To thine own self be true.

In 20th Century Literature, we looked at the Orwell short story called “Shooting and Elephant”. The policeman in the story was under obligation to shoot the elephant to appease the masses even though he himself didn’t want to shoot it.

It was expected of him to kill the elephant that had rampaged the village. The villagers demanded it. The imperialist force which the policeman worked was to be respected by the people. To not shoot the elephant would bring disrespect to the ruling imperialists. “They might laugh”. Is this a reason to compromise your beliefs? To go against what you believe?

The policeman had a war raging within himself. Does he save the imperialist government face, does he enforce his power over the people by taking away the livelihood of one man for the sake of the masses. By giving in to the wishes of the people and doing what his employer demanded, he was going against what he truly believed. This is often the cause of mental anguish.

I want to explore the issue of Christians who are same sex attracted. They are conflicted because to be accepted within the society in which they wish to engage, whether that be by choice or family commitment, they need to deny themselves their feelings, suppressing the natural urge within themselves to be same sex attracted. Even now, after the closure of conversion camps, churches are still telling young men and women that the feelings they have for the same sex are wrong. They are confusing feelings with thinking here.

As Orwell expressed in 1984, They can change the way you think but not what you feel. Big Brother expected you to think the same as everyone else and in line with party thinking. To not do so was considered a deviation, even a crime. It was considered un-natural to want individuality.

“To thine own self be true”. Shakespeare says in Hamlet. Orwell is warning against becoming a puppet to the will of others, putting aside what you know is right.

Within the last government, it was decided by the Liberal party not to give the conscience vote to its MP’s on marriage equality. If a person wanted to keep his job, he had to toe the party line. So there is a cost of conviction.

With the change of leader of the Liberal Party, and thereby of our country what has changed? Nothing really. The policies of the party are still being followed. The conscience vote for same sex marriage is still not available. The only thing to change was the language being used. Mr Turnbull is more skilled in the use of his vocabulary and language, that he is able to fool us, the voters, into believing things will be different under his leadership. Will this be the truth? Or is it just double speak. Double plus good.

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