Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Single Narrative Syndrome

Ah, the single narrative syndrome. Where other narratives are disallowed. Today there are many views you are simply not to hold. If you do hold to them, you are quickly labeled an obscurantist or worse. You can say anything you like about the accepted narrative. But you dare not even mention the unaccepted narrative. Today in our secular universities there is little free speech. There are many views you are simply not allowed to hold. That's one reason I decided to study abroad for my doctorate rather than in North America. Our "liberal" institutions are open-minded unless and until you espouse a conservative conclusion. By contrast, Basel was a breath of fresh air. Even a staunch theological conservative like me could succeed as long as I was able to produce an excellent piece of original research and see to it that it was published. Likewise, the mainstream media in America only gives us the "correct" narrative. No other narrative will be tolerated. "Look, just fit in, and you'll do fine." 

Here's a lesson I'd like to pass on to my grandkids. Get good at being you. Take the path less travelled when necessary. Unless it's dishonoring to God or unscriptural, don't feel like you always have to fit in. Of course, there are times when you are to do just that. Nobody should want to deliberately upset the apple cart just for the fun of it. There are many occasions that call for us to limit our personal choices to the parameters of others. 

But this shouldn't lead to blind conformity or compulsory speech codes. God made you. And he knows what he's doing. The world needs more people who question the accepted narrative, who are willing to challenge the secular (and even, when necessary, the ecclesiastical) status quo. I hope you will be one of them.