An Overdue Notice to My Readers
The “mini-series” I’ve been writing, “At Risk of Repeating History,” will resume shortly. I’ve not been in a hurry to get the next post up because what I am about to say may open a Pandora’s box, and I wanted time to read and reflect and pray. I have some things that need saying, both to my fellow Christians and to Americans in general, about why the current culture war being waged jeopardizes the freedom we all value. Debate is a time-honored part of American democracy, whether in our Congress—which is mostly deadlocked—or in other parts of the public square. A large part of the culture war is not really a debate but a power struggle, and, if either side wins all that they seem to want, we will all lose.
I concluded the last post reflecting on a lesson from the 1960s, a decade of turmoil and division which followed a decade–the 1950’s McCarthy Era–in which divergent views could not be discussed in the public square, well-intentioned Americans looked for Communists on every corner, and we nearly lost our freedom in the name of freedom. The 60s brought a change: the decade opened with civil rights and free speech movements, and the installation of a “hot line” to insure communication so we might never again come to the nuclear brink. I wrote: “We learned again the lesson that, if we are really going to be a free people, we must be free to express our innermost thoughts and beliefs in the public square in a way that would encourage public debate and compromise in our diverse, pluralistic society. Compromise or not, we must be free.”
Thank you for your patience.