Monday, March 29, 2010

Seeking a Simple Solution

Cowboys & Indians

Cops & Robbers

Saints & Sinners

Democrats & Republicans

We like categories. They simplify our choices and help us delineate good from bad. It’s easy to have clear cut lines that distinguish between right and wrong. Much like Ryan Bingham in the film Up In The Air, speaking of his experience getting through airport security quickly. “It’s not racist, I just stereotype. It makes things go faster.”

Categorizing our beliefs would be helpful in bringing clarity if the belief only had two sides. You believe in God, or you don’t. You want healthcare reform, or you don’t. You support gay marriage, or you don’t. The Bible is true, or its not. But I doubt that there are very few issues you and I would come down on either side, with a stark black and white line dividing us.

This is my problem with politics and religion. Both require a choice based on an either/or assumption of any given issue. Religion taught me that I was either for God, or against Him. Politics taught me that I am either Republican or Democrat. If I check the Independent box, I don’t get to play in the regular season.

Yes, it’s easy to categorize, but easy doesn’t always translate into effective, especially when it comes to making progress in religious or political discussion.

I believe there is a simple answer, but simple is not to be confused simplistic.

Digging a foundation is simple, but the work is hard. All it takes is a shovel, a strong back, and a little determination.


Anonymous said...

Conservative vs. Liberal. Terms that have literally no meaning without context (ie., understanding of relative position). And yet, if you use these words, not only does the average person assume the definition, there will commonly be a significant emotional value attached to the response. We have to stop with the labels. They don't help.

Tyson said...

How consistent of you to say that under "Anonymous". :)