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January 21, 2020 (American Thinker) — The problem for conservatives debating progressives and leftists is that those on the far left always choose the playing field. Using a sports analogy, progressives wisely choose a baseball field for a confrontation, putting conservatives at a decisive disadvantage. Conservatives need to stop playing progressives in baseball and start playing them in football.

Think about it: in football, your opponent can start out with the ball on offense but suddenly have it taken away by a pass interception or by recovering a fumble. Now, your team is on offense and in a position to score. In fact, in the vast majority of major team sports — football, basketball, hockey, soccer — in all of them, you can actually score on defense — by taking the ball (or puck) away from the other team and going in for a goal (or basket). Baseball is the only sport where you can score only on offense. One team gets to bat, to score as many runs as possible before making three outs, then the other team gets to bat and score. I mean, a player in the field can't suddenly knock over a runner who's rounding third base and then run down the line himself, cross home plate, and score a run for his team, right?

So, how does this sports analogy carry over into debating and, in a larger sense, effecting changes in the culture?

What seems to be happening in every matchup between conservatives and progressives is that progressives are always up at bat and conservatives are always playing the field. Progressives will keep sending their pundits to the plate and keep getting hits and scoring runs, and all the conservatives can do is hope to make some outs — and not just three, either. In this warped brand of baseball, the progressives keep racking up all the outs they want, losing all the arguments they want, but they still get to bat and sometimes score. Conservatives can make all kinds of great plays in the field, create all kinds of outs using brilliant arguments, but they still won't ultimately win because they can't score.

How does this play out in real life? Progressives masquerading as Christians (or at least feigning sympathy with Christian causes) will ask, “How can a Christian support Trump?” The question itself immediately puts the conservative (or Christian who supports Trump) on the field playing defense.

Jesus himself was confronted by many who wanted to trip him up. They'd ask a question designed to back him up against a wall, but he always turned the tables on them. One time, for example, a group of Pharisees, wanting to trap Jesus and shame him in front of his followers, showed Jesus a coin and asked him if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to say either “don't pay taxes” (which would be unlawful and could lead to his arrest) or “give your money to the Romans” (the very rulers who were oppressing the Jewish people of that day). Did Jesus take the bait? No, he turned the tables on the Pharisees by asking them a question: “Whose inscription is on the coin?” Suddenly, the Pharisees were rocked back on their heels and forced to play defense. (By the way, if you want to find out who won that argument, read “the rest of the story” in your Bible in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 15 through 22). A similar turnabout can be found when Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees who brought him the woman caught in the act of adultery. (See the Book of John, Chapter 2, verses 2 through 11.)

Progressives always enjoy setting the stage for a debate by asking a question they find incendiary — and asking a question sets an agenda, thus immediately putting the progressive on offense. Now it seems that the only thing a conservative can do is take the field and play defense.

By way of example, here again is that progressive question heard quite a bit these days: “How can a Christian support Trump?”

Notice that the question immediately assumes there is something wrong with supporting Trump, so the person who is asked it must assume a defensive position.

But how do you turn things around, go on offense, and score?

Shouldn't a conservative (and especially a Christian) be taking a page out of Jesus's playbook and turning the tables on progressives?

A conservative Christian could respond: “I will answer that question after you answer mine: how could a Christian have supported Obama?” Most likely, the progressive, who greatly admires the former president and has perhaps never heard anyone dare challenge Obama's awesomeness, will ask, “What do you mean?” This very question has now put him in a position to play defense, and you can ask an “offensive” question or two. Examples: “What about Obama's support of partial-birth, even live-birth abortion?” and “How could Obama celebrate same-sex 'marriage' by lighting up the White House in rainbow colors immediately following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize it?” Progressives would have to defend that which is anathema to biblical Christianity by justifying how a Christian could champion late-term abortion and “marriage” between same-sex couples. In other words, “How could a Christian have supported Obama?”

So, grab your helmet and shoulder pads — suit up! It's time to hit the grid iron. Once we conservatives get off the progressives' and far left's hallowed baseball diamond, scoring and winning big will no longer be an elusive goal.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.