I recently received an invitation from my friend John Hoover to attend the play “Viable” which he wrote and produced. It is a pro-life play like no other play or movie.
It speaks forgiveness and love to the millions of women, and yes, men in their lives, who have been haunted and affected by their actions of the past. The grace, forgiveness and love of God are abundantly present despite the messiness of our lives. I enthusiastically recommend that you see the play!
Prior to the play, the Executive Director of the pro-life group PPL (Presbyterians Protecting Life) spoke for a few minutes. I honestly don’t remember much of what she said until she used the term “Culture of Silence.”
It immediately began an unsettled stirring and vexing within me that has compelled me to write the following:
I was reminded that in the early to mid-90s, as a young Navy Chaplain, I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC with the Marine Corps…
I was attached to the 2nd SRIG (Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group) and they were tasked to be a part of a CAPEX (Capabilities Exercise) where we demonstrated the capabilities of the USMC in about a 2-hour time period to visiting dignitaries and VIPs.
I was tasked with escorting several young assistants to a deputy assistant secretary of the Secretary of Defense. They were young, cocky guys and gals newly minted in the Clinton administration who thought they knew everything. I was respectfully answering questions of the group members when I referred to one of the younger women (my guess is that she was around 30ish) as “ma’am.”
She lit into me with a tongue lashing that made it very clear that she was to be referred to by her title, whatever it was…I honestly don’t remember!
I was taken aback, and instinctively answered with my “faux pas” a second time “Yes, Ma’am!” Oops, sorry, that type of respect was ingrained into me as a young child when we were to reply either “Yes, sir of Yes, ma’am.”
Well, if looks could kill, I would have been vaporized on the spot! “Listen to me!” she exclaimed. “We are living in a politically correct world now and the sooner you understand that and live by it, the better off you will be. I am nobody’s ma’am! You wouldn’t want your career to be shortened, would you?”
I immediately clammed up and never spoke to her again that day. I had become a victim of Political Correctness that day. This “Culture of Silence” has its roots in the damning and insidious control of “Political Correctness.” More on that later, but first some historical perspective.
Dietrich Bonhoffer, German pacifist pastor turned fighter against the Nazi regime of WWII said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship has been described as a modern classic.
He was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp and was eventually executed shortly before Germany was freed. He refused to be silent though it cost him his life.
Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor who was a contemporary of Bonhoffer, at first was a pro Hitler supporter against the communists, but eventually became actively opposed to Hitler and his insanity. He eventually ended up in the Dachau concentration camp because of his failure to speak up. He wrote…
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me
Fortunately, Niemoller was released at the end of the war and, unlike Bonhoffer, he went on to live a long and meaningful life.
The “Culture of Silence” to which many of us have fallen victim has its roots in Political Correctness. This political correctness starts with a dictate, demeans through ridicule and is eventually enforced at the end of a gun. We have seen it played out time and time again in history.
I forever have seared in my brain the WWII photo of a naked Jewish mother sitting on the side of a mass grave holding her child attempting to shield her from the eventual bullets that would end both of their lives for the “crime of being Jewish” as they tumbled dead into the massive hole in the ground where hundreds of others met their similar fate.
Why? Because no one dared to speak up against the atrocities of the insanity and maniacal craziness of Hitler and his Nazi minions.
How does the Culture of Silence apply to us today?
As children, we were often admonished by our elders to never talk about sex, religion or politics in mixed company. It was not the polite thing to do. But our failure to address certain issues and people has proven to be detrimental to our freedoms as individuals and society alike- even deadly at times. Let me explain…
Sex (yes, I’m going to talk about it), while given by God for human enjoyment, is also meant for procreation. Children are a gift from God, and a sacred treasure to whom we are charged to love, provide for and protect at all costs.
So when even the thought of abortion crosses one’s mind, it becomes life threatening for the child still in the mother’s womb. Political correctness has caused our thinking to become twisted and warped to the point that abortion has now been accepted as the norm, for which it is not.
