When you’re asked these three questions, you’re instantly running into a bitter bloody crossfire.
– Are you for or against gay marriage?
– Are you pro-life or pro-choice?
– Are you a Democrat or Republican?
But I want to counter-ask:
Why do we only have to think within these two opposing grids? Who made up the rules of this conflict? What if there was a different way to do this than the paradigms we have blindly bought into?
What our world does is what it has always done: takes a human issue, forces two sides against each other, comes up with all kinds of pseudo-articulate arguments, and ratchets up the volume.
Is this really the only dang way to communicate?
For many of us, this is all we ever know. The incessant angry yelling ignores the people trapped inside these debates, and we are brainwashed into excluding the “other” based on our own limited understanding of reality.
Real-live multi-layered human beings get lost in the urge to push ideologies — and I keep wondering if there’s a better way to navigate our disagreements.
Our current public discourse always looks barbaric and overly simplistic: because winning your idea at the White House cannot legislate someone’s soul. That’s state-sponsored tyranny.
Even if your side wins, what then? How do we reconcile with the “other”? What do you really win?
How do we offer something more than “Stop it” ..? How do we get off the anti-ground of what we’re against and move towards what we’re for?