I’ve stumbled across three different articles over the past 24 hours addressing the subject of ‘Don’t be an ideological evangelist’ (Here, Here, & Here). I’ll take that as a sign that I need to chime in on the subject.
I hail from a church upbringing that was heavy on proper orthodoxy. That may sound redundant to non-Christians, but most Christians who have made any rounds attending different types of churches know that some are “Grace oriented” while others prefer to “Stand firm in the truth.” My upbringing was in the latter type of Church and part of our discipleship was learning to combat false doctrine. By that, I mean learning to debate non-Christians about the truth claims of Christianity and also to debate other Christians to demonstrate why their brand of Christianity was wrong. The ostensible goal in learning to debate was to bring people to a knowledge of Christ, but in practice I think it had more to do with convincing ourselves of our own moral and intellectual superiority.
Long after I left that sect I still brought that combative/persuasive mindset with me. I’ve always had to possess all the answers, and whenever I learned something new, I had to convince other people to agree with me. Not just with religion, but with everything, and especially over the past few years with certain red-pill realizations that I had discovered.
After spending the better part of three decades living under this burden, I finally began to learn to let it go about a two years ago after a series of frustrating experiences. The frustration derived from trying to convince normie friends into believing my controversial stances on certain issues and invariably watching them shutdown- as if preprogrammed to do so- whenever an observation was brought up that clashed with their worldview. The end result was not me bringing normie friends to some sort of enlightenment, but rather them ostracizing me in a soft manner as they instinctively wished to preserve their mental constructs.
In truth, I had plenty of warning to expect such a reaction. Jesus taught his disciple to sow the seed of the kingdom, but also taught them that there were different types and qualities of soil. Some soils were suited for the growth of grain while others were quite hostile to it. Even in the origin tale of the red pill, The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo that not all minds are ready to be opened and that they will fight to protect their programming.
Through trial and error, I learned that two people require quite a bit in common to even have a constructive conversation, let along a productive argument. Unless a person is relatively on par with you in terms of intelligence, worldview, scholarship, and openness to novelty, then you are likely completely wasting your time in trying to convince them of anything. After all, is it even reasonable to expect that Tom could catch Fred up on all of the things he has learned over the course of his life during a ten-minute conversation? Of course not, especially if their perspectives are quite different.
All of this becomes relevant right now as the country watches the riots. And in watching the riots- who is responsible, who is burning and looting, who is financing it, and the ostensible motives for doing so- have many otherwise moderate people reeling right now. These type cataclsymic events are very polarizing. Many people who thought of themselves as moderates before the riots will have their minds softened to become more amenable to the truth. Perhaps you have some normie friends in this position right now who are in a heap of mental anguish. They’ve been conditioned to believe the multiculturalist lie that diversity is our strength. They’ve been led to believe that blacks are poor and criminalistic because whitey is oppressive. Hell, they were told at the beginning of this news cycle that the protests were about justice for a “good ole boy who dindu nothing wrong.” But, what they’re observing with their lying eyes are inner city blacks looting Air Jordans, randomly assaulting white pedestrians, and setting cities on fire. They’re noticing Anarcho-communists laying out pallets of bricks in strategic locations to be used a projectiles. And they’re hearing the media and political establishment attempt to justify these actions as an understandable component of a grieving process.
During this season of low-hanging fruit, it’s still important to remember that you cannot convince people in your social circle to see your perspective. In fact, as I have learned, “laying it on them” often has the effect of scaring them away into a more heavily defended mental position. Instead, if your opinion is welcomed by anyone, simply communicate your observations, make fun of the absurdities, and point out the very obvious incongruities between what is happening and what people are being told to believe by the media. But don’t argue. Don’t debate. Keep it light. You may win an ally, you may not. But don’t over exert yourself into frustration. It is not your responsibility to change anyone’s mind. It is your responsibility rather to open doors and be there as a reference for when their mind is ready.