09 October 2009

terms of engagement

One of the great problems in the current society, be it secular or not is that we do not argue, discuss or debate very much. We do talk past each other rather a lot. A recent example happened in the post before this one, another is the conversation or lack of it, on healthcare.

I reported that a secular Pennsylvania court had ruled in favor of the Episcopal Church. The response was a quotation of a set of verses the author apparently thinks confirm his belief that lesbian & gay sex is sinful.

Let's consider the terms. The decision was secular. It was not about sex it was about property law, I never suggested it changed doctrine. In fact I just re-read the post I wrote. Not one word there about sexual morality, sin or church doctrine -- I simply did not write about that. But he argued about it.

The closest thing I can find is the rather tenuous connection that while Mr. Duncan continues to claim the schism is not about homosexuals he uses some people's issues with them as a club. Leaving aside the integrity issues he disregards, I suppose that using very bad logic the argument can be made that anything that TEC does, any success it enjoys favors lesbian/gay sex. Really? If someone sends us a thank you note for food aid, that makes lesbians or gays more powerful?

I see the same sort of talk past conduct in the healthcare debate. I could not care less about how German, Canadian or English healthcare works. I care about how American doesn't. I want to know what Congress (not bloody parliament!) wants to do with American tax money.

The bills before Congress do not copy Europe or Canada, they set up a new American system. But if one tries to talk about our circumstances and what our people need, I guarentee you will hear about some malfunction of a bureaucrat in England. No one wants to talk about the HMO in the American "free market system" that told a woman to have her leg amputated because it was cheaper than saving it.

So I wonder some days, and it is grey and cold in Chicago, if any conversation will help. If we do not listen to each other, if we wont stay somewhere near a topic, is it possible to land up with anything like progress?



Rick+ said...

     Sorry you received such an unexpected broadside, Jim. The dangers of blogging and anonymous comments, huh?

     By nature, I don't think humans were constructed to listen well. Instead, I find my own natural inclination to be to state my point of view, express my needs, etc. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why contemplation is so important - it teaches us to listen. No matter how many times I recite the Prayer of St. Francis, I always feel I have drifted from its intent to put others first. Christianity is, in a sense, against nature in that it calls us to listen to the needs of others before our own. It is one of the things that helps me believe in the inspiration of scripture - no human would have come up with such a system.

     Dealing with differences in opinion and difficult issues does not begin with preparing arguments and crafting words - it begins in prayer.

drew said...

Dont get the lack of sunlight win.The free market of ideas only seems naive until it works.

JimB said...

Hi guys,

I did not object to the comments. After all, I have moderation on (anyone who is not homophobic will get some very nasty-gram posts from time to time, and I simply kill them) and I published the posts.

The issue, and yes Drew this is a marketplace of ideas problem, is how we can get to a real conversation. I for instance have given up where creationists are concerned. But that is not a good answer -- merely my exhaustion.


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