Today I had a total of one visitor to my blog from two different countries…work that one out if you can. Perhaps he/she/it flew the twelve thousand miles in one day and took a look at my blog at each end of his/her/its journey, or perhaps he/she/it had some exotic form of schizophrenia. I’ve never suffered from schizophrenia-(oh yes you have, and it may well show in the following rant!)
If you started a new blog by writing about, say, Barack Hussein Obama’s “success” as a president you would probably get a large view count and some appreciative comments. If you diversified your content in succeeding posts, and strayed from the mainstream of politically acceptable thought, your response would increasingly be somewhat diminished.
If you then began to go out on a limb and expose some rather unconventional attitudes, you would be counting your viewers on two hands, or one. If you got rather deep and philosophical, and wrote at length about some meaty issues, more followers would fall by the way-side, and then if you described yourself as a Christian, and openly expressed beliefs which didn’t fit any sizable theological niche, but rather analyzed them critically, you would end up with a maximum grand total of two views a day.
I always did see much of life differently to the majority of people. And I don’t mean to say that in an intentionally rebellious or prideful way, like some who choose the antagonist as their hero, or those who listen to the most crass metal band or rap artist at wall-rattling volume simply because it successfully annoys the neighbors.
Christian faith-the fundamental variety-is growing ever-less acceptable in the West, and to make matters worse, within the Christian world there are innumerable divisions of interpretation. The longer I’ve been a Christian the more distant I’ve felt from my brothers and sisters, because I don’t fully endorse any one stream of acceptable thought. As one little example, to some I’m a second-class Christian and necessarily ineffective for God because I don’t speak in tongues.
The problem with having truly independent thought is that nobody else is interested in what you have to say. Oh they want to think of themselves as being independent, and being as loving as those who are independent, but they do it in a dependent sort of way. In this post-modern world people cook up weirdness for themselves just to show people how weird they are, but their weirdness is designed to impress people and so to make themselves acceptable to someone. The herd mentality is strong in human nature, and the cool dudes among humans know that they have to be cool in an acceptable way. Is following the herd a God-given trait? I don’ t think so.
Numerous aspects of my character and views and beliefs conspire to separate me from my fellow humans. It’s not as though I desire to be alone, but I find myself there anyway because no-one else sees things the way I do. Even if they agree with something I have to say, they’ll disagree vehemently with a lot of other things I think or like, or they’ll simply dislike me and stand well back. This is one of the symptoms of twenty-first century life: if you don’t fit any mold, you’re going to end up talking to yourself for company.
I’ve always resisted the urge to follow everyone else just for the sake of having company. When they wanted to boogie-on down to the latest Bee-Gees song I couldn’t force myself to if I were paid to, because I didn’t like the Bee Gees. When they wanted to vote for Mrs. So-and-So I didn’t, because I didn’t agree with Mrs. So-and-So (is it illegal to use the title “Mrs” yet? If not, it soon will be).
I think that when I realized how hard it was to impress others (nigh-on impossible) at the age of about thirteen, I began to accept that I may as well just be me anyway and enjoy it. And how can you be true to others if you aren’t true to yourself? As someone on the radio today said, if saying the correct and needful thing to your kids for their good makes them hate you, then so be it.
The alternative to truly independent thought is to be captured to every fashion, whim, pressure, wind of thought, lie and just plain obnoxious idea or action being peddled by the popular, so that you either grow to actually agree with them, or spend a lifetime cringing and screaming inside.
When it comes to tastes and preferences, I have to concur with the late Vivian Stanshall, who wrote, “Don’t think that I will smile at it, I’m not a weak-willed hypocrite”. Now, I’m not talking about rudeness. I’m talking about politely declining the experience of listening to John Doe’s latest album if I don’t like it; not blindly accepting Pastor X’s insightful pronouncements on salvation theology if I know them to be invalid, and not going along with the most current politically-correct view of gender if it’s blatantly false and ridiculous. I refuse to like something….if I don’t like it, and I refuse to agree with something…if I don’t agree with it. I can’t see the problem with that.
You see, contrary to some in the Christian world I don’t agree that God has not given us free will: I’m convinced that he has. I’m also convinced he’s given us all the potential to think our own thoughts and make up our own minds and to reason things out for ourselves. He’s made our characters as varied as all those millions of pieces of DNA in each cell, with their countless possible combinations-if we would only be true to our creation. His desire is for us to submit our will to his-without losing our individuality.
Of course, humans have always put each-other under pressure to conform. But the ultimate movement of conformity is under way in our time. World citizenry must begin with herding. Herding must be seemingly pleasant and helpful at first. The goal is unity: unity around the goals and plans devised and concocted by the herders. Herding must be controlled and directed by those who have the correct end-game in mind. Centralization and homogenization of all things, especially government, must include shared ideology, philosophy, tastes, and views. Hey look down the road…someone’s building a huge tower!