When I saw the topic this week, I originally decided to pass. Peer pressure always takes me back to acne laden, palm sweating, hormone activating days of puberty or was that yesterday at the church single’s picnic? Whichever, who in their right mind would want to venture back to either place?
Yet in my prayer time today, another kind of peer pressure kept raising its ugly head. No, it wasn’t the memory of my agility in the watermelon seed spitting contest.
What could be worse than sexual interaction compounded by competitive peer pressure?
Not much, but I believe the political peer pressure being exerted today is the most dangerous pressure we face.
Why bring this up? Duh, it is an election year!
I participate in several discussion boards, which I generally feel compelled to throw my 2 cents in with frequent regularity whatever the topic. One board has taught me an invaluable less regarding peer pressure.
When I joined the site the majority of the members were pleasant, God-fearing writers. The stories were light and inspirational. I enjoyed a small amount of success and was developing relationships with other writers. I was having fun!
Then it happened. One of the writers, who professed to be a Christ-follower, wrote a piece on how Wicca was a perfectly acceptable form of worship. When I questioned how a believer could promote such idolatry, I was suddenly barraged with a full repertoire of humanistic and politically correct rhetoric meant to put me in my place.
I was summarily labeled:
“Rush-listening, religious homophobe, imposer of morality, underminer of the Constitution, trasher of the First Amendment, bigoted fool, gun-toting, pick-up driving, Nascar watching, white-socked clad, uneducated, King James quoting, fundamentalist fanatic.”
Okay, I probably am all of those things, but I soon learned that my thoughts and opinions would now be considered stupid, naïve and totally irrelevant because I had the audacity to believe in black and white!
First everyone was kindly patronizing, “Poor dear, she just doesn’t get out much. If she was as enlightened as us, she’d recognize the error of her ways, tisk-tisk, poor lil’ dear.”
Over time however, the more I stood on the side of Biblical truths, the crueler the remarks. Instead of discussing ideologies, I was hammered with attacks on my personal character.
What happened next utterly amazed me. Whenever someone wrote an agreeable comment on one of my stories, that person became a target by association. The same bullying was mounted against these individuals, simply because they had agreed with me.
These vicious attacks drove many away. I even backed away, pulled all my stories and hid out while my bruised ego healed.
I don’t know if it is my thick Lee skull or just bulldogged determination, but I decided I had just as much right to be there, as anyone else – this is still America! I had paid my dues! I returned the fray and began to see pressure intensify.
The bullies had so intimidated everyone, that now every topic is approached with statements like:
“I am trying to remain neutral…”
“I don’t want to appear close-minded…”
“I am trying hard to ride the fence on this…”
Have you ever “ridden” a fence before? Try riding a picket or chain-link fence. What does a “picket” feel like sticking in your back pocket? How comfortable are those little spikes in your…hum…behind? Imagine staying up there for any length of time.
I just have to ask, is riding the fence really a smart thing to do? Is it really the most comfortable place to be? It takes a lot of effort to balance on such a sharp point.
Envision precariously straddling the fence. It sure would be a lot simpler to just fall off. Whatever side of the issue you fell off on – at least your feet would be firmly planted on something solid – unless of course you chose the wrong side! (ha-ha)
The onslaught of humanistic, post-modern ideologies can be unbearable at times. It is easy to see why Jeremiah was a weeping prophet! But it is important not to give into political peer pressure. We need to take a stand on the side of righteousness and not give into the pressure to deny God’s place in our country’s government.
We need to resist political peer pressure at all costs!
© 7/6/04 Lissa M. Lee