Tag Archives: culture

Healing Our Deep Divisions

Our deep divisions come from an impoverished anthropology.

We must reaffirm that all persons we encounter are made in God’s image with vocations of worship and work, play and rest, mutual self-donation and personal flourishing.

Our new anthropology must embrace created dignity, sin-infected depravity, gracious new creation in Christ and the restoration of all creation, as we enjoy God’s eternal reign.

Class and culture, gender and race are transformed with this new vision.

Transforming our society begins with love and truth.

Love: I desire and act for the good of others.

Truth: I assume responsibility for my decisions while recognizing larger influences I may not always control.

As we pray and work for justice, Pastor Chris Brooks’ words resound:
”We must confront individual iniquity and institutional injustice.”
”Poverty is not permanent.”

Poverty, racism, sexism, classism: all can be overcome with unselfish actions rooted in love and truth.

A free society is a virtuous society.

A virtuous society is built on timeless truth.

And it all begins and ends with self-donating love.

And that love is Triune.

 

 

Hour of Decision for the USA: Will the Experiment Continue? Part Two: The Dignity of Every Person

Pro-Choice. Pro-Life. “A woman’s right to choose.” “Protecting unborn human beings.”

The debate over abortion speaks of a foundational issue concerning the future of the USA: the dignity of each human life. Underneath this issue is another one: is human life a gift from God or Nature or simply a given that the stronger can dispose of at will?

For over four decades, the debates about abortion have raged, with pro-choice advocates defending the woman’s right to choose and their pro-life adversaries advocating the protection of innocent unborn children. Pro-choice adherents focus on the economic, psychological and social harm to the mother. Pro-life camps argue for the protection of unborn children as fully human from conception.

I am pro-life, with some (still tragic) allowances for victims of rape and incest (though with support these survivors may choose adoption or rearing). There is not any way to define the unborn as anything but a human being in formation. And when sexual intimacy in voluntary, the “choice” has already been made.

Throughout history, the Judeo-Christian ethos has protected the broken and vulnerable, in the midst of societies indifferent to suffering. From the Greco-Roman practice of exposing (disposing) of unwanted infants to ending widow burning in India, courageous women and men have defended human dignity. Care for the physically and mentally challenged is another sign of civilized society. Every person matters, whether they are “normal” or not.

For the USA, the hour of decision is here: will we welcome every human being as a gift from conception to coronation? Will we place ethical limits on genetic research and champion two-parent, monogamous households nurturing the next generation as the ideal? In a nation with 10 major family systems and numerous others vying for acceptance, the answer to this question will determine our future.

If we welcome the unborn, protect the vulnerable, respect the aged and revere the mystery of life’s beginning and end, we establish the foundation for all social norms and thoughtful legislation. If we redefine the unborn as disposable and the terminally ill as burdensome, human dignity is displaced by scientism and autocratic notions of productivity overtake compassion – and we are the poorer for this.

Let’s welcome every life as a gift and recapture our God-given rights.

Hour of Decision for the USA: Will the Experiment Continue? Part One: The “One Thing”

We have unsustainable National Debt accumulating by the nanosecond.

There is gender confusion with ten family systems operating in our nation.

Anarchy reigns concerning citizenship and voting.

Porous borders.

Academic, media and political elites despise “flyover country” with its folks “clinging to their guns and religion.”

Reliable allies are disdained and “outreach” to terrorists yields displacement for millions and martyrdom for thousands.

Islamist neighborhoods grow in the midst of urban blight and suburban apathy in the USA.

Conservative Jews and devout Christians are open season for scurrilous attacks while even feminists rarely confront radical Islam.

What is America’s future? Will her two-and-a-half centuries of self-correcting representative government continue? Will the freedoms of conscience/religion, assembly, redress and speech continue or will current prosecution of dissent devolve into chilling restraints of investigative journalism and open access to information? Will citizenship cease having meaning?

This is the first of several posts articulating the values, vision and particular personal and public actions needed for the American Experiment to continue and thrive.

The USA is at a historical tipping point. Then next decade will determine whether or not this unprecedented experiment in human liberty – founded on first principles affirmed by most people of conscience – self-corrects to descends into anarchy and totalitarianism. Amidst all the (necessary) debates on debt, foreign policy and immigration, there is one crucial factor that if ignored, will be the undoing of a great (if quite imperfect) nation.

One Thing

All of America’s institutions, liberties and prosperity are grounded in a virtuous citizenry. A Republic with democratic principles requires enormous amounts of personal responsibility and implied consent on what constitutes the common good. Until the past half-century, most Americans – people of all faiths or none – held tacit agreement on the precepts needed for ordered liberty. These God-given or Natural Rights are the foundations for ethical expectations, reasonable legislation and enforcement of the rule of law. The “one thing” was not a particular religious affiliation or ethnic heritage. It was implied agreement on the timeless ideals that inspire the discipline, hopefulness and sacrifice ensuring opportunity for the next generation.

A First Step

The road to renewal begins asking the most important question: What are the principles for sustained flourishing? From this one questions comes one more: On what basis do we affirm these principles? Are they merely subject to elite agitation-propaganda or momentary majorities?

The answer lies in distinguishing timeless truths from timely opinions. Our Founders and Framers believed that God Almighty was the Source of human rights and responsibilities. Human failure was not a reason to reject standards that engender humility and service. It is time again for open public discussion of the cornerstones of a free and virtuous society. In between theocratic control and secular totalitarianism lies the golden mean of freedom rooted in a moral consensus.

It is time for a civil, lively and open discussion for the sake of future generations.