In the age of social media hot takes, apparently, we aren’t allowed to enjoy good things. Even a good sports story has to become a flashpoint in our ongoing cultural battles.
In what has been called a Cinderella story, Oral Roberts University has made the Sweet 16 in NCAA March Madness. However, some in the crowd have been cheering for them to be banned rather than for them to win.
In the most recent example of cancel culture, the mob has been coming after ORU — mocking their name, history and beliefs as bigoted or homophobic. Some have even gone so far as to call for the NCAA to restrict such Neanderthals from playing, others saying they should be “pariahs, not heroes.”
I spoke to the students of Oral Roberts University in 2019, in the times when we used to gather together in big groups. When I was there, I saw thousands of students passionate about their faith, their education and their desire to make a difference in the world. Such religious faith motivates all kinds of good actions our culture wants, from disaster relief to Eric Talley, the officer who bravely gave his life running into the mass shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado, this week.
Yet, the mob has come for these college students. And this is our new reality.
It’s easy to point out the eccentric elements of their history, but President Billy Wilson and the Oral Roberts faculty are well respected and the school is thriving. Yet, it apparently lacks the needed qualifications to play college sports today — a willingness to conform to the new moral dogma.
The dogma teaches that tolerance must mean agreement, then branding all who disagree as intolerant and harmful. Not satisfied that we respect opposing views on human sexuality, all must affirm homosexuality as acceptable within our own theology. There can no longer be any disagreement, only compliance.
This is a stunning 180 from the arguments we heard in 2009 when LGBTQ+ advocates maintained, “All we want is the right to marry. How will my gay marriage hurt you?” Now it’s: “We want your college accreditation, your athletic participation and more.”
Considering how much those who expressed concern a decade ago were mocked for advancing slippery slope arguments, the rhetoric deployed against ORU or in defense of the Equality Act suggests these concerns were underemphasized..