The Domino Theory
A few weeks ago I visited the new Western Australia museum in Perth. One of the exhibits was about Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. There was a section explaining the Domino Theory. The display had large, physical dominoes which visitors were invited to knock over to see the idea in action. Every time someone would knock over the dominoes it’d make a loud noise reverberating through the gallery. There was no quiet way to knock over those dominoes.
The idea of “the Domino Theory” was that if South Vietnam fell to the Communists from the North, soon communism would spread unchecked throughout other countries in Southeast Asia. South Vietnam would be the first domino to fall and then it would knock down all the other dominoes in turn. It appears that the Domino Theory was wrong, because South Vietnam did fall in 1975, but communism didn’t spread to every other country in the region. The display in the WA Museum made the point with a question: “Did the Domino Theory prove to be correct?” The real point being, of course, that Western countries like the US and Australia went to war on a flimsy pretext.
That’s just bad history. We don’t know what would have happened if there’d been no Western involvement in Vietnam. We do know that communism is a missionary cause – it’s inherently expansionistic, it wants to grow and spread. Perhaps the lengthy involvement of the US and Australia and other countries actually prevented the domino effect, even if they didn’t stop the North Vietnamese. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister, had another plausible explanation. He argued that Western intervention gave time for other Southeast Asian countries “to consolidate and engage in economic growth.” Such growth was inhospitable to communism. The Domino Theory may have been at least partly a valid reason for war after all.
For several decades, we’ve been in a different type of war. This war also involves dominoes. This war involves a cause that’s inherently expansionistic. It’s a war for hearts and minds, but it has far wider consequences. It’s the Sexual Revolution, especially as it pertains to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) issues.
The strategy of the SOGI “warriors” has been incremental. They’ve patiently taken one slow step at a time. The dominoes haven’t fallen in rapid succession, but in slow motion.
In about 1995, I remember attending a town-hall meeting in Edmonton, Alberta with our MP, David Kilgour. Kilgour, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, professed to be a Christian. This town-hall meeting was to discuss proposed federal legislation which would grant benefits to the partners of government employees in same-sex relationships. The building was packed for this meeting. Many people spoke, most of whom were opposed to the legislation. Some raised the possibility that this was a step towards formal government recognition of same-sex relationships, and maybe even same-sex marriage. At the end of the evening, Kilgour spoke to the crowd. He said that he appreciated hearing everyone’s concerns, then he added an assurance that this wasn’t going to lead to further developments. He was wrong. I knew he was wrong.
How did I know that? Because the SOGI warriors told me. Their goal was never simply indifference. That was just the first step. Their goal was never simply toleration. That was the next domino to fall. The SOGI warriors’ goal was never even simply acceptance. Their stated goal from the beginning of the Sexual Revolution has always been universal affirmation and celebration. Every knee must bow to the Revolution.
Today we’re in the last stage of this war. In most of the culture around us, the last domino has already fallen. Woe to the city hall that doesn’t fly a rainbow flag during Pride Week. Woe to the politicians who refuse to march in Pride Parades. Affirmation and celebration are now virtually mandatory. It’s like a replay of the scene in Daniel 3 with Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. When the music played, everyone was required to bow in reverent worship. There’d be fiery consequences for those who didn’t.
Just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Bible-believing Christians today are the holdouts. Sadly, many so-called Christians have bowed the knee in affirmation and celebration. They’ve fallen. But true Christians haven’t and never will. We can’t, no matter what they threaten us with. Our ultimate commitment is to the true God. This true God promises that his people will not fall like so many dominoes: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy…” (Jude 24). In the meantime, our calling is to hold the line and fight with the only weapon we have: the Word of God. Against this expansionistic missionary movement, we need to keep on sharing the real gospel of Jesus which can truly change lives, and ultimately even cultures.