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When Compassion Becomes Coercion

The corruption of compassion. It begins with identity groups making appeals to compassion, then progresses to demands for preferential treatment. It ends with the injustice of coerced compassion in the form of special rights, entitlements, and demands for everyone else to promote and endorse the lifestyles and causes of those groups.

A recent case in point is Ivan Provorov, a hockey player for the Philadelphia Flyers and an Orthodox Christian. Stephen Whitney explains in his recent Intellectual Takeout piece “Ivan Provorov Stands Fast in His Faith”:

“The Philadelphia Flyers, a hockey team, participated in an LGBTQ+ Pride Night event. The team—with one exception—donned rainbow-colored jerseys as they warmed up before the game. Defenseman Ivan Provorov opted out. ‘I respect everybody, and I respect everybody’s choices,’ he told reporters. ‘My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.’”

Left-wing activists responded by saying that respect means celebrating the choices of others, regardless of whether you agree with that choice or not. Whitney quoted one commentor asserting that Provorov should have shown respect by wearing the Pride Night jersey and not hiding “behind religion.”

The underlying premise here is that if you believe in Christian tolerance and compassion, then you must promote and celebrate LGBTQ+ and the left’s latest cause du jour. I disagree: Tolerance or even compassion toward a cause do not necessitate promotion of that cause.

For the past 50 years and more, the left has hijacked the Christian virtue of compassionate forgiveness. In the Gospel of John, we read the story of a woman caught in adultery. The Pharisees wanted to stone her to death because adultery is a sin. Knowing that Jesus was compassionate, the Pharisees tried to trap him into contradicting Old Testament laws: “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7).

Stung by their own conscience, the Pharisees slunk away, one by one, until Jesus was left alone with the woman:

“When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:10–11)

Note that Jesus said, “Go, and sin no more.” And he did not celebrate adultery or wear an Adultery Pride jersey. Today’s left-wing activists would say, “It is not a sin; it is a lifestyle, and we require you to promote it and celebrate it and endorse it!”

Christians are taught to “hate the sin but love the sinner.” The left has reversed this into “celebrate the sin and idolize the sinner.” Jesus loved the sinner, the woman caught in adultery, but did not endorse the sin of adultery as evidenced by his words telling the woman to stop sinning.

The left now twists the Gospel story and encourages everyone to stone the person who does not promote and celebrate the sin. Many who stand up for Christian beliefs are belittled, publicly humiliated, and cancelled from their jobs and professions. This is the modern form of stoning.

The left invoke compassion to gain privilege and power. But its version of compassion has been twisted from “have pity on me” to “obey me because I am a victim and I deserve power over others.” Compassion has gone from removing barriers based on skin color and gender to enforcing privileges, demanding obedience, and exacting reparations from those who never persecuted or discriminated against these so-called victims.

Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you agree with LGBTQ+ ideas or not, it is wrong to coerce others to support a cause, lifestyle, or belief that they do not agree with. The left demands that everyone in the world blindly agree with them. They have made woke a new ideology, bordering on a cult, not to be questioned, only obeyed.

Lord Acton warned us, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Granting power to anyone and everyone who claims victimhood has allowed the corruption of compassion to begin.

Like Ivan Provorov, we should stand fast in our faith and principles. This persecution was predicted:

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:11–12)

Image credit: RawPixel, CC0



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