Weekend Ponderings: Doing Unto My Political Other

This weekend I was directed to a wonderful article by John Mark Reynolds entitled “Doing Unto My Political Other: 7 Suggestions for Christians in the Public Square.”

The article reminded me of a couple of recent exchanges I’d had with a couple of “open records advocates,” who (though they did not bring up any new information to me, and the conversation ended without either of us substantially changing our positions on the subject) did a good job of following these principles. Thanks, David and Mei-Ling.

I’d like to include a brief snippet of the article here:

Some research suggests that Americans share many common values, but this research obscures differences in how we prioritize values when goods come into conflict. For example, most American value personal liberty, but when it comes to health care many Americans place a lower priority on this than on a strong social safety net. Those that make the opposite choice, valuing liberty over services, seem cruel to the other camp.

They agree on the values, but have fundamental differences on how to apply them.

Persistent and pervasive ethical differences can begin to strain the republic’s politics by discouraging compromise. When the gap between our assumptions and our opponents grows too large, our opponents become not just wrong, but perverse or wicked. Nobody hastens to compromise with the immoral!

The results are bad when pressed to an extreme. Some Americans will not even listen to a fair exposition of moral views with which they disagree, even if the majority of the nation believes them.

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