Public Discourse and The Language of Derision

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Public Discourse and Derision

Good words from Fr. Schmidt. We easily embrace words that by their nature are polarizing and then wonder why the 'other guy' gets steamed. If you are not Pro-Life, are you pro-death? If you are not Pro-Choice, are you anti-choice or pro-Fascist? If you are not progressive, that makes you regressive, a knuckle-dragging primitive. If you are not orthodox, that makes you heterodox, i.e., a heretic, the original inspiration for the first all-church barbecue. How about those folks on 'the wrong side of history,' the moral first cousins to those who once embraced slavery, segregation and the repression of women. Why do some people get steamed when they are labeled in that way, for that is what they are, as any sophisticated person knows, right? If we "love everyone...period,' then those who disagree with us clearly are homophobic haters. And of course what is the great sucking sound coming from conferences that are refusing to obey the Discipline? It's God's judgment enacted through collapse in worship attendance and membership...but pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, from conferences that clearly affirm the teaching of the church in human sexuality but likewise are in unmistakable decline (in this country). I hope we reclaim the honorable use of 'liberal' and 'conservative,' and leave the language of spin in the dryer where it belongs. And if our first address to those with whom we have principled disagreement is the New Testament, "Brother" or "Sister," rather than "Spawn of Satan" or "Homophobe leech," life somehow will become a wee bit easier for us all. I guess it's all about taking Ephesians 4:32 out of the freezer and living into it.

Bob Phillips more than 4 years ago

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