Saturday, January 5, 2008

Where We Live

What also strikes me (playing "angel's advocate" to myself) is the fact that Christ calls us to live in the precise circumstances we're given -- that, like it or not, I happen to be an American citizen living in 2008.

Suzanne, I'm so glad you raise your thoughts because you are echoing the dismay so many feel, and we have the chance to judge this and see how to live as Christians in the world. I don't mean who precisely to vote for, but how to participate in our civic life while seeking the meaning of all this. I hope you didn't feel scolded. ;) I'm trying to understand for myself, so that I won't take a reductive, unhopeful position about our country's situation.

I have often felt resigned about many things in our country, such as abortion or war. Instead, I see so many speaking out for what they want. It struck me that the stem-cell research debate would not die, despite the insistence on letting science have a free hand for "progress". When these researchers found a new way (adult stem cells), they did want something that would not be offensive to so many. It means that the minority is heard, as long as we don't quit. It has been true of the torture debate, which the public won't let up on. It's true of the desire for respect for life, which continues to be a large factor in this election. We're tempted to give up if we think it's about winning instead of about witnessing. And in the end, the victory is Christ's.


Suzanne said...

No, not scolded by you or anyone but myself! I've been intensely sick for the past 36 hours and can't post yet, but I will -- after I can get something other than water into my system! Thank you (to everyone!) for everything -- including the very respectful tone of this conversation -- a factor that brings me great joy to speak about something I ordinarily hate to talk about...

JACK said...

Clairity, your last line is so true.

But, wow, what a tough place to give witness, especially for those running for office. Of course, as a result, what a place desperately in need of witness!

I've talked about this a number of times with a dear friend of mine who is a State representative in NJ. I've witnessed just how nasty politics has gotten, even on that level. I personally don't know how he does it and I also fear that the battle will be too much for him at some point. The thing I care most about my friend is his soul and I don't want to see him eaten up by an evironment that does that to too many good people.

It reminds how much that witness is not a solitary thing. It is something done from the foundation of a companionship. After all, when one witnesses, one is witnessing to something other than yourself. But it is just so hard to give witness if one isn't doing it from the root of a lived companionship with tangible people.