The last couple of weeks have provided glaring examples of the battle of principles vs political correctness. Some people have principles, and are willing to defend them, and others can be blown around by the winds of political correctness. Having and defending principles is difficult at times and does not always win popularity contests; in the long term though, it usually earns you respect.
Michele Bachmann, The Boy Scouts of America, and Chik-Fil-A have always had my respect, but my respect for each has grown immensely for their unwavering adherence to the principles they hold dear while faced with blistering attacks from their critics. None of the above caved to the demands of political correctness by modifying their position to just to please critics or the media. And each stands ready for the consequences that come with supporting an unpopular, or misunderstood position.
A quick overview of why each impressed me originally:
- Being from California, I was not very familiar with Michele Bachmann or her views until a friend pointed out that she had the characteristics of a leader and I should pay attention to her. As a primary candidate she impressed me by her willingness to introduce ideas and solutions that were fresh, untried, and based upon her values and experiences in life. And when the national media criticized her, she stood proudly to explain why it was the correct course for America.
- As I wrote last week, I have had a long association with the Boy Scouts from a young Cub Scout through leadership roles as an adult. I am proud not only of my association with Scouting, but the values and lessons that shaped my character, and the character of millions of young men around the world.
- Chik-Fil-A came to my attention when one of my businesses became a vendor for the company. When scheduling a customer service visit, I was told that Sunday would be the best day if possible since all stores were closed on Sunday so employees could be with their families. The fact that a company would forgo sales to support family values was so refreshing that the chain, and its owners, gained my immediate respect.
Each of the three stepped up recently to publicly defend their values and principles, and each of the three is under assault for their actions and is willing to pay the price for their decision. We are witnessing a battle of principles vs political correctness of historic magnitude at this time whether or not it is perceived as such.
Michele Bachmann may have ended her political career for having the courage to warn the nation of threats to national security that are being ignored.
The Boy Scouts will lose financial support for their decision to continue the prohibition of gays from membership and leadership.
Chik-Fil-A will face negative press, protests, and reduced sales because the leadership of the company has publicly stated their opposition to gay marriage.
The majority of us have a set of values and principles by which we lead out lives. How many of us have the courage to stand in defense of our principles if we knew we would face the onslaught of attacks being leveled against the three examples above?
The answer will be different for each of us, but common to all is having to live with our answer.
by Jack Woodward 7/24/12