New Mississippi head football coach Mike Leach has run afoul of the PC police and he’s taken a beating. He deserves to be defended, and that is part of our mission. Indeed, the Lord has used us quite powerfully in this regard.
We have always tried to use our modest platform to defend those who suffer injustice or public humiliation, be they Christian or not. The motive is simple: Matthew 7:12 and The Golden Rule. Having been in such circumstances, my gratitude for those people who had the courage and character to ride to my defense is undying. There is a reason why David, when given a choice to be judged by the Lord or man, chose the Lord:
“Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great. Do not let me fall into the hands of men.” (I Chronicles 21:13)
The Lord is merciful. His punishments are just, and his anger has an end. (Jeremiah 3:12; Psalm 103:9) He extends grace to heal, restore fellowship, and to even restore position. Man, by contrast, is neither just nor merciful. In his self-righteousness he does none of the above.
With this in mind, we have made a point of defending those who are under attack. Here are some examples of how we have stuck our necks out for others in these situations:
In 2011, Tim Tebow was the object of ridicule from the Left for his NFL performance—but not really. That was just a cover for the real reason they loathed him: he was very vocal about his Christian faith. So, I wrote a short column for USA Today in his defense and Rush Limbaugh read the entire piece over the air to his audience of 22 million. ESPN, Fox Sports, ABC and others, while denying that what I said was true, immediately changed their tone on Tebow. Battle over.
In 2013, Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson was under siege for comments he made about homosexuality. The hypocrites at A&E suspended Robertson and began talking about canceling his show. I published a column in The Atlantic, perhaps the most leftist mainstream publication in America, defending not only Robertson, but the biblical view of homosexuality. It went viral and, a few days later, the bullies at A&E reversed course.
In 2017, we posted a blog defending local radio host Rick Burgess who was being excoriated as a bigot and homophobe after his daughter came out as gay and made disparaging comments about her father in the local paper. Local media loved it, stoked the flames of family strife, and invited the public to pillory Burgess. We went after local media. The column received 150,000 reads in a weekend, and media backed-off.
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In that same year, I published a controversial column with Fox News titled “Candy-Assed Christians.” (Amusingly, Fox grew nervous about that title and, midstream, altered it to “Evangelicals Need to Stop Being Wimps.” While the second is language I would never use, Fox’s anxiety about the original title kind of proved my point.) In it, I called on Christians to show more backbone and be willing to suffer public attacks and humiliation for their faith. I called on them to defend others, especially those of the household of faith. I don’t know how much good it did, but that column sure got a lot of attention, sparking television and radio interviews.
In 2019, I decided to defend actress Lori Loughlin in a column for USA Today from the hate being dumped out on her. I made no assertions regarding her guilt or innocence, only that her punishment was grossly disproportionate to her alleged crime. She was—and still is, amazingly—being subjected to a vile public that loves to tear down other people. (I am personally very familiar with this.) I appealed for grace. Of course, I was shouted down, too. We were less successful here, but we tried.
There are still others we defend on a regular basis: the unborn, the persecuted, and even President Trump. Some of our readers have taken me to task for defending him. I make no apologies. I have been astonished at how he has been misquoted, mischaracterized, and falsely accused of vast conspiracies for where there is zero evidence. So, yes, I have defended him.
This is just a glimpse of how the Lord has positioned us to help others in the public eye.
This time it is Coach Mike Leach. The poor man has been tarred and feathered for having racist intentions when that clearly was not in view. I actually wrote two columns defending Leach this week: the first in The New York Post; the second in The American Spectator. If you can only read one, read the latter. I certainly enjoyed writing it more.
Rio sat across from me in the McDonald’s booth. A skinny twenty-two-year-old, he looked fifteen but ate like he had a hollow leg. He had agreed to meet me here in the busy outskirts of
Larry Alex Taunton is the Executive Director of the Fixed Point Foundation and a freelance columnist contributing to USA Today, Fox News, First Things, The Atlantic, CNN, Daily Caller, and The American Spectator. He is also the author of The Grace Effect, The Gospel Coalition Book of the Year The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, and the soon-to-be-released Around the World in (More Than) 80 Days. (Available for pre-order now) You can subscribe to his blog at larryalextaunton.com and find him on Twitter @larrytaunton.
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