July 2006 Archives

Disagreeably Agreeing

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Recently, I had a long email conversation with some friends about an article on gays. Naturally, differences arose and one particular guy voiced his strong opposition to it on the grounds that it is "against God." I took exception to this. At one point, he made some very personal disclosures and his experiences with "working with gay men" and relatives dying of AIDS. Not exactly trivial stuff or glib commentary.

He rooted his entire argument on the grounds of the dictates of his faith, dictates whose very nature are unyielding and absolute. I knew this to be a powerful means for living a sanctified life "apart from the world", but very, very dangerous when operating in it, esp. the public square. His arguments elicited accusations of "holier-than-thou" sanctimony and the like, which upon reflection were unfair but typical in today's political environment of acrimony and bitter suspicion. Here we have a good man taking a position that is God's as he understands it. Yet, some of us saw sanctimony, arrogance, even hatred in his words. The debate is so pitched and positions so entrenched that they can cause hard feelings among the closest of friends. (Even I fell victim to my emotions getting ahead of my judgment.) I knew that the debate was important, but there had be a better way.