Why Politics Polarize: Mercy and Faithfulness have Parted Company; Justice and Peace have Divorced

I often note how while my underlying political philosophy is traditionalist/conservative, my positions are often more moderate in practice (since US “conservatism,” has rarely been traditionalist).  I got to thinking last night about how all issues of politics and pastoral theology boil down to justice and mercy.

In “same sex marriage,” those who have been raised with a modernist understanding of “love” and marriage see it as a grave injustice that same sex relationships are not treated the same as marriages among voluntarily sterilized heterosexuals?  While even sterilization can be reversed, artificial contraception and sterilization do amount to sodomy and onanism just as much as any same sex relationship, so they have a point there–as I always say, Christians lost the modern culture wars before they even began, at the Seventh Lambeth Conference.  If two people can “marry” with no intention of ever having children because marriage has become essentially a non-binding legal contract to share property  and rights with someone you “love” (“love” being redefined to mean “this person gives me pleasure”) until you no longer “love” them,, then it is an injustice to say that someone can’t legally marry whomever they “love.”  If, however, marriage is a binding covenant that is stronger than any contract or any other familial bond, legally separable only by death, aimed at unity of two people into one legal person and at procreation, then same sex marriage, contraception and no fault divorce are grave injustices against the institution of marriage itself.

In abortion, the real debate is over perceptions of which party is being treated more unjustly.  If the unborn have human rights, then abortion is (as I believe) a grave injustice.  If the unborn do *not* have human rights, then to make abortion illegal is a grave injustice.  However, because of people’s polarized attitudes, it is difficult to talk of the secondary question: how do we give justice to the unborn and mercy to mothers in crisis pregnancies?

And the latter question pertains to many questions where “liberals” have a point, if not a solution.  How do we show mercy to the mother in a crisis pregnancy without injustice to the unborn?
How do we show mercy to illegal immigrants without injustice to legal immigrants and other citizens?
How do we help people with drug addictions while not performing an injustice against people with legitimate medical needs?
How do we show mercy to people who are financially struggling without injustice to workers who struggle to make ends meet as it is?
How do we show mercy to victims of gun crimes and gun accidents (two separate issues) without injustice to people who are legitimately concerned about self defense (even if they would never own or fire a gun themselves but like knowing they can sometimes save their loved ones by the mere possibility).
How do we show mercy to divorced people who’ve repented without injustice towards the children, wrong spouses, or thoes who have challenging marriages (what marriages aren’t?) and stay together because they believe divorce is a sin?

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3 responses to “Why Politics Polarize: Mercy and Faithfulness have Parted Company; Justice and Peace have Divorced

  1. You pose questions, but do you have any proposed answers?

    • I’m not posing questions. I’m formulating the problem that when there is an absolute moral principle at stake, it’s easier to pose a solution than when it’s a matter of civic justice, but even when an absolute moral principle is at stake there are complexities which people don’t want to address because they fear it will compromise the principle.

  2. Theodore M Seeber

    In order:
    1. How do we show mercy to the mother in a crisis pregnancy without injustice to the unborn? Pay women to be mothers.

    2. How do we show mercy to illegal immigrants without injustice to legal immigrants and other citizens? By separating them into border villages where they can learn the responsibilities of citizenship, receive medical care for their families, and make the choice whether to actually come here legally or return to their home country.

    3. How do we help people with drug addictions while not performing an injustice against people with legitimate medical needs? By continually refining drugs to have fewer and fewer exploitable side effects.

    4 How do we show mercy to people who are financially struggling without injustice to workers who struggle to make ends meet as it is? With government investment in dignified training.

    5. How do we show mercy to victims of gun crimes and gun accidents (two separate issues) without injustice to people who are legitimately concerned about self defense (even if they would never own or fire a gun themselves but like knowing they can sometimes save their loved ones by the mere possibility)? By requiring EVERY citizen to go through gun training in school, and by taking better care of the mentally ill (perhaps by encouraging the Churches to bring back asylums).

    6. How do we show mercy to divorced people who’ve repented without injustice towards the children, wrong spouses, or thoes who have challenging marriages (what marriages aren’t?) and stay together because they believe divorce is a sin? This one is the hard one I don’t have an answer for. Divorce is abuse in and of itself.

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