To be honest, conservatives have not handled themselves well in this fight over religious freedom. That’s not to say the goals have been dubious or that the fight isn’t worth fighting. The moral and political ground is unshakable. It is in the details that the right has faltered. And it has allowed the liberal/LGBT warriors to dominate this battle without breaking a sweat.
That’s why a proposal from John Zuhlsdorf, an Italian priest who writes the popular “Fr. Z’s Blog,” was so welcome. Zuhlsdorf has been one of the few Christians to come up with something a little more interesting than impotent whining. “When some homosexual couple comes to your Christian business for services at their immoral event, don’t panic,” Zuhlsdorf writes. “Go ahead and take their business! Inform them that all of the money that they pay for the services will be donated to a traditional pro-family lobby.”
That’s not all. Zuhlsdorf recommends telling them that, for catering jobs, your employees will show up wearing Christian paraphernalia, driving a truck playing gospel music, and representing the faith in everything they do. He further endorses telling them that an announcement will be put in the paper explaining what your business did with the money, thanking them by name for the contribution.
With a hostile media willing to promote blatant lies far and wide, this is how the game must be played. Intelligence and humor. Outwit and outplay. It isn’t hard to make these extreme leftists look like fools; given enough rope, they will be more than happy to do it themselves. But it requires a little thought. A soft touch. Standing out on the street with a badly spelled sign isn’t going to get it. We’re never going to win anyone over by taking the defensive position.
To be sure, it’s an easy trap to fall into. It’s terrifying to watch the country change right in front of our eyes. But the left is winning because they have managed to make it look like they are the good guys. With the complicit help of nearly every news outlet in the world, they have successfully turned this into a battle between LOVE and HATE. Conservatives aren’t going to stand a chance as long as we let ourselves be defined by the enemy. We have to change that perception.
Christians and conservatives alike have a bad habit of preaching solely to the converted. By closing ranks, shouting obscenities, and letting liberals turn this is US vs THEM, we are dooming ourselves to eventual obsolescence. This publicity is a golden opportunity for outreach, but most of the right’s loudest voices are more concerned with drumming up righteous energy from the base. That’s okay, as far as it goes, but it has some limitations. Before we draw a line in the sand, maybe we should invite some others to join us. If we can demonstrate that there’s more to us then anger and gnashing teeth, we might find more Americans agree with our position than the media would ever admit.