Recently I’ve seen an increase of online articles with titles like “What Every Pastor / Christian / Husband / Wife / American / (or whoever) Knows / Wishes / Thinks / Believes / (or whatevers) About (Whatever” (feel free to fill in your own blanks). This is not a comment on the content of the articles themselves, but mainly the titles and by association the presumptions that go with the posts.
How can anyone presume to know the thoughts/wishes/desires/etc. of “Every Pastor” or “Every Christian” or “Every True American” or “Every Anybody” for that matter? If there’s one thing I think I know about pastors, it’s that they don’t all think the same way. Same for husbands, wives, Americans (True or False), Christians, Muslims, Southerners, Mid-Easterners…
While not many people put such presumptous titles on their ideas, I wonder how many of us still assume that we speak for everybody else, or at least for everybody with which we want to identify or associate. Does stating that we speak for everybody else lend more weight or validity to our ideas? Or do we think/hope it makes more people more inclined to read what we write?
Maybe presuming to speak for whole groups of people has just become an accepted literary device. I hope not. I, for one, don’t want to accept it. Maybe more humble sounding titles won’t get as much attention or sound as important, but I’d rather see more posts with headings (and more importantly attitudes) like “What This One Christian/Pastor/Husband/Wife/American Thinks/Wishes/Believes/etc At This Moment About Whatever.”
Maybe it's just me.