The Puritans would be proud.
More than three centuries after the Salem witch trials, ill-conceived hysteria is de rigueur once again, with literally millions of judges presiding over an internet kangaroo courtroom, and summarily condemning modern day heretics who don't adhere to a strict code of "progressive" thinking.
Accessibility to a public forum is so readily available to the sanctimonious pissers and moaners that their cultural influence is entirely out of proportion. This week, the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer deleted a promotional video showing three female fans cheering at a game after receiving complaints that the video was sexist and misogynist. It didn't matter than the women in the video weren't offended or that most people didn't give it a second thought. The Whitecaps folded like a cheap tent rather than face a potential backlash, on the basis of a handful of complaints.
The Devil is anywhere the self-appointed high priests of holier-than-thou imagine him to be. He is especially present in any discussion of same-sex relationships, where no amount of empathy is protection against being exposed as an agent of the dark side. That kindly little old lady who works at the pharmacy and made the mistake of admitting to the wrong customer that while she bears them no malice, she doesn't understand "the gays"? She's a hateful bigot. We need a social media campaign to boycott the pharmacy until they fire her homophobic ass and put her on the street where she belongs.
We live in a time and place where anyone who condemns Muslim extremists for beheading innocent people runs the risk of being labelled an Islamophobe. Think about that. In the ivory tower of unctuous ignorance, it's less offensive to saw someone's head off than it is to question the religious motivations of murderers (unless the murderers are Christians, in which case Christianity is to blame, although to my knowledge even the most fundamentalist Christian groups haven't been staging mass executions and posting them on You Tube). Anti-Semitism is making a frightening comeback on a global scale because of the crisis in Gaza, but the pro-Palestinean apologists stand by the flimsy premise that you can oppose Israel without hating the Jews. Of course you can, but Jew-hating pre-dates Israel by several blood-soaked centuries.
Like all forms of totalitarianism, enforced groupthink will eventually run its course, and history will hold its most vocal and active proponents in the contempt they so richly deserve. In the meantime, we can at least take solace that the backwards march to puritanism hasn't (yet) resulted in the morally unchaste being burned at the stake, boiled in oil or pressed to death. The holy crusade of political correctness aims only to destroy lives by ruining reputations and careers.