Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Basis of America's Cultural Wars and Civility in the Public Square..

Much has been written about civility and I believe it is necessary to emphasize civility in today's culture of "war". America has always valued it's diversity, but whenever one side thinks their side speaks or should speak for all, then there are gong to be problems. "God" can be dangerous in this cause.

The evanglicalfundametalsts believe that scripture is inspired by God and that its contents are to be followed, as instructions God would "will". The presuppositions to such belief is that God is personal. God has a will that He wants everyone to know and serve. And that "He" controls and governs all of life.

Such a view cannot help but propitiate a passion that is virtually virile in what should be a rational and civil discussion about our society and its future. Whenever one believes that God's Kingdom, purpose, plan or value is absolute and that that is to be served unilaterally, one is condoning intolerance, discrimination, and "war".

Leaders of societies have used civility to "read" the pulse of the public and direct policy around those passions, so that society could remain civil without inciting "war". Such was the view of the Founders of our country. They did not believe unilaterally that God intervened directly, but that there was a order or structure that society should function 'under", which was created by our Constitution.

Today, with the knowledge that psychologists, sociologists, neurologists, and biologists are gaining about humans, it seems that our emotions also influence our thought, choices and values a lot more than previously thought. Law does not take into consideration these "unconscious" needs, values or responses/reactions. How does a civil society, such as Western culture take into account such things? Should we take into account such things? These are questions that our Founders didn't address because their culture was not filled with the diversity that we experience today. So, should we limit diversity, if it challenges the foundations of "law and order"? Human needs go beyond what is seen, but also what is "felt".

Those that are seeking a resolution to the "universal" that binds all together must look more to the human experience of tragedy or joy, because other than that, there are no similarities, it seems. And those similarities are what the "secular", as well as the "sacred" value. That is all that needs to be addressed...

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