I’ve been witness to this happening too many times. You know the language. If you are this, you must believe this. There is no room for divergent thinking. Otherwise you are threatened with being ostracized from the community, stripped of your identity, left to wander the world alone.
Think about the words that have been fought over in just the past two decades. What does it mean to be patriotic, an advocate for justice, even a “good person.” It gets worse.
The social pressure to conform to a particular set of values on account of how we look, where we’re born, what sub community we’re a part of, is intense. The pressures help set and amplify stereotypes, culture clashes, and the ever growing divide we see in the public square.
So let’s ask a question: what are we actually responding to as we become aware of the moral code we operate by? Are we responding to the pressure of our surroundings? Or is there something deeper, more true, that we should be paying attention to?