I have debated whether to write this post for almost a week. But something caught my eye this morning which decided me to move forward with it.
First a bit of history. Two of my readers who are both thoughtful and comment frequently on my posts got into a “discussion” on one of their blogs. The exchange became a bit heated, although both participants tried to lay out their differing positions without resorting to acrimony.
One of those readers has a faith-based view of his relationship with life – the other approaches life from an atheistic position. The specific topic which caused the conversation was the issue of “gay marriage.”
Now while they chose to differ in their views on this specific issue, what I find remarkable is that I suspect these two gentlemen probably do agree on the social and political issues with which we find ourselves confronted today about eighty percent of the time. How they arrive at similar conclusions is less important to me than I believe that it is to them. So allow me to offer them the following example to support my position that it is not so significant how we arrive at our destination as it is that we do arrive there.
Consider the case of two car drivers. Both are aware that there are speed limits which we are supposed to observe. The first driver believes in following the letter of the law and regulates the speed at which he operates his vehicle to be certain he always is within the limit – because that is the law. The second driver, less concerned with the law than safety, also chooses to drive within the limit because he believes that doing so will minimize the chance of an accident in which he, his passengers and other motorists will be involved. Does it matter which rationale brought both these drivers to the same conclusion? Of course not.
Religion and science have long been contenders in the battle to explain universal and epistemological truth. They have butted heads often, but a reading of both their histories suggest that they both share a common weakness. That is that while they declaim that what they say is so is so – what they say has and will continue to change over time. That is evident in our religions’ accepting a heliocentric based solar system to replace the geocentric one we saw in the Middle Ages; and that is evident in something as fundamental as the expansion of the periodic table of elements which has occurred in the last fifty years.
There is another commonality between the positions of both the religious man and the atheist. That is that both positions are based on faith – as it is neither possible to prove the existence of God nor to disprove it. We should have given up trying long ago and just accept that “it is what it is – whatever it is.”
But let’s return to the item that caught my eye this morning and to discuss the issue which precipitated the conversation between my two readers. That was an announcement yesterday by NASCAR driver, Denny Hamlin that he and his girl friend are expecting their first baby.
“Hamlin says marriage is not in the immediate plans. There’s no reason to rush into it.”
Based on the number of unwed pregnancies; the number of illegitimate children who are being brought into the world and for whom we are asked for financial support; the explosion in the number of children born into single parent homes which put them at a great disadvantage in the challenge to become productive members of society, do we not have far greater challenges because of the behavior of our heterosexual brethren than to spend our time on the issue of gay marriage?
We know that the estimated ten percent of us who are gay or lesbian did not cause this problem. But they will be asked to pay for the results brought about by it. Is that fair or equitable? My atheistic reader and I would both say no (not to put words in his mouth). I happen to believe my religious friend might agree with that as well.
Frankly, I’m tired of the “Support Chuck-Fil-A” and stage a “Kiss in at Chuck-Fil-A” mentality. Both sides do nothing but further fractionalize us and rather than bring a positive message serve more as media circuses than means to an honest discussion and resolution. And if America needs anything right now it is honesty, starting with our elected officials and with every thoughtful citizen participating.
If I have offended either or both of my readers to whom I address this post I apologize. That was not my intent. I believe that if we focus on the things that divide us rather than those in which we are united, we are dooming ourselves to a dismal future. I know that is not what any of us wishes. And I know that both of you have a message and a perspective which we need to hear and consider. Please keep talking – not only to the world but to each other.
Here endeth the Mediation.