

by Mark Klages , Christian Examiner Contributor |

(KEN JONES/FLICKR)

Earlier this year, the Daily Wire's Jacob Airey posted a social media dialogue between Mike Rowe, host of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) "Somebody's Gotta Do It," and a critical follower. According to the article, the follower accused Mr. Rowe of excluding and offending her, of doing so for a "huge payout," and being a moron. Of course, in the usual classy and blue collar manner of most of Mr. Rowe's responses, he set the record straight regarding the list of networks he has appeared on, including CNN, FOX, ABC and NBC.

How did we get here? How did we go from the free love movement of the 1960's where bras were burned and busses were transformed into homes for anyone from anywhere, to not being able to support Christian broadcasting without being offensive?

Before we answer that question, let us examine the state of the nation—One Nation Under God. Around the same time as the dialogue above, CNN's Sandra Gonzalez addressed Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson's decision to step away from playing a transgender man. As the story goes, Johansson was originally cast to portray Dante "Tex" Gill, a transgender man and owner of a string sex businesses in Pittsburgh, PA during the 1970s and 1980s. Although the role is a major departure from Johansson's portrayal of Agent Romanov in the Marvel series "Avengers," and as much as I disagree with bringing attention to depravity, as a strong actress I believe Johansson would have done Gill justice in her portrayal.

However, the inclusive and lenient (note my sarcasm) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community publicly denounced Johansson and called for an actual transgender actor (actress?) to portray Gill. Johansson, in a public statement, said, "I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues."

Wait. What?

That's right. Johansson and Hollywood are so confused that the actress called the restriction of any non-transgender actor/actress from the role, a step toward inclusiveness.

Ok, one more step down the rabbit hole. On January 16, 2018, Christian Post reporter Samuel Smith wrote an article about the "inclusive left" denying Christian actor Kevin Sorbo his appearance at a New Jersey Comicon event simply because of his faith and friendship with other believers. According to Smith and PJ Media, the organizer of the event, Cliff Galbraith, turned away Sorbo because, "He pal's [sic] with Sean Hannity." To add fuel to the fire, Galbraith's social media supporters highlighted Sorbo's listing on the Internet Media Database (IMDB) of "racist or right-wing stars to avoid," as justification for Galbraith's actions. Once again, tolerance and inclusivity appear to be the exclusive right of loud factions within the US.

In 1962, the US Supreme Court ruled prayer in schools as unconstitutional (Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421).

In 1992, the US Supreme Court ruled an opening invocation and a closing benediction at graduation violated the First Amendment (Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577).

In 2015, Justice Kennedy wrote "No union is more profound than marriage," and "Marriage is a 'keystone of our social order [granting] equal dignity in the eyes of the law.'" Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, citing the lack of any language regarding same-sex marriage, as did Justice Scalia, scolding fellow jurist Kennedy in his "egotistic" and "incoherent" language.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

So while outspoken factions in America call for inclusivity and tolerance, those same factions have excluded the one and only giver of freedom from their circles—and demanded we disinvite him to ours. God was removed from the schools in 1962, and from our marriages in 2015. In 2002, our Pledge of Allegiance was removed from schools because—God. Although these United States of America remain one Nation, under God, He is no longer welcome. We are Godless, but are we also divisible?

Fear not, rebel Christian prayer warrior and reciter of the Pledge. Be the light on the hill that Jesus talked about in his Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:14-16). Go ahead and love your neighbor (Mark 12:31) despite his or her insistence on conformity to some Hollywood code of inclusivity. Bring God with you when you go to school and keep Him in your heart. Pray fervently, if not with your lips then in your heart and mind in public places, and invite God into those circles where "tolerant" and "inclusive" movements have restricted his presence. Give and forgive freely, because true bondage comes from restricting your own soul. God knows your heart, and while we are all called to pay to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's (Matt 22:21), we can do so with a loving heart despite the world's fiery arrows.

– Mark Klages is an influential contributor, a former US Marine and a lifelong teacher who focuses on applying a Christian worldview to everyday events. Mark blogs at https://maklagesl3.wixsite.com/website under the title "God Provides where Hate Divides," with a heart to heal social, political, relational, and intellectual wounds through God's divine love and grace. Mark can also be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-klages-04b42511/.