“‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” ‘What is truth?’ retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, ‘I find no basis for a charge against him.’ John 18:37-38
In these verses, Pilate is speaking with Jesus before He orders His execution. He finds no true reason to condemn Jesus, but he also realizes that the truth doesn’t seem to matter. The Jewish authorities and the mob have decided that Jesus is dangerous — His teachings contradict their way of seeing the world, and so He must die.
If you read the book, The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray, you will find that the same sort of thinking is alive and well today. Murray addresses the issues of gender, race and identity, hot buttons in today’s society that have become increasingly politicized. It has become “immoral” to question or disagree with opinions which in some cases are simply not true (other than overt, physical differences, men and women are exactly the same), and in other cases have not yet been determined (homosexuality is hardwired into particular individuals and cannot be changed). People are publicly reviled and bullied for disagreeing or using the “wrong language.” Some have lost their jobs and professional standing. Some proponents of the “correct” way of thinking have gone so far as to say, “I don’t care about your facts.”
Murray points out the lack of logic in many popular positions and asks questions such as:
if a straight person can become gay, why can’t a gay person become straight?
if a person can choose their gender, why can’t they choose their race?
if men and women are the same, why don’t studies bear that out? why do people who have undergone hormone treatment and surgery to change their gender say they feel completely different?
is it right to castigate and condemn a person for language or beliefs that were perfectly acceptable at the time they were expressed?
Murray is gay himself, but he calls for greater generosity, forgiveness and respect. Someone with whom we disagree strongly may still have a part of the truth that we need to understand and accept. We won’t hear it if we refuse to listen. The tendency toward polarization of views is splitting society apart, and technology is speeding the process along because now “mobs” can assemble online at any time, and social media influences our thought processes more and more.
This book was fascinating and thought provoking. It would make a great read for a book club or discussion group.
For more posts of technology follow these links:
Joan’s Pet Peeve #2– Is Anybody Listening?
In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity In A Fractured World by Jake Meador–Book Review