Friday, November 09, 2012

partisan campaigning and vitriol in politics and church politics

Or I could just call this blog post "Why American Christian bloggers need Canadians" :-)

http://kinnon.tv/2012/11/zero-sum-games-the-church.html#comments

I would state, rather categorically, that if there is a state religion in the U.S., that religion would be organized sport. The level of angst that exists for the success or failure of one’s team is more than a little disconcerting - especially when the fan is a Christian, or a “Christian leader.”

...

At it’s very worst, this American obsession with winning teams is exemplified by what was allowed to happen under Joe Paterno’s leadership at Penn State. Winning at any cost — even if that cost was children sacrificed on the altar of pedophilia. UPDATE 3: View this graphic. And weep.

... One of the manifestations of this is the prevalence of trash talking that began in sports but has become a very noticeable part of social interaction. It’s roots may be in the rather innocent, “Hey batter, batter” of baseball but the language is far stronger today — and much more destructive

http://www.mereorthodoxy.com/controversy-and-interpretation-biblical-womanhood/

... That may be sarcasm, and I might have missed it. I was born in Canada, which means I don’t do sarcasm. But it sure seems like she set out on her reading with her conclusions predetermined, which isn’t exactly modeling the sort of hermeneutical sympathy that we might admire. ...

I’m no Roman history expert, but I take it that it was their love of entertainment that led them to the Coliseum. It’s a bloodthirsty idol, entertainment, for it knows no boundaries nor respects no persons. Over the past two years, Christians have engaged in a variety of controversies—which they have been doing for a long time, but which seem to be coming and going with a greater rapidity while being discussed at a significantly more shallow level. I think of Rob Bell’s book, Jesus>Religion, Mark Driscoll’s book, the Wilson dustup, and now this conflaguration. And there are, I think, others I am forgetting.

In each, the form of arguments have rarely been commendable and the level of discourse ennobling. We have increasingly, it seems to me, been taken by these controversies and fought for pageviews in the midst of them. And that has meant mostly fighting each other, clashing verbal swords and letting the digital blood flow in the streets. I know well that there is a time to disagree and to draw lines. And I also know that when the controversy is upon us, the drumbeats of war always beat the loudest, and it is usually in such moments that we should speak of peace. Perhaps we would all do well to wield our intellectual swords with a good deal more care.

Been thinking all week of things to say in addition to these observations but I've found it hard to put those thoughts into actual words I like. 

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