e-mail: "Why are Emergents so Angry?" [pt.3]

Continuing the e-mail dialogue...

You said: "I also think that it is important to denounce abortion as well as care for the “widow and the orphan.” The two need not be mutually exclusive, as seems to be the case in American politics."

I agree with you, that the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive. And I don’t like abortion. I’ve written several entries on abortion at my blog, so I won’t go into detail here.



I’ll just say, it’s a focus thing, for me. The church has made little progress in reducing the number of abortions through its picket sign battles and attempts at legislation. They are sticking to losing tactics based on principle. On the other hand, many Democrats want to see fewer abortions, and recognize that other types of programs (like education, healthcare, and yes – welfare) can have a positive impact. Abortion numbers decreased during the Clinton presidency. They increased with Bush II. And I’m not “pro-Abortion,” but to denounce something just for the sake of denouncing something doesn’t seem helpful. It seems stubborn. But I absolutely understand your position and sympathize with the spirit, conviction and compassion behind it.


You said: "I think the primary change agent in the world is supposed to be the 'ekklesia', but that for many the view is now that a strong, authoritarian central government is to usurp the role the church was meant for."

Interesting, I guess I would agree with your statement on the Body of Christ. But I would take it back a step and say that the Holy Spirit is the primary change agent in the world, manifesting Christ, and good fruit.

If at any time in the last two thousand years, the universal, catholic, Church effectively and consistently carried out the compassionate work of the Lord, then sure: I’d vote for smaller government. But that hasn’t happened. And it won’t happen now, not in the United States. American wealth and consumerism have devastated our ability to recognize the call Christ places on our lives. We don’t have a clue how to take up our crosses and follow him. I don’t understand how ending government programs that take care of the poor, the sick, the under-educated and under-represented, will “fix” the problem of an inactive, uncaring church. To me, it’s the cart before the horse. So I’ll keep voting big government, and trying to support Christian attitudes that are compassionate and redemptive.

As an aside, I don’t think liberals or Democrats support a “large, authoritarian central government.” That actually sounds very Republican to me, except for the “large.” Most Democratic ideals I am aware of favor a broad, diffused government that delivers a wide array of services to every necessary echelon of society, creating equal opportunity and representation, without overpowering or threatening the will and liberty of the people.

More to come, tomorrow...



3 comments:

Existential Punk said...

Pete,

GREAT responses here and very compassionate yet you speak your convictions beautifully and forthrightly! YOU should be the next host of MEET THE PRESS! You have a lot of Tim Russert in you. i loved him and miss him terribly/

i am pro0choice because i think a woman has the right to choose wht happens with her body. That being said, i am personally pro-life. YET, if i were raped and became pregnant, i am not sure i would carry the pregnancy full-term. i would probably get an abortion. i heard a Catholic pro-Obama say that abortions go down during democratic administrations.This is due to their holistic approach to education, protection being taught alongside abstinence. Abortions are high among the poor. i do not see the Christian right working to improve the lives of the poor. Their wars are on abortion and gays.

i think you articulate a way about the right's rx in a beautiful, thought-provoking way. The republicans don't help the poor or middle class. They help the rich.

i agree consumerism gets in the way of the church taking a more active role but also their morality culture wars do too. They are gonna become obsolete if they don't wake up and move into the 21st century with the rest of society.

Ok, i have ranted long enough! Thanx for a GREAT post!

Adele

Peter said...

Adele, you're too generous with me! But thanks.

I appreciate you sharing your personal feelings about "choice," it's very difficult, and VERY complicated. My hunch is still that there are a lot of things pro-life and pro-choice folks have in common. And if we started from those commonalities, we might actually get somewhere...

Existential Punk said...

Check out the post and comments on this topic on my blog here:

http://existentialpunk.typepad.com//existential_punk/2008/12/i-love-abortion.html

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