lundi, juin 01, 2009

Walking the thin line

I wish I wasn't overcome with total incredulity when some conservatives talk about abiding by the "original intent" of the those who wrote the Constitution. Who knows how our Founding Dads would apply what they wrote? Do these Constitutional fundies really believe that it's possible to make law without intrepreting it though their own lenses? Of course our experience is a factor when we make judgments. It's fair for others to call us on it, too, if they think we are being unfair.

On the other hand, I find myself almost equally amazed at the disregard of those who argue for continuing reinterpretation without regard to tradition. Roe V. Wade is bad law because it read a basically non existent "right to privacy" into the Constitution. It's perfectly reasonable to argue for a right to privacy, butlet's not pretend it was part of the intent of the Framers.

I have the same problem in the church -- caught between the conservatives, who want to maintain the old order while people flee in millions, and the liberals, who want to accomodate the latest cultural trends without paying attention to the Scriptures or tradition.

Every time we move too far in one direction or another, we run the risk of becoming irrelevant to most of the world. All around us, people struggle to keep a marriage going, or how to get past the first emotional tsunami when a child tells them she's gay, whether they should fudge their income on their tax forms, or pay taxes for the woman who comes to clean their house every two weeks. They won't be helped by ideas given verbatim from 2000 years ago, or made on the fly, based on something we read in Redbook.

It's challenging to balance in the tension between wisdom and revelation. I sympathize with those who want to take sides. But the truly productive work is done somewhere in the murky middle.

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