There are those who believe that certain subjects: books, films, music, etc. should be banned because of their ideological slant. What is sad is that in most cases these individuals have not pursued their forbidden list.
They believe what they were told by someone, be it a religious leader, politician, family member, etc. They accept a version of reality without verifying the contents for themselves.
What is tragic is that they want to impose their ban on everyone. It is as if they and their minions must be the arbiters of what is read or what is listened to, and their list is as long as their intolerance.
For it is intolerance—since they believe their way is the only right way and everyone should be following their pathway to whatever enlightenment awaits them in the recesses of their cave. Their cave is only spacious enough for their belief system.
However, there is a fundamental truth which these individuals ignore.
Humans have a creative urge which was built into their genome. Creative expression is an individual’s inalienable right.
One does not have to agree with an individual’s creative expressions. One can choose what film to watch, what art show to attend, what concert to enjoy, what religious persuasion to embrace—the list continues. It is a personal choice.
I remember during the last century where I worked in a far different place, a young lady came to my office. She broke down in tears because she was convinced she was eternally damned.
Why? She had gone to a movie with her boyfriend. Her religious tradition dictated that movie attendance was the forbidden fruit on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you attended, you were lost and your name crossed out in the book of life because your guardian angel would leave you at the door of the theater and would return to heaven in tears.
It seems that certain religious or political dogma heaps a lot of guilt on their adherents if they choose a different path. This is nothing more than cruel manipulation and control.
The young lady eventually left her rigid religious system and embraced one where she found hope and peace as well as assurance of her salvation. Life is too transient to carry an unnecessary burden of guilt up the steep hill of despair.
Fortunately, many young people are figuring out that one does not need to have a rule book to follow for every decision they make. They certainly do not need older men dictating a woman’s place or telling a man where and what he can do with his talents and financial resources.
Recently, some professors were told they could not attend a conference across the pond. The reason was pure and simple—control by their parent organization.
Embracing new ways of thinking is anathema. One has to wonder about the psychological framework in which control is fed by fear of disobedience to the authority of the organization.
Unity becomes uniformity. Uniformity becomes the status quo, and the status quo must be maintained at all costs.
Dissenters become the outcasts. They are viewed as pariahs by the leaders.
The minions who blindly follow their piper’s flute cast derision on these outcasts. They become wanderers in search of a home to rest from their weary journey.
Eventually, they transcend the orthodoxy of tyranny to wander the Elysian fields of freedom. It is freedom to be able to accept others’ creative efforts even though it may not be to their taste; but they know it is essential for humans to express themselves freely.
G. D. Williams © 2017