Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Politics of Reconciliation

Reconciliation is not a popular political choice apparently. I wasn’t going to write anything today, but I noticed the article on Pastor Rick Warren defending his choice to give the invocation at Barak Obama’s inauguration, despite the fact he is openly hostile to the concept of gay marriage. The "left" as characterized by the news report is up in arms over the choice.

I’ve never completely understood the religious animosity towards liberal thinking. I’ve always believed that true Christian beliefs were more conducive to liberal, rather than conservative thought. You know – feed the poor and the hungry and do unto others. Somehow divisiveness over abortion, homosexuality and feminism, led the Christians away from New Deal politics.

I applaud Obama’s attempt at trying to bridge that gap in his bookend pastors for his inauguration – the anti-gay marriage pastor and the pro-gay marriage pastor. Anyone that is truly concerned about getting away from politics as usual and in favor of progressive government policies on an economic level, need to encourage their political representatives and political parties to remove the "moral" and "family value" issues and address what should be the real issues of politics: how best to govern and how best to protect all members of the society. Leave individual morality to the churches and religions and promote a society that isn’t divided, but reconciled towards common goals that we can all agree on.

Political discussion can actually have some benefit when it is about how best to accomplish a goal, rather than fighting over what the goals should be. The goals of a government are simple in theory – "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and secure the blessings of liberty for us and our posterity." Let’s go back to step one – a more perfect union can only be created by knowing when we can agree to disagree. This is the message of Obama’s pastor choice. We must have a society that can agree to disagree.

Our political debates should be about how to better serve justice, peace and liberty with our government, not how with religion and belief.

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