I took a quiet walk this morning and enjoyed the fall colors. It made me think about when I was a child, a very noisy one at that, I was often told to keep quiet. “Silence is golden,” my grandmother declared. Later in life my then wife would say, “When it comes to ignorance, it’s better to remain silent than to speak and remove all doubt.”
Everyone told me to keep my words to myself and no one encouraged the contrary, until social media came on the scene. The business world soon realized that their messages weren’t heard unless they had a voice on the Internet. People were even getting promoted based on their media skills.
Then it happened, society decided to use the medium to judge what is good and bad. In masses, people voiced what they wanted from governments and corporations until companies gave in to the power of the people. This resulted in the Fortune 500 changing their policies to avoid being electronically raped in front of millions. Corporations would fire someone based on a single tweet and companies changed products based on Facebook “Likes.”
Soon after, pastors and churches felt the pain of LGBT groups pressuring changes in doctrine and public profiles. The days of silence returned to the lives who were asked to evangelize their solutions in life. Hesitation grew, as large entertainment groups tipped toed around certain subjects with fear and trepidation.
This morning’s news revealed that the latest choice to remain silent could impact thousands.
Hillsong, one of the largest grossing leaders in the music industry, was asked about its views on gay and lesbian issues. Their response was to say nothing, but suggest they are on a journey of consideration, not yet knowing the answers.
One writer speculated that Hillsong’s silence would cause thousands of churches across the nation to reconsider their stance on homosexuality. Others quickly pointed out that Hillsong is now operating out of fear in hopes of keeping their worship music empire intact – Not having faith in God alone to keep it whole.
As a filmmaker, I’ve worked with gays and lesbians for years. Prior to my work with the networks, I was one of the few non-gay dancers in several musicals. Even as a child, I played the role of Bert, across from a gay Mary Poppins, in my neighbor’s garage play. My first house, as newlyweds, was next door to a male couple. My cousin, who dated my girlfriend’s twin when we were in high school, started the transgender transition process. And, just this summer I co-painted a corporate mural with a lesbian.
People who are different than me have surrounded me all my life. The fact that one people group has gained more political power or media attention than another is not new to me. Those in power change every so often, during which time they promote their agenda.
However, what causes me the greatest amount of pain is the recent drive for groups stating that some people should never have their voice heard. Intense political pressure is put on them to stay silent, inferring the opposite to be true from what they believe.
The days of everyone voicing their opinion has long since faded and people are giving up their freedom of speech in lieu of political correctness. Their very silence is then inferred by the media to concur with the opposing voices, which sends others rethinking their beliefs.
While we still have an ounce of free speech left, I believe that questions should be answered honestly and transparently. I also believe that the answers should be viewed objectively, which only the naïve would consider a possibility.
So in keeping with what I believe, I shall not stay silent, but instead blog about all the issues faced in the entertainment world. Whether I deal with the issue through media outlets or on set during a shoot, you will be able to read my unadulterated viewpoints on various subjects.
I will not stay silent.
However, I might just say more through story and imagery than from a platform of comment. After all, I still believe that entertainment is the best way to change our society and demonstrate the positives of the things that I believe. So as I conclude my quiet walk through my neighborhood, I can’t help but consider what types of things I might blog about in the near future. And, I wonder how I might turn this blog into a two way conversation.
I’ll start with a simple question…
Do you find it easier to stay silent or do you find it impossible to withhold comment?