Thursday, January 14, 2010

Marriage Equality: talking from beyond our polarization.

The definition of marriage in terms of legal rights, institutional definition, and constitutional ramifications continue to be a large topic in our ongoing dialogue about religion, church practice and what it means to be American in 2010.  This weeks' edition of Newsweek contains an article that is quickly making the rounds on Facebook and becoming a topic of great conversation.  "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage" [includes a video] by Theodore B. Olson.  What makes the article so interesting is the fact that the author writes from a perspective that would seemingly be associated with an opposite viewpoint: a Republican actively working for Marriage Equality.

In terms of religion, specifically Christianity, this same polarization dominates the dialogue field.  Liberals are for.  Conservative are against.  Each claim the center ground of scripture orthodoxy and justification.  Each claim the other as heretical, or unfaithful to the essential tenants of Christian faith.  And yet both poles can't be correct in their lambasting of their corresponding yet opposed position.  An interesting article pointing towards the ways in which the language we use interacts and impacts our ongoing dialogue is on Religion Dispactches: 'Traditional' Chrsitianity vs. 'Liberals'?: It's not that simple.  Another thought-provoking read.  What does 'traditional' mean for us in our faith communities: hymns, clothing, decorations, morality, ethical viewpoints, doctrine?  A hard question when you start from the point that Jesus basically challenged and rearticulated the 'traditional' form of faith in his own ministry.  I wonder if we can even agree on what traditional is, means or looks like?

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