When I was a teenager at the university, life became clear for the students around me. Each one was compelled to be a maverick in taking a new lifestyle back home. We invaded our communities with new concepts that disrupted the status quo. We shared our new radical ideas of respecting those who might be offended, while voicing our well thought out dissenting opinions.
Today’s university students have also become radicals in bringing new ideas to their communities. Their passionate lifestyle is about not offending anyone and punishing those who dissent or do not conform.
Yesterday morning, I read about a small church whose pastor worked a corporate job so the donations could pay the bills and go to the needy. He wrote blog entries to encourage his church attenders and shared biblical principles about love. Because his writings on love were not inclusive, a group of students felt he needed to be “punished.”
His corporation was bombarded with communications, each stating the importance of alignment with the LGBTQ community, so as to not offend anyone. Consequential threats accompanied each communiqué. The man was immediately fired to protect the company image.
The university students made it clear that any dissenting opinions would be punished. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a list of rules or allowances to follow, leaving everyone guessing if their next words would be safe or punishable.
The University I attended taught us how to think based on logic and laws. We were also taught how to consider abstract ideas and transform them into something real, tangible and measureable. In other words, we where taught how to give an opposing viewpoint with respect.
Today’s universities have closed the doors on dissenting opinions. All decisions are now filtered through the lens of not offending anyone. Hundreds of commencement speakers are cancelled each year once a search commit or a student finds that the speaker had a differing opinion twenty some years ago.
The best comedians of our day have been booed off university stages for using humor that makes fun of anything or anyone. The audiences are no longer able to discern any perspective except for the community based, politically correct viewpoint.
Public restrooms are now being called under the filter of the offense index. To make sure the LGBTQ community is not offended, pressure is being put on corporations and schools to allow people to choose the restroom they feel compelled to enter. Few dissenting opinions rise, as most people stay silent in order to keep their jobs.
Last weekend, a man suggested that to make sure 2% of the population is not offended, we offend 80% of the people who desire a safe haven while they take a bio break. Those not voicing a dissenting opinion, empower the 2% to come up with more things that will soon offend them. This will give them leverage to control and conform society to their ideals rather than to the ideals of the majority.
Historically, once a movement removes all the dissenters, only those in power take control, not the ones that put them in place – until the weak in society increase their numbers and regain their voice. The natural uprising historically turns the tables and brings the society back to reason and law, or it disperses the society in its collapse.
The only way to avoid this destruction is to give a good listen to all dissenting ideas, while only punishing those who break laws rather than arbitrary PC ideals. But, the universities no longer allow for free speech that promotes all opinions.
The days of speaking your mind and receiving respect are quickly evaporating. This is partially due to Millennials not understanding that respect only means acknowledgement, not the agreement of an idea. Until society once again realizes that acknowledgement and agreement is not the same thing, dissenting opinions will continue to be deemed guilty by those in power.