Disappointed about self-censorship


I am disappointed in myself.

I just realized that I have self-censored twice in less than 24 hours in fear of political correctness from both ends of the spectrum. All because of a man in a dress and some holiday decorations.

So much for the fearless journalist protecting the community’s interests. Apparently, I can’t even protect my own keyboard.

There is a fine line between censorship and good taste and moral responsibility. — Steven Spielberg

At lunch yesterday I warned a very upbeat and positive pastor about a fundraiser he was planning. This pastor plans to challenge his congregation to donate money for a good cause, and he will perform a “dare” depending on the level of their giving.

This is a very common type of fundraiser and I’ve run many photos of folks kissing pigs or taking pies in the face under the same basic rules. The dare for this pastor, however, is to wear a dress and the level of giving decides whether he has to go to lunch that way or preach the Sunday sermon.

My knee-jerk reaction to his plan was to warn him that it could be considered insensitive to transgender people and that he didn’t want to lose the value of the good work he was doing in a social media battle over a dress.

That was my first act of censorship.

Then this morning, I was sharing some decorating safety tips on Henderson County Now when I stopped typing the word “holiday” and inserted the word “Christmas” …. all because I was afraid of causing an uproar on my page by someone accusing me of taking Christ out of Christmas if I wrote “holiday decorations.”

For all of my 53 years, I have heard December called the “holiday season,” because even if you ignore Hanukkah — you shouldn’t, but I plead guilty as a Christian — there’s the New Year’s holiday. I’ve heard “Happy Holidays” since the time I was a small child and always knew that it meant “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” See, two holidays = happy holidays.

But even though I am a member of my church worship team and teach Sunday school, I was still afraid enough of being the target of viciousness and being labeled an enemy of Jesus that I made the switch.

That was my second act of censorship.

Twice I flinched under pressure coming from very different directions.

I hope there isn’t a third time, but I feel like there’s a rooster out there just waiting for me so it can let loose.

Author: Michael

Working in the newsroom, I had a front row seat as the internet just about killed newspapers. I knew I had to either evolve or risk becoming insignificant. So I changed. I learned how to build websites and blogs, and I used social media to go to my readers. Now the goal is to use what I've learned to honor God and serve my community.

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