Is Society Silencing Our Voices?
Dr. Alex McFarland Says Study Confirms Christians Are Hesitant to Share Views, As Conservative Ideas Are Also Silenced on College Campuses
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland has traveled to hundreds of churches and college campuses over his decades-long career. And what he’s discovered over the years of teaching Christian apologetics—the practice of defending the faith—is that many may be hesitant to talk about their beliefs.
Seemingly, a study from the Cato Institute backs up this musing. Cato’s 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey of 2,300 U.S. adults found that 71 percent of Americans believe “political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have.” And the consequences are personal, with 58 percent stating that the political climate prevents them from sharing their own political beliefs.
“It’s unfortunate that so many feel they can’t speak about their views in our culture,” said McFarland, who is also Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University (NGU) in Greenville, South Carolina. “If there was ever a time for the faithful to have a voice in our society, it is now. The fact that our nation has become so hostile toward some beliefs is a sad commentary and a tragic consequence of a culture that touts tolerance, but really only believes in it when the views are ‘agreeable.’”
Similarly, another new survey found that with “safe spaces, trigger warnings and microaggressions the norm on many college campuses,” reports LifeZette, it’s not surprising that a recent Gallup/Knight Foundation poll revealed a growing number of college students are concerned about hostility toward free speech on campus—especially students with conservative viewpoints.
More than 60 percent of students in 2017 said the climate on college campuses “prevents some people from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive.”
“This news is also disturbing because if our young adults can’t express themselves while in college, when they are formulating their beliefs,” McFarland said, “they won’t be able to share their views later in life, even in the face of adversity.”
McFarland is coming off the successful 2018 Truth for a New Generation (TNG) conference, where hundreds heard from Fox News hosts Todd Starnes and Lauren Green, legendary apologist Josh McDowell, faith investigator J. Warner Wallace, “Counter Culture Mom” Tina Marie Griffin, former jihadi Kamal Saleem, American Family Association (AFA) Public Policy Analyst Abraham Hamilton III, and Juan Valdes, who leads a Spanish-speaking congregation in Florida and the ministry Reasons for Hope.
Attendees to this year’s conference were also treated to a screening of the AFA feature-length film, “The God Who Speaks,” for which McFarland was a contributor. “The God Who Speaks” was recently honored as the “Best Documentary” at the Christian Worldview Film Festival.