In October, the local library liquidated their collection of cassette books and gave them all to me. As I sifted through the stack, I found a book called Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays by Stephen Hawking. Being interested in science, I listened to the whole book. As I played one tape, I heard how Hawking had suffered what he called “refutation by denigration” as a result of his theory that black holes emitted particles and eventually vanished. Instead of basing their criticism on flaws they discovered in the theory, Hawkings’ detractors used insults to discredit his work.
This happens far too often in the political world, particularly from socialists. Conservative leaders, for example have been labeled as racists for wishing to get rid of affirmative action programs. Many of President Obama’s opponents have also been accused of racism simply for finding fault with his policies.
Canada isn’t immune to refutation by denigration either. The Wildrose Alliance Party formed in 2008 to oppose the wasteful spending and high living of the Progressive Conservatives. The party was immediately tarred with the epithet “upstart” and was often labeled as “right wing extremist” by many political commentators. Instead of examining Wildrose’s fiscal and social policies at their face value, the media editors prejudged the intent of the policies and impugned the reputations of the Wildrose leadership.
Sadly, this happens to evangelical Christians as well. A small group of vocal atheists have written hateful books which make irrational claims about God and his followers.
Likewise, any professor doubting global warming, now called climate change, have been censured and discredited.
Additionally, those believers who oppose abortion are automatically tarred with the epithet “deniers of women’s rights” simply for proposing that life begins at conception. No matter what scientific studies have found regarding fetal pain and the development of the baby in the womb, these vocal opponents continue to call Christians derogatory names. Detractors seem unwilling and unable to examine anti-abortion arguments dispassionately.
People who oppose homosexual and lesbian behaviour as being abnormal also come under fire by a small band of activists. Though Scripture makes it clear that the activities of these people is perversion, adherents of Christianity are charged by Jesus Christ to love sinners. Opponents often point to the Old Testament injunctions of the death penalty for breakers of God’s commands without realizing those were for the time when Israel was a theocracy. The Lord gave the commandments because of the weakness of the Israelites toward copying the wicked deeds of other nations. Now that Christ has shown God’s compassionate wish to save all who would believe in him, his followers are compelled to love sinners but oppose their sinful and self-destructive ways.
While it might be a human trait to call people names and attach negative attributes to others, it still is inexcusable. For many years, elders in a house church accused me of lacking faith to be healed of poor eyesight, harboring sin, lusting for sight, and having ancestral sins that blocked my healing. I found out later that my detractors were wrong. What a relief that was, and still is, to me. You can read the glorious journey God led me on in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books.