One question I have posed to others, including those reading this very blog, is why is it that a Christian is expected to be tolerant when people aren't tolerant of Christians and their beliefs and thoughts?
This was a question that came to the forefront of my thoughts yet again this morning as Kirk Cameron was on the Today Show. Here is this man, a former atheist, who is on national television to promote his new movie Monumental and yet having to answer questions of his views on social issues.
When he sat down with Piers Morgan earlier this month, he was asked by Mr. Morgan about his views on homosexuality, gay marriage and abortion. (See full transcript here where this part of the interview is toward the bottom.)
These topics where completely off topic and had nothing to do with the purpose of the interview. Kirk, in a response posted to his Facebook page on March 7, 2012 a statements saying "I was asked to express my views about homosexuality, gay marriage, and abortion. While that was not the agreed-upon purpose of the interview, I was pleased to answer Piers' questions as honestly as I could." (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kirk-Cameron/40667713734#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150712158338735&id=40667713734)
Here is a man that was on set to discuss a documentary, and he is asked about his personal belief about social issues. Piers, knowing that Kirk was a born-again, Bible-believing Christian, purposefully asked pointed questions to inflame the television audience. Then, this morning, on the Today Show, he was asked by Ann Curry "Why do you say things like this that you know are going to cause people to push back? Why do you even talk about it, then, because this is not the first time you've been asked about it. It's not the first time you've made comments that have caused people a lot of alarm."
Really? Seriously? Kirk Cameron went on CNN to promote a documentary...not any social issue agenda. He answered these questions because he was ASKED. He was asked four times before he even fully answered (the last time he was asked he was already answering and Mr. Morgan interrupted him). Even Ann Curry herself said, "Why do you even talk about it, then, BECAUSE THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME YOU'VE BEEN ASKED ABOUT IT." (emphasis mine). I think if he hadn't answered, he would have been vilified just the same.
What he said was NOT hate speech. He said that the action of homosexuality was wrong. He did not say anything about doing anything to those who practice it. He did not say we should bully them in any way, shape or form. He said "You're speaking to a man who's a Christian and I believe that ALL of us are sinful. I could stand at the top of the list and say that I need a savior and I need an overhaul of the heart more than anyone."
In his interview on the Today Show, he said "Nobody should mistreat anybody. We all have our convictions formed by different things and mine are informed by my faith. They're formed by the word of God, and I found that to be an anchor for me, a compass, and a guide for me. When people start bullying one another and calling each other names for those different convictions, then I think you get into problems."
As Christians, the main stream media knows what we think about these issues. They have been long and highly debated topics. There was and is absolutely no reason to ask how one of faith feels about a social issue on television, especially off topic. There is enough going on in our world without having to manufacture "news". As Christians, we are looked upon as hateful, judgmental people because of the actions of a few. That is NOT fair. How can Side A be viewed as hateful and judgmental toward Side B, when Side B treats Side A in the same manner they accuse Side A of behaving? What happened to the Golden Rule? I do not agree that people who are of different religious or social beliefs should be bullied, ridiculed, defamed and belittled. I may not agree with their beliefs, but you will never see me do anything to or against someone who does not hold the same belief as I do, because it is their right to believe what they like. Now, why don't I or my fellow members of the faith get the same courtesy?