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11 July 2005 @ 09:53 pm
Is there any hope?  
As I try to dialogue with conservative Christians I find myself wondering if there's any hope that our splintered society can find a workable compromise? Or worse, if we will come to blows...

Even a polite debate such as I've been having with Josh and before him, Robert, brings to light such huge differences in world view that I find myself wondering how to bridge the gap. What a chasm in how we relate to sexual identity, orientation, sin, "rights", and all these other cultural issues America is grappling with. What kind of bridge can cross this gulf? Or are we simply hoping that each generation will be more tolerant of difference?

How can we make conservative Christians feel secure in their world where they are afraid all of society is going to become a hotbed of sin and licentious behavior where it's not safe to raise their kids, while simply trying to get our rights to marry and love whom we please? How can we reassure them that we are not throwing open the gates to incest and pedophilia? That we're not planning to seduce their children into our "lifestyle"?

How can they reassure us that we are not going to be subjected to compulsory Christianity?

Can this marriage be saved? Or must one or the other secede from the Union?

(see previous post for url)
Current Mood: somber
Current Music: 3 Doors Down
Tapatitapati on July 13th, 2005 04:16 am (UTC)
I know what you mean
I had that reaction initially, but as I kept reading I began to get a better sense of her as a person and realized that she felt she was venting with a group of her own crowd--conservative Catholics. Just as we may get discouraged and vent about "fundies" with our liberal friends, she was feeling free to be snarky with her own group. Then more and more people came, probably from the Joan campaign at first and then word continued to spread about her blog. She began to get snarky comments back and even other bloggers commenting on her posts about her local diocese. Finally she apologized for her snarky comments and I saw the other side of her. She revealed the fear I sensed was lurking under the angry rants. (If people would only learn that when you do that, it disarms the other side and lowers the temperature of the debate...) At one point she asked me why I was hanging out there, and I explained. I offered to stop commenting if asked. She so far hasn't asked me to--even though I began a dialogue with a fellow Catholic named Josh. That has become quite interesting as we've been able to talk over some of the major areas of disagreement over gay rights and I am gaining some insight as to what kinds of presentations of our point of view offend them--and what they find more respectful.

Maybe if we can shift the dialogue to make them feel respected and address their fears we can make more progress. They feel like their entire religion is being undermined by these societal changes; we feel like they want to force us all to live in a theocracy. They have been used to a culture that mirrored their beliefs; it is shifting to a culture that in many respect opposes their beliefs. That's scary. So let's all work to reduce the level of their fear.