You might be thinking this article’s headline is the start of a bad joke. You’d be right, except it’s no laughing matter.
It seems a day doesn’t go by without hearing about someone who’s being attacked for saying things everyone knows are true, and this past week showed just how widespread this cancer has become, as each of these individuals or entities has tried to silence their critics for doing just that.
Pope Francis removed Bishop Joseph Strickland last Saturday from his position overseeing the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. This was allegedly due to his poor leadership of the diocese, but it is more likely because he used social media frequently to express controversial opinions or even criticize Pope Francis.
Strickland accused President Biden of being a “fake Catholic” over his support of abortion. He also denounced “Pride Month,” a month dedicated to LGBT rights, as “blasphemous,” while criticizing Francis for “undermining” the Deposit of Faith by not adhering to Catholic doctrine on these issues.
Strickland received a visit from Vatican representatives this summer, who were conducting an official investigation into the leadership he provided in the diocese. He was also discussed during a meeting on September 9, between Francis and two of the top cardinals. Strickland was asked to resign by the pope on November 9 but refused. Strickland will be replaced by Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Diocese of Austin, Texas. He will continue to serve until a new Bishop is appointed.
Strickland, in an interview with LifeSiteNews, explained his removal saying that there are “forces within the Church [that] do not want the truth of gospel right now.”
He added, “I have threatened certain powers with the truth of Christianity.” “That won’t change.” “It’s perennial, it’s everlasting. It’s glorious. If you want to change it, I am a problem.”
On Monday of last week, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman after she characterized pro-Palestinian protests as “hate marches” and criticized police for turning a blind eye to protesters’ unruly behavior after previously responding aggressively to protests against lockdowns and the country’s immigration policies.
The protest, which was planned for 11 November — Veterans Day in America and Remembrance Day for Great Britain — to mark the end of hostilities in World War I, turned violent after members of the English Defence League and police clashed. Some critics blamed Braverman as a contributor to the unrest.
Braverman, in a series of Twitter/X posts following the protest, decried the antisemitism and violence displayed during the protest.
Our brave police officers deserve the thanks of every decent citizen for their professionalism in the face of violence and aggression from protesters and counter protesters in London yesterday. That multiple officers were injured doing their duty is an outrage. 1/3
— Suella Braverman MP (@SuellaBraverman) November 12, 2023
Braverman slammed Sunak the day after her firing for not fulfilling his promise to stop the boats, a reference to asylum seekers flooding the country in recent years. She also accused him of failing to do enough to stem the rising tides of racism, intimidation, and terrorist glorification that threaten community cohesion.
On Tuesday of this past week, media outlets reported that after raising money for a lawsuit to remove transgender student Artemis Langford from the local chapter, two University of Wyoming graduates who were Kappa Kappa Gamma members were stripped of their membership.
Langford, who was admitted as a member of a sorority last year, did so at the request of the national leadership. According to the initial complaint in the lawsuit, he has been seen becoming sexually aroused when he is checking out the other members. He also asked them intrusive questions about their personal lives and tried to remove members whom he believed were “transphobic”.
The case is pending before the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals after it was dismissed by a federal court because the bylaws of the sorority restrict membership only to women but do not define the word “woman.”
Fair enough, only a biologist can make this complex determination. This is what Harvard-trained Supreme Court justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said at her confirmation hearing in 2013.
Patsy Levang, Cheryl Tuck Smith, and the other two Kappa Kappa Gamma alumni who were removed from membership have been active in the sorority for nearly fifty years.
Levang, the former president of the foundation for the sorority, stated that she was “saddened,” but “will not keep quiet about the truth.”
Tuck-Smith said, however, that she was “disturbed” that KKG had become “a political tool, rather than an organization that promotes women,” and that she would continue to speak out about the “dangers of DEI.”
Ah, yes. Diversity, equity, and inclusion. If you offend the wrong people with your words, you will be thrown out.
In our society, it wasn’t that long ago when people who had controversial views were criticized by those opposed to them. They’re now denied communication channels and removed from positions of power or influence. The way things are moving, I’m afraid that even more drastic measures will be taken to quell dissent in the future.
As Jesus said to Nicodemus, a member of the ruling elite in first-century Judea, “The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
You know what they did to Him.
The world is getting darker — no institution is immune from the compulsion to silence the truth. While lots of people are too afraid to do anything about it, there are still a courageous few who are willing to push back.
The joke is on those who tried shutting them up. If an outspoken priest, a principled political leader, and two uncompromising sisters can inspire people to resist darkness and stand for what’s just, then they will have succeeded in inspiring more people.