I don’t buy the Chicken Little mania of the progressives who think the sky of freedom and protection for women is falling.
Nor do I buy the triumphalistic crowing of the conservatives who are hailing this as a monumental victory for religious liberty.
The culture wars exhaust me.
Oh sure, on some level I’ll try to stay informed, but when are we going to stop letting media pundits and propagandists define what’s important and what we should give our attention to?
As I said in a comment the other day, I watch no cable news, nor do I give a minute to any of the smart asses on the right or left who comment on the news. I can’t afford to.
Who has time to soak up all that blather and bluster? No wonder people seem so angry all the time. And Christians often come across as angriest.
Do you know what scares me most?
When Christians think they must win in order to win.
This is the great methodological heresy — that Christians win by winning.
Sometimes it’s the conservative Christians fighting for morality and individual freedom and sometimes it is the progressive Christians fighting to uphold the social contract so that groups they deem oppressed can gain their version of justice.
Many of the causes for which culture warriors fight are good. Many of the methods they use to fight for them are not. And when one side or the other wins a battle that advances their cause, the triumphalistic pronouncements that follow are often hard to stomach. You read headlines like:
The left’s hysteria over the Hobby Lobby decision
The Supreme Court defended religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case; it didn’t ban birth control
Feminist Outrage Over Hobby Lobby Is A ‘Cynical Game’
Of course, these are then answered by wailing and lamentation from other side:
Ginsburg Got It Right: Poor Women Are Getting Screwed By Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby ruling jeopardizes women’s health
A minefield of extreme religious liberty
Guess what? Next week few will be talking publicly about this anymore. But now, by God, this case is being touted as the linchpin of all that is sacred by every screaming mimi out there with a strong opinion one way or the other.
Both sides have bought into the “war” imagery and mentality. What matters is that we win and our “enemies” lose. What matters is that we gain power to implement what we think is right and that we strip our opponents of power so that they can’t. How we get there, well, let’s not talk about that. All’s fair . . .
True enough, but it doesn’t say that love gloats. Love doesn’t rub the opponent’s face in it. Love doesn’t dance around singing “We Are the Champions” and waving banners. Love doesn’t imitate the Roman triumph, a victory parade in which the vanquished were put on display, shackled and shamed, before the swaggering crowds.
But that’s the natural result of making winning the goal and of thinking that you achieve that goal by triumphing over the opposition.
If Jesus taught us anything, it’s that his followers win by losing.
By laying down our lives for our neighbors.
By loving our enemies, turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, praying for our persecutors — doing the counter-intuitive thing, the unnatural thing, the dying thing, the cross thing.
For the life of me, I’ve never been able to see how to be a soldier in the culture wars and do that.