George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four encompasses powerful social commentary that eerily portrays the reality of contemporary American society. The invisible Big Brother makes his presence felt through the totalitarian Party that is committed to the enforcement of mind control and is quick to criminalize independent thinkers for their thoughtcrimes. In the modern American context, Big Brother’s Party enjoys the support of both donkey and elephant and feels equally at home in a red or blue environment.
The Party has a broad tent strategy and is masterful in depoliticizing moral issues that were once kept vibrant through partisan support. This is achieved through the powerful tool of newspeak. As the term implies, newspeak involves the intentional reassignment of meaning to language. For instance, in the previous administration, the term “patriotic” led closet pacifists to calm their cognitive dissonance by chanting the questionable mantra: “I’m against the war, but I support our troops.” Further, the “hero” accolade is now assigned to anyone who dons a military uniform, and if you refrain from joining in the “spontaneous” applause for the troops in airports and public spaces you are immediately suspected of sympathizing with the “terrorists.”
Having successfully experimented with newspeak and proving that language has the power to mold attitudes, Big Brother has moved on to the next agenda item with this new administration. His successful implementation of the previous agenda item is evidenced by the fact that few are concerned about the “collateral damage” being caused by President Obama’s destructive drone program. Now, people’s brains are being reprogrammed to think differently about homosexual behavior. After decades of careful planning, several phrases from the newspeak lexicon have been embedded in our culture. Let’s examine three.
1. Homophobia. Typically viewed as a dysfunction, a phobia is defined as “an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.” Based on this definition, a phobic person exhibits an irrational fear that is rooted in ignorance and affects their ability to reason. When homosexual activists coined this term, they were fully aware of the impact it would have on people. Who really wants to believe that a moral position she holds is a symptom of a reasoning deficiency? By changing the conversation, the gay lobby has effectively halted the discussion about the psychological abnormality of same gender sexual attraction. In their estimation, gender identity has been successfully neutered. In fact, this is the very premise upon which the second phrase from the newspeak lexicon is built.
2. Marriage Equality. Laden with meaning drawn from the Civil Rights movement, equality in a social sense refers to “the quality or state of being equal.” Indeed, in a genderless society where everyone possesses the spirit of the androgyne, there would be no boundaries about who can marry whom. If gender does not matter, why should there be? However, in promoting the term “Marriage Equality,” Big Brother’s agents have been successful in turning independent thinkers into bigoted associates of the Ku Klux Klan. Why would anybody want to deny marriage to two consenting adults? Since there are no longer prohibitions against Whites marrying Blacks, why should the wedding chapel be closed to gays? Could it be that until recent years, most societies assumed that a binding long-term male-female(s) partnership was the very definition of marriage? But that's just a minor detail for the advocates of “equality.” Why place the emphasis on “marriage” and force people to question why that discussion has never taken place? Especially if they love each other; which leads us to the third term from the newspeak lexicon.
3. Love. A popular definition of love is “attraction based on sexual desire.” Indeed, this is obviously what the President and First Lady attempt to portray in their tried and tested line that marriage should be available to all, regardless of who a person “chooses to love.” Unfortunately, it is this very woodstockian definition of love that has fueled the amorous anarchy in our fractured society. A married man chooses to “love” his secretary and divorces his wife. A teenage girl chooses to “love” her boyfriend and ends up with an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. An adolescent chooses to “love” the Playboy centerfold he will never meet and is crippled by a debilitating addiction to pornography. Hollywood and the media can call this “love” as much as they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that this wonderful term has been hijacked by the reckless villain—also known as—lust. When all aspects of marriage are considered, true marital love can only be experienced by two people who God created to complement each other in every way. Same gender couples, can never experience that same love, no matter how proud they are of their success in changing societal opinion.
As the Supreme Court deliberates two high-profile cases relating to homosexual marriage, I have no doubt that the decision of the justices will either enforce or delay the inevitable. It is only a matter of time before entries from the newspeak lexicon are used to prosecute and persecute those guilty of thoughtcrimes. We have already witnessed the prosecution of Swedish pastor Åke Green who dared to preach about the biblical position on homosexual activity. And let’s not forget the prejudiced statements from the Presidential Inauguration Committee after socially active Pastor Louis Giglio withdrew his name from the Inaugural order of service. Big Brother has his people in positions of power, and he has vested them with authority to act.
Even as I pen this essay, I am saddened by the reality that many who read it have already chosen to embrace the revisionist propaganda originating from the spiritual counterpart of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. They are the enlightened ones who have determined that the biblical teaching on sexuality needs to be aligned to those promoted by Big Brother. However, in my heart of hearts, I know there are some “Winston Smiths” among them (the character in Orwell’s novel who worked for the system, but was bothered by that still small voice in his conscience). As you consider the implications of newspeak, I pray that you will join me in asking the Spirit to speak to each of us in clear tones, as we never forget that “a tree is known by its fruit.”
Keith Augustus Burton has served as a pastor, teacher, evangelist and plumber. He writes from Harvest, Alabama.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/5188