Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

From my post on the WD under "When is it Socially Acceptable to Have Faith?"...

I received an email from my uncle, including the following excerpts from a conversation with a friend, "I'll never understand partisan politics. It's never about what is good for the country, it's only about whether republicans win or democrats win. Democrats cannot impose their will on republicans anymore than republicans can impose their will on democrats. So why do both sides continue to try?...Politics don’t seem to be a 'different means to the same end' anymore." And I see his point. Neither side is willing to give up ground, because it would mean "losing". Both sides see only hate on the other side, and not understanding (and sometimes the unwillingness to understand - see the phenomena of talking past each other on talk shows) where the other side comes from contributes to the generalizations and petty nitpicking that contribute to the "faith is stupid" attitude.

I can't help but think things would be so much better if each side was not so convinced that their way was the only way and the other side might have some valid ideas and concerns. If they truly worked together, they might come up with a solution that is mutually acceptable. Not perfect, acceptable. The Iowa Senate is exactly divided 25/25. There's no legislation on how to deal with a split house, and they had to figure out how to share power equally. I am estatic. I think it means that a lot more thought and viewpoints and compromises will be required for legislation, and I think that the good of the state will have to become more of a factor than any party platform.

But back to the question of faith vs. reason. How long have I been struggling with this question? The only way I've been able to truly reconcile this is to separate the church from God. That solution isn't going to last long, but for now... How can I condone amending the constitution to specifically point out a group of people and say, "You're less of a person than we are." That is exactly what the church advocates. But is that what God would advocate? My reason says no. My faith wants to say no, too. But that's not what the church says. So here I stand. Is it selfish to want to be able to have the choice to have an abortion? I want the ability to choose, but I hope to high heaven that if I were in that situation I would not choose to kill my child. What about stem cell research? There's all these embryos, frozen, and they could be going towards research, but their lives are precious. If these lives were so precious, why do they sit there? Do these embryos have souls? They are neither dead nor alive. Why do we allow IVF that creates them in the first place? It doesn't sound reasonable. What would God want? I can ask that question of any 'controversial' issue. What does God want? What information do I have to figure that out? What information do I trust?

Faith and reason. Sometimes they do seem mutually exclusive. If I have these questions, how much more do non-Christians have these questions? At what point do I abandon reason and just have faith? At what point is it irresponsible to do so? I can't just not have a position. It seems like the consequences of being wrong are so great. Politics and religion. Such a tricky balance. Neither Christians or non-Christians want it to be a tricky question, but for different reasons. All or none. If there's room for religion, how much? What values do we want espoused in our legislation? What determines what kinds of values are appropriate to be espoused in our laws and which aren't?

I think I'm better at asking questions than answering them. I don't expect answers, and I'm really not sure there are any. Sometimes I just wish I was a cat, and my only worries were food and naps.

1 Antiphon:

4:48 PM, November 19, 2004, Blogger Nicole

Maybe I'm a cat---hmmm--I need to think about this--food and naps are VERY high on my priority list....

 

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