It's not only our culture's view of marriage that's changed, it's also the tolerance level for any dissent from the new orthodoxy.
When it comes to same-sex marriage, our culture, just like our president, has definitely evolved. After all, it was only in 2008 that a strong majority in California—yes, California—passed Proposition 8 which defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
But when our president changed his mind a few months before the 2012 election, the cultural floodgates opened, particularly in the American workplace. Later that summer, Chick-fil-A faced angry boycotts when CEO Dan Cathy's views and donations in favor of traditional marriage became public knowledge.
The workplace pressure has only continued. Christian bakers and photographers who do not want to participate in what they consider to be a sin have been fined and faced being shut down. Attempts to protect their religious liberty, such as Arizona's State Bill 1062, have been crushed through threats of economic boycotts and media shaming.
More high-profile voices have also faced this smash-mouth, brass-knuckle treatment. Just weeks ago Brendan Eich, the accomplished founder and CEO of search-engine company Mozilla, was forced to resign when he was "outed" for donating all of $1,000 to Proposition 8 eight years ago.
We've all heard what A&E tried to do to Duck Dynasty when Phil Robertson indelicately expressed his disapproval of the "gay lifestyle." And more recently, the Home and Garden TV network canned the Benham brothers, David and Jason, for their supposed "anti-gay" and "anti-choice" beliefs. Apparently one cannot even host a home-improvement show if one does not also parrot the new sexual orthodoxy.
And then there's the case of Miami Dolphins football player Don Jones. When the Rams selected gay athlete and cause celebre Michael Sam in the seventh round of the NFL draft, the celebratory kiss with his boyfriend was shown repeatedly on television. Jones reacted by tweeting "OMG" and "Horrible." The Dolphins immediately suspended him and ordered him to undergo sensitivity training. Sensitivity training? Re-education? What is this, Communist China?
In every case, the message to those who disagree with all this sexual "tolerance" is clear: If you want to keep your job, shut up.
Apparently the sexual left cannot tolerate even the slightest dissent. As Kirsten Powers wrote this week in USA Today, "Welcome to the Dark Ages, Part II. We have slipped into an age of un-enlightenment where you fall in line behind the mob or face the consequences."
It amazes me that the media and the homosexual movement, who fought so hard for equality, apparently don't see the rich irony of putting the economic screws to alternative voices.
As Powers notes, "They claim to be liberal while behaving as anything but. The touchstone of liberalism is tolerance of differing ideas. Yet this mob exists to enforce conformity of thought and to delegitimize any dissent from its sanctioned worldview. Intolerance is its calling card."
Facing such a McCarthy-esque onslaught, what are we Christians to do? Well, let's keep speaking about marriage and God's plan for human flourishing, despite the obvious and growing threats to our livelihoods. We owe it to our neighbors, and to the Lord.
As we do that we'll need to be the Body of Christ, supporting one another in practical ways against the attacks of an increasingly intolerant culture.
But as maddening and frustrating as this growing intolerance is, we need to speak winsomely whenever possible, making the issue about Him, not about us. We may not win in the court of public opinion, but that's okay. As the Apostle Peter said, "Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation."
John Stonestreet is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and also directs conferences and curriculum projects for Summit Ministries.