Recently many politicians and pundits in the United States have been saying that people should be held to account for holding positions that are in disagreement with this belief or that belief. For example, former US vice president Al Gore recently declared that those who deny global warming should be "penalized" for their dissent and refusal to acknowledge that global warming does exist. If some were to have their way, there would be a law to make it illegal to disagree with any "official" government position.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin has jailed numerous detractors who have spoken out against him. One such jailed dissident is an all-girl rock band from Russia that wrote and performed songs that disagreed with Putin and his policies. They are now writing songs in a cold, distant prison camp in Siberia.
The saying goes that "those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it". China, Russia, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Belarus, North Korea, and many other nations have a history of murdering anywhere from thousands to millions of their own citizens, in an attempt to control and crush those who disagree with some sort of doctrine or belief.
What is it that so scares government, political or religious leaders that they are motivated to murder their own citizens or anyone who opposes their point of view? Why was Hitler so afraid of the Jews? Why did Pol Pot find it necessary to murder millions of innocent men, women and children in Cambodia? Why are leaders so eager to control thought and crush those who disagree with them?
Answer: Only liars fear the truth. The truth does not fear dissent, and always leaves itself open to thorough examination. One can find the truth as long as one is willing to accept the truth for what it is, whether or not it fits our political, religious or personal agenda.
Dissent is feared by those who know inside that they are lying or fear that what they want to believe is not true. They are willfully lying to themselves. In so doing, they have to try and force everyone else to agree with this lie in order to achieve their own agenda. When government leaders have this mindset, the result is a totalitarian state in which everyone is required to believe the "official state version of the truth".
The truth however, is immune to lies and does not fear dissent, especially considering that dissent is meaningless in the long run if it disagrees with real truth. The truth will always persist and cannot be eliminated. Lies fade away over time just like the memory of so many who have come before, attempting to force their version of the "truth" on the masses. In the end, the truth holds up, while the lies and the liars who tell them eventually fade away.
Wars, along with much pain and suffering are the historical result of such personal, political or religious agendas. We must remember the history of what has come before if we are to avoid the endless repetition of mass killings and endless wars in the name of this or that agenda. We must always remain vigilant to seek the truth whatever it may be, rather than allowing some leader or entity to define the "truth" for us.