How the New McCarthyism Contradicts the Gospel of Jesus Christ
In the aftermath of a racist photo from his medical school days resurfacing, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam finds himself facing calls for his resignation. Vile and racist, the picture shows one individual dressed as a hooded KKK member and the other individual, a white male, in blackface. At a Saturday press conference, Northam denied being the individual in the KKK hood or the blackface. He issued an apology denouncing the photo on Friday, but on Saturday, while indicating that he will not resign, said it was not him.
Since pressure is mounting within the Democrat Party for Northam to resign, his days as Virginia's governor are probably numbered.
As the news first broke, Twitter was filled with angry conservatives calling for his resignation. Much of that anger was left over from the response generated by Northam's public support for infanticide earlier in the week. It didn't take long, though, for many on the left to climb onto the outrage wagon and join in the chorus condemning Northam.
As I watched the mob grow louder and louder, I had three main thoughts:
- It's a blight on our nation's conscience that disgusting photos like that exist
- Governor Northam can't actually believe that he can politically survive this, can he?
- The demands for his resignation reveal how out of step our society's embrace of New McCarthyism is with the gospel of Jesus Christ
I've already written above that I believe Northam's days as governor are probably numbered. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if, by the time this article is published, Northam and his family are packing their stuff. And although I believe that the pitchforked responses to his past sins are wrong, I won't shed any tears for a man who currently supports infanticide if he does lose his job. However, separating my personal feelings for the man from what's actually happening, it's troubling that so many people, regardless of their political affiliation, embrace New McCarthyism. And, make no mistake, New McCarthyism is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Anyone who has been taught the "Romans Road" to salvation has Romans 3:23 memorized: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
We are all sinners. Every single one of us. New McCarthyism expects purity from youth into adulthood. Granted, depending on who's wielding the New McCarthyism sword, "purity" will be defined a little differently. One thing all who wield it have in common, though, is the refusal to accept anyone who may have transgressed in the past. Except, and circling back to the first two sentences of this paragraph, everyone has sinned.
On a human level, this should frighten all of us (this would be a great time for theatres to produce revivals of Arthur Miller's The Crucible). Since we all have sinful and shameful skeletons in our past, who's to say that in the coming months or years our skeletons won't rise to the level of perpetual condemnation? Governor Northam was in his mid-twenties when he allegedly posed for that photo. No doubt, there are many other incidents of disgusting racism in his past that have yet to be uncovered. But if he's genuinely repentant and has changed, why should he bear never-ending punishment for it? Yet, that's exactly what adherents of New McCarthyism believe and no amount of repentance and groveling will be enough. Thankfully, the Creator of the universe doesn't treat sinners that way.