This article in the San Francisco Chronicle caught my eye for several reasons. It details a “protest” initiated by popular youth leader Ron Luce in San Francisco against “the virtue terrorism” of popular culture. It was intended to draw evangelical students together for concerts and speeches designed to reinforce a biblical worldview of morality.
Sounds pretty good to me. I don’t exactly agree with Luce’s militant tone and his combative pitch, but it seems good to reinforce a movement that is counter-cultural in the ways described in the article. You can read about Luce’s program at its website.
It seems to me that the more the classical virtues are encouraged in teens, the better culture will be. But not everyone sees it that way. In fact, S.F. greeted the “protesters” with its own counter protest. And the invectives flew with alacrity. One city official called the evangelical teens a “fascist mega-pep rally.” From the article:
Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco,…told counterprotesters at City Hall on Friday that while such fundamentalists may be small in number, "they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco."
In an example of “fueling the fire,” this excerpt contains militant language from Luce and a backhanded reply by the article’s author:
"Are you ready to go to battle for your generation?" he asked, and the young people roared "yes!" and some waved triangular red flags flown from long, medieval-looking poles.
They were not just “poles” or “sticks,” they were medieval-looking.
What I want to reflect on, though, is exactly how corrupting immorality can be. I am not arguing that all the San Franciscoites quoted in the piece are overly evil, just that they subscribe to a worldview that is licentious, and extremely short on virtue. (Contemporary tolerance, by the way, is not a virtue.)
It is amazing to me that students who are striving to be good spouses, good students, good children, and good citizens are chastised as fascists. The reason this happens, I believe, is that when biblical morality is abandoned it is not long before vice becomes virtue and virtue becomes vice. This is a town that revels in public pornographic displays of sexuality and erupts in a tizzy of faux righteousness when they are called into question. Yet, when kids get together to not have sex or to not get high, they call it evil. To those from the worldview exemplified by many in S.F., the meanings of “virtue” and “vice” are completely and perfectly reversed.
In the kind of dizzyingly hypocritical comment that is becoming all too common these days, the S.F. Board of Supervisors acted:
Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the "act of provocation" by what it termed an "anti-gay," "anti-choice" organization that aimed to "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."
In this statement, and so many like it, tolerance is an incredibly thin and narrow view of the world. And, darn it, if you disagree with it, don’t expect an ounce of tolerance.
Bravo to those students. And may they know that they are not only on the side of history, common sense, and good reason, but of the Creator of the universe as well.