right vs. left: under deconstruction

conservatives vs liberals

One of the things I am very passionate about is how to be a healthy community. Is it necessary for people of differing ideas and opposing opinions and conflicting theologies to clump together in homogeneous segments? Must separation be the ramifications of difference? Must conservatives stick to the right and liberals cling to the left without meeting anywhere in the middle? How can fundamentalists and moderates experience their inherent unity?

How can we make manifest our unity even in the midst of our diversity?

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  • Becky Garrison

    The Q for me is what kind of unity do you want? Seems to me sometimes we need to exercise tough love? Do you make peace with a group like the Family (host of the National Prayer Breakfast here in the United States) even though they are behind the anti-gay bill pending in Uganda and other crapola? Or do you tell them I love you bro but I am not going to play with you until you stop the abuse?

  • David Waters

    by walking our own path. By making our own journey. By leaving others alone to do similar.

  • I remember when there used to be a large middle, so much so that the great lament in politics was that there was no real choice, the party differences seemed to be merely in their nomenclature. They were all centrist. How preferable that seems to me nowadays.

    People are going to clump together. I suppose it doesn’t have to happen, but it will. Your theological view is a part of your culture, and it’s tiring living in a culture other than your own (even as an Aussie living in the UK I’ve felt that). We need a ‘home’ where we can rest from the struggle of understanding the ‘other’. It doesn’t mean that we need to take on all of the characteristics of the clump. When groups demand that they lose contact with the ‘other’.

    Even if the left and right can’t stand to be in the same room as each other, surely there are still enough in-betweeners to keep a continuum of association. Unless, that is, the extremes disassociate due to associations. i.e. using Becky’s illustration, if we were to disassociate ourselves, not only from the bringer of the ‘crapola’ but also from those who associate with the bringer.

  • “How can we make manifest our unity even in the midst of our diversity?” David asks.

    I ask the same. How? Without doing injustice to our unity? But without doing injustice to our diversity?

    How? What does IT take? Beyond whining about the conflict and opposition and why Can’t We Just Get Along and mine, mine, mine because conflict and opposition are ongoing and essential, true? “Without Contraries is No Progress,” says Wm Blake and lion lies down with the lamp and the swords are beaten into plowshares that don’t mean agony and ecstasy are no longer in play, true? How? How? How? What kind of community can tolerate diversity?
    Beyond just the wringing of hands and whining?