Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can We Compromise on Compromise?

This is a little more political than I tend to get, but this is something I need to say. First, I open with a comic from one of my favorites, Dan Piraro at Dan and I do not always completely agree on everything, but I know if I sat down with him we could have a polite and respectful conversation in spite of our differences. He really nailed it with this comic:

Image copyright Dan Piraro at
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides us this:
com·pro·mise noun ˈkäm-prə-mīz
1a: settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions
1b: something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things
2: a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial

Lately, in the political arena compromise has become a dirty word. It means caving in. Giving up your principles. Letting the bad guys have their way. Proving you have become a spineless flip-flopper. Yes, this is one definition of compromise. #2 on Merriam-Webster's list. But there is another...

What we need is more of definition #1. The settlement of differences. In a divided organization, the solution lies somewhere in between the two extremes. Without sitting down and talking, without everybody giving up something for the greater good, nothing will change. This is fine when it is in your best interest politically to maintain the status quo, but virtually no one with any intelligence would look at our country today and say we are on a perfect course and no corrections are necessary.

There are some hard issues, and I understand they will be extremely difficult to work through to everyone's satisfaction. But, because someone is on the opposite side of you for a  hard issue does not mean that talking to them on other issues is a compromise (#2). In fact, politicians owe it to their constituents and to the nation to move the country forward. Unless we all agree 100%, this will require some of compromise #1.

Do people really want this kind of complete lack of communication between the parties? Does anyone really believe that is the best way to get us out of the mess we are in?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Catching Up

Well, a lot has happened since my last post. I've become a little more separated from the mainstream church, although I cannot seem to get away from semi-regular attendance and even participation in the Sunday worship. But it is OK. I still believe in the mission of the church, but I have a hard time focusing on that mission for myself, and achieving by participation via the medium of the church. Some of this can be explained in a comment I posted over on this morning, and it included this paraphrase form the Lord Of the Rings, along with the intro:

This discussion brought to mind a short excerpt from near the end of the Lord of the Rings. Forgive me if you are unfamiliar with this book. What you need to know is that these two have literally been through hell on earth together, but one received a grievous wound, and must leave to a place of healing where the other cannot follow. Also I changed the name of their homeland (the Shire) to “the church”
Sam: ‘I thought you were going to enjoy the church, too. for years and years, after all you have done.’
Frodo: ‘So I thought too, once. But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the church, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.
I really like this a lot, but it does sound like I feel I am more persecuted than I am. I tend to think that many Christian sub-groups in this country, especially politically conservative evangelicals, go a little overboard with the whole persecution complex. Still, I do feel that I have done my best to support the greater organization all the while knowing that it was not going to really help me where I needed to be helped. But it does seem to be what God is calling me to to right now, so who am I to argue?