January 28, 2023

Subject: The Imperative for Christians: Stand for Jesus Christ and against Cancel Culture

Acts 4:17 “So that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them…”

Ed Croteau

“What took place last night at the LSR7 school board meeting should sadden, embarrass, and infuriate every family in our school district. The extremists have organized in Lee’s Summit and now want to bring the same spirit that resulted in criminals storming our nation’s capital on January 6, 2021 to the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. They want to ban books. They want to limit knowledge. They want to pretend as if gay, transgender, and non-binary kids don’t exist. They don’t want all children to live in a world where understanding and compassion overcomes hate, viciousness and violence.”

What exactly did happen last week in Lee’s Summit that led Stacy Cronhardt, someone who plans to run for the Board of Education, to equate it to the January 6 Capital riot and label those involved “extremists”?

Using his 3-minute time to address the School Board, a Lee’s Summit resident voiced his disagreement with the Board’s approval of the book ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue’ to be in Lees Summit public libraries. The resident first advised any parents with children present to take them out of the meeting, since he wanted to read some of the book’s content. The Board interrupted and shut down his attempts to continue. This led Cronhardt to label him as an extremist, even tying him to the January 6th Capital riot.

The parental issues with ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue’ spreads much farther than Lee’s Summit. This book has been banned from public libraries in 8 states and from 29 school districts across America. Why?

In October 2021, at the North Penn School District Board Meeting in Montgomery County, PA, parent Vicki Flannery read out loud a section of ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue’ – something which was denied the resident at the Lee’s Summit School Board meeting last week. This section describes in graphic detail sex between two minor boys. She then pointed to the board members and asked: “Do any of you find this book, that depicts a sexual encounter and rape, acceptable for any minor, regardless of gender or sexual orientation?”

To censor the parent at the Lee’s Summit School Board meeting is un-American and unbiblical. To label that parent as an “extremist” because he finds the book’s content harmful to our children is outrageous.

A second case of threatening someone for standing up on values that go against the culture occurred at the March for Life in Washington, DC when NFL commentator and Super Bowl champion Tony Dungy spoke on the sanctity of life in the womb: “I’m looking forward to joining my friend (Benjamin Watson) and thousands of others who will be there to support those unborn babies who don’t have a voice.”

Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, announced that he is “Done with Tony Dungy and the way the NFL and NBC coddle his right wing extremism.” Like Cronhardt, Zirin equated Dungy with the January 6 Capital rioters: “The NFL’s silence is almost as loud as Dungy’s hateful blather, almost as loud as the thousands of people descending upon Washington. It’s shameful. And we should not be afraid to say so.”

In both these instances, Cancel Culture went on the offensive to threaten those with a biblical worldview for speaking up against their unbiblical ideology. In these two cases, Christians were not threatening anyone for opposing what the Bible says. In both cases, Christians exercised their right as Americans to share openly their biblical worldview, with respect and decency. In this week’s verse, we see that this is not new.

The fourth chapter of the book of Acts records how the ruling religious culture in Jerusalem at the time forbid Peter and John from openly talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ: “They laid hands on them, putting them in custody until the next day… When they then set them in their midst, they asked ‘By what power or by what name have you done this?” (Acts 4:3,7). Peter and John, bold despite the threats from the Cancel Culture of that time, answered: “There is salvation in no other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men than Jesus Christ by which we all must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

So, what did the Cancel Culture do with these guys? “So that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in the name of Jesus. They commanded them not to speak nor teach in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:17-18). How did Peter and John respond? “We cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20). They stood with God, not men.

As Christians in today’s Cancel Culture, be like Peter and John and speak and stand for Jesus Christ.

Ed Croteau is a lay pastor and resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune, on Facebook and his website www.fse.life.