Saturday, August 12, 2006

Differences of opinions and viewpoints

"Freedom rings wherever opinions clash." Adlai Ewing Stevenson
What a good quote!
I've been steeped in my religious and political mindset most of my adult life, but I'm not so closed minded that I automatically turn away other opinions, politics, worldviews, or ways of viewing or worshiping the One True God. I think there is a distinct difference between being open minded enough to thoughtfully consider other viewpoints and mindlessly accepting or bouncing from one way of thinking to another.
People too easily swayed by whatever comes along may not know WHY they believed what they thought they believed before. People too easily frightened by new ideas may also not have a deep grasp of their current beliefs.
Because of my inherent curiosity and my interest especially in expanding my ways to view and believe in God, I've enjoyed the web and blogs in the last year. I've been especially interested in finding thoughtful discussion of faith issues and worship issues and belief issues that are new to me or different from my background.
And thoughtful discussions do exist. Thank you! I love to read a well written explanation of a viewpoint that differs from my own. I may even be persuaded to a new way of thinking!
Unfortunately, there are religious/faith/denominational opinions that are different than my own, that I would like to learn more about, that are being expressed in ways that exhibit more heat than light. By this I mean the writers use leaps of poor logic, overgeneralizations, words that demean others, demagoguery, and even possible slander, when expressing their concerns. These writers could learn from Luther's explanation to the 8th commandment: We should fear and love God so that we do not deceitfully belie, betray, backbite, or slander our neighbor, but apologize for him, speak well of him, and put the most charitable construction on all that he does.
Is it just my imagination or is it true that people on the so called "right," i.e. conservatives, tend to use more name calling and less explanation, and also tend to be less open to real discussion of issues?
A few of my friends have asked me, "Why do you keep reading that stuff?" Well, because I don't want to be ignorant of other viewpoints. But I'd sure like to hear more intelligent discussion of why some of the newer trends in American Christian worship, for example, are so disliked by some commentators.
For those people who equate Christianity with the American Way, Let freedom ring in the sense that Stevenson proclaims.

1 comment:

  1. Freedom needs responsibility... otherwise it's chaos.


And what do you think?