We get funny ideas about ideology. We forget that we work holistically, and not compartmentally. That is why it can be so easy to be offended by the suggestion that working to convince someone in a religion sense is ‘not good’ while working to change someones ideas about how they should be governed might be ‘good’. But it is all working with one’s core ideologies.
Or as Christians like to call it, “the heart”. We applaud the use of this in our open dialogs and our use of public medias…. and then turn around and frown at the idea that someone is messing with another’s religious convictions.
But shouldn’t it be up to the individual to decide whether there is merit in the argument? Whether it is religion or politics?
Does suppression of the forum of ideas serve freedom of choice?
Political correctness, or cultural etiquette, or fanatical dogma, they all produce the same thing when allowed out of the cage of personal decision making. When persuasion becomes oppressive force and manipulation. The illustrations of that are all too many in history.
But that doesn’t make all persuasion in changing ideology and conviction all bad. It just creates a balance of perspective of how far we may go and what tools we may use to influence our fellow man.
Evangelism is perfectly good and useful. We use it all the time in some form or another. Ideas and man’s hearts are in constant flux. To pretend that we aren’t changed in our ideas every day is folly. We are either strengthened or weakened in the what’s and why’s of our beliefs.
The question is not whether we should influence one another in our convictions, but the how and the why and the benefits or problems in the outcome.
We daily ( nowadays) expect that moderate Muslims will influence their compatriots to moderate their means of persuasion. And terrorism is simply an unacceptable, immoral means of persuasion; it is meant to institute change in peoples ideas and how they live out their lives. What they obey.
But where does the acceptance of terrorism as a means come from? It comes from a core ideology. Somewhere along the line it is accepted within the core beliefs.
So that is where the change must come, no matter what sort of fanatic one is dealing with. That is where debate, discussion, diplomacy, education finally aims, isn’t it? The heart. The heart of each individual within listening distance, which eventually will become the group, which will become the driving force of society’s direction.
There is an idea of good in man, all mankind operates intuitively on the concept that there is good…. the ideologies simply are the expression of what we think that is.
The realities are what we see the ideology produces. If it produces terrorism it should change. The gut of every man will tell him that at some point. It is up to the mind of a man to interpret that intellectually and act volitionally.
You can see I am totally unrepentant of the idea that we should share the gospel: give good news to our fellow man that will free him.
And freedom is good, is it not?