On the Pro-Life issue, for way too long, only a brave few have been willing to suffer ridicule and indignation by speaking up on behalf of the children. The majority of Americans have been caught up in the PC Culture of Silence and have stood by as 60,000,000+ children’s lives have been snuffed out since Roe v. Wade in 1973.
These precious babies have suffered in their own culture of silence as they are not yet able to let their voices to be heard. They die in the womb, screaming in silence.
Religion, or Faith as I prefer to call it, is important to billions of faithful believers all around the world. Yet, here in America and elsewhere around the world, many of the faith (particularly the Christian faith) find themselves being discriminated against, persecuted and even put to death.
Again, this is a result of a lack of willingness to speak up against forces of fascism which require lock step allegiance to the almighty state rather than to God Almighty.
For far too long, people in the United States have been sold a bill goods that perpetuates the lie of the separation of the Church and State. Their voices have been muffled and kept within the confines of four walls with perhaps stained glass windows and have been forbidden to be a part of the public square.
But if Jesus Christ is Lord, as Christians believe, then He is Lord of all including the marketplace, the classroom, the sports arena, the halls of Congress, etc. Likewise, other religious must also be allowed to exercise their faith, but NEVER should one be forced at the point of a knife, gun or sword to believe that which is not in his/her heart.
Many, but not all, pastors in America have been afraid to speak truth to power and wind up as little more than hirelings, afraid to take on the bully state.
Only recently, when President Trump signed the Religious Freedom Executive Order, have pastors and parishioners alike, been freed up to speak truth to power as was intended by our Founding Fathers in the 1st Amendment.
We must stand to fight the fascism of people like Beto O’Rourke who threaten our collective conscience and religious freedom granted by God Himself and the Constitution by demanding that the church acquiesce and bow down to the state which puts itself before God.
Finally, the third leg of this uncomfortable and impolite trio, Politics, must be addressed. It is obvious that out government has been infested with Deep State sycophants who only look out for themselves.
Blatant crimes are committed all in the name of maintaining their grasp, control and power over us “peasants.” We are told what we can and cannot say and do, we are taxed beyond our ability to earn a proper living and we are threatened with imprisonment if we dare cross or expose these bad actor bureaucrats.
Government agencies have been weaponized against the people…
But, then along came Donald John Trump. While far from perfect, he is indeed God’s man of the hour.
Why? As the Democrat mayor of Livermore, CA opined: He fights! He fights for you and me. He refuses to cower. He dares to take on the Deep State, foreign countries and the status quo like nobody’s business!
He keeps his word and he is committed to representing the American people. He has awakened the sleeping American electorate and encouraged millions of normally quiet Americans to find their voices.
We are no longer the Silent Majority. We have walked softly, but carried a BIG stick. We have found our once silenced voice and we refuse to be silent any longer.
And if there is one thing we have learned, we know deep within our souls that we can NEVER EVER vote for an establishment politician ever again. To do so would invite the chains of bondage of a state that grows more fascist by the hour.
We must heed the words of Edmund Burke who warned us that…
“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”
We yearn to be free for it is how God created us. We vow to be silent no longer. We ascribe to the following creed as recited by South Carolina Republicans:
I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon.
If I can seek opportunity, not security, I want to take the calculated risk to dream and build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to guaranteed security, the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master, save my God.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations; to face the whole world boldly and say, “I am a free American.”
Silent no more…
Pressley C. Stutts, Jr. CDR, CHC, USNR-R
Chairman, Greenville TEA Party
Executive Director, ROCK THE RED USA
Photo of Pressley Stutts and John Di Lemme, founder of Conservative Business Journal…
*Pressley Stutts is a retired Navy Chaplain and concerned citizen who sees and understands the threats to our country, both foreign and domestic. He is active politically in the public square working to make a difference rather than acquiescing to the voices of control. He understands the detriment of a socialist society which ultimately leads to the tyranny of communism and fascism. He knows that a republican form of government with free markets and capitalism is what allows individuals and nation to thrive. He wants to ensure that his grandchildren and posterity are left with the opportunity to grow and succeed as a result of the work of their hands rather than take a handout from an all controlling government.