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« Consequences/Entitlement/Reward | Main | The YMCA and the March on Washington »


Right vs. Wrong

By Ken Poland
August 19, 2013

The Donkey and the Elephant are symbols for our major political parties. Unfortunately, too many of the members of both parties act like animals with the instinct of survival of the fittest. Definition of ‘fit and proper’ is open to debate.

“Religious beliefs do not require a particular political affiliation, no matter what political pundits presume. Conflating the two issues does a disservice to the complexities of faith and conscience.”

I cannot claim the original construction of those two statements, but I certainly will endorse them. I have known some Democrats that I couldn’t understand their priorities nor their answers to perceived problems. I have known some Republicans that may have had very nearly the same priorities as mine, but they didn’t agree with me on public policy to address those priorities. We don’t all have exactly the same background and life experiences. We don’t all have the same religious or spiritual background. Unless we can have dialogue and consensus we flounder in a sea of turmoil. ‘Either/Or’ is not the answer. Neither is ‘All or Nothing’ the answer.

Scientists and chemists have learned to mix, seemingly, incompatible substances into products that serve specific purposes and needs. Our religious leaders and political leaders must begin figuring out how to blend the human race into compatible communities that meet the needs of humanity. We live in a world that has no physical boundaries. Modern transportation and communication systems make us ‘next door neighbors’. We live in a finite world that has physical boundaries and laws of nature. We haven’t figured out a way of sustaining life, as we know it, outside of the atmosphere of this planet, earth. We, as human beings, had best resign ourselves to the fact that we must live together until life, and specifically our own lives, cease to exist. The theology about the hereafter is very important, but we must look after ourselves for the here and now.

We live in a highly complex environment and society. Not a one of us can claim personal experience to make us experts on all issues. Common sense is not universal. If you take a person, who is a common citizen in a gated community in a large city and plant them out here in the country five miles from their nearest neighbor, their ‘common sense’ will not guarantee them survival. Neither can you expect to take someone who has lived a secluded rural life with little exposure to the fast pace and bright lights of the city to survive on their ‘common sense’, if we transplant them to the city. You cannot take an only child who has never learned to share toys, time and attention and put them in a classroom with a dozen or more children and expect them to have ‘common sense’ to cope with their new environment. Babies are not born with social grace and wisdom. They acquire them. And, their environment and family experiences have a lasting and profound effect on who they become in society.


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