Why is Our Culture so Sensitive to Even Disagreement?

Agree-to-disagree1My new friend Joel, who blogs over at The Christian Watershed, has made the most sense to me in regards to the whole Duck Dynasty issue going on with Papa Phil right now. It’s thoughts about civil discourse are worthy of sharing. You’ll see on my pages of this blog “The Rule of Mouw“. This rule is what is needed right now in regards to civil discourse in this country, especially in regards to sexual ethics.

“A lot of people today who have strong convictions are not very civil and a lot of people who are civil don’t have very strong convictions. What we really need is convicted civility,” writes Richard Mouw. He has also said, ”Too often in life we proceed with a hermeneutic of self-assuredness and criticism of those for whom we disagree rather than a hermeneutic of self-criticism and grace for others.” I feel this is the attitude and orientation of mind and heart we need to discuss with one another. My friend’s comments get to the heart of this. Forgive me for taking an attitude that isn’t in line with what I say. I’m a product of the same culture, but I’m working on that. Come work on it with me. Hope you can gain something from my friend’s insights:

Do they have the right to fire someone based on a disagreement if that disagreement is founded in religious ideology? If I bring Pepsi to a company party and a Mormon colleague complains, does he deserve to be fired if he points out that caffeine is a drug and immoral (which is an implicit condemnation of all his non-Mormon co-workers)?

I think the entire issue of A&E and some really stupid show points to a bigger issue; we tend to think of homosexuality as an identity rather than an action. But it’s an action and a disposition. Certainly most homosexuals are biologically predisposed to their feelings, but sexual feelings don’t make us who we are. Thus, if someone says, ‘Hey, I disagree with your actions,’ who cares?

The bigger issue here isn’t even if A&E is within their rights (they’re probably not), but why is our culture so sensitive to even disagreement? We can’t even disagree without the threat of boycotts and firings to arise; we want so desperately to feel like we’re fighting for a worthy cause, so desperately to be moral crusaders, if for no other reason than to justify the mundane existence of reality television and celebrity gossip we’ve created for ourselves. A guy disagrees with how some people act and we acted like he was threatening to light the world on fire.

What you’ll see is that I’m pro-gay marriage (with the caveat that the government has no business being involved in marriage to begin with), but I also like common sense. If someone disagrees with me, fine, who cares? There’s a word for being able to handle a disagreement without calling for a person’s head; mature.” Joel Borofsky on the A&E story about Phil Robertson

“[Bigotry is] an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” -G.K. Chesterton

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