Monday, November 20, 2006

The Religious Divide

Is there room in America for dialogue between the religious right and "secular progressives"? There have been several non-fiction books written on both sides and they are summarized in this article by Cathy Young.

I've mentioned Heather McDonald in previous posts and her argument that a person doesn't have to be religious to be conservative. I understand her position and others have dissect her opinions. Certainly I think one can be politically conservative without being a Christian. But I think it is nearly impossible to be a Christian without being politically conservative. Whether one is republican or democrat (and there were some moderate democrats elected during the mid-term elections) isn't necessarily the point. Although liberal interest groups primarily control the democratic party and more conservative groups are at play in the republican party. And typically the republican party promotes social conservative positions moreso than the democrat party. I would hope that socially conservative democrats can begin to exert some influence in that party as well.

The disagreements (some would say battles) between people of faith and those without faith has been going on for centuries. And I suspect there is no workable resolution. How can the different sides reach a "happy medium" on issues like abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research? I don't think one can be reached. Are Christians going to suddenly compromise and say that abortion is okay; that gay marriage should be condoned; and that embryos should be destroyed for medical research? I don't see that happening.

If a compromise is impossible, then how do we resolve the bitter disagreements between people of faith and those that are anti-religious? It's a question that has remained unanswered for generations.

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