As an Australian, it is confronting to discover the impact that World War 2 has had on the myriad of communities throughout Norway. Although horrific, the attacks on Australian soil were minor in comparison to the relentless impact on civilians in this area during WW2.
Nearly every town has a memorial or museum recalling the trauma of the war. Each recounts the destruction of homes, businesses and individual lives.
The Borderland Museum in Kirkenes, just one example, recalls the impact of being caught between the Soviets and the Germans. Hitler wanted to cut off sea access to Murmansk, an all weather northern port, which meant that this area of Norway became the scene of heavy fortification and of intense battles. No person and no place was spared. Communities and lives were destroyed, and if not totally destroyed forced into a huge upheaval.
This makes the Russian encroachments on Ukraine all the more puzzling. Haven’t we seen enough mass graves and destroyed towns? Haven’t we learned the lessons of manic ideology and rampant nationalism? For countries like Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Baltic states, current events in Ukraine are not hypothetical. There is a tangible history of what happens when tyrants are allowed to run loose.
The modern world has become even more confusing than ever before. Innately, as post-moderns, we create our own meaning and discover our own “truths” so that we can be “authentic”. However, it is increasingly clear that some people’s “truths” trump others. It is ok for a biological male to identify as a woman, or anywhere in between for that matter, but clearly it is not socially acceptable for a conservative Christian to hold a view that biology and gender are connected.
The result is that we end up with an attempt at “inclusivity” that clearly excludes some. The story of the “Pride Jersey” in the recent Rugby League debacle shows that “inclusivity “can only go so far. For the South Sea islanders of faith, it is clear they couldn’t be included. We can add: so much for “celebrating diversity” as well – another popular mantra.
As a result of this confused, self-centred and self-authenticated thinking which, incidentally, needs the approval of other like-minded people, we have, ironically, excluded others and failed to acknowledge their unique views shaped by faith. In this Brave New World we all need to think the same as those who have shaped the latest views on gender and sexuality. By the way, there are so many other dimensions to our humanity than just sexuality, but it seems that our sexuality is vastly more important than any other facet of our multi-dimensional humanity.
So my question is simple: Why do I have to think the same as others to be socially approved? I can’t stop a woman thinking that she is a man, but why do I have to agree? My approval or disapproval will not make a whit of difference. It seems we are headed for a social dictatorship where the views of the majority will be imposed on the minority. Is this just?