Saturday, December 21, 2013

Of Ducks, Dynasties, and Dissent

Dear John,
It's been raining all day. And the basement is dry as a bone - bless you again for the sump pump!
I'm sure you've been hearing about the Duck Dynasty shemozzle. I've never seen the show. but I've had to weigh in on the issues and raise some questions. First, should tolerance be extended to all ends of the political spectrum and to all religions? Second, are there limits to tolerance of positions one disagrees with, things so taboo that they override the taboo on having taboos? Third, am I the only person who has the rule to not ask a question that you don't want answered? Fourth, as somebody else asked, when you sign a contract with someone because they're a certain type of person, why would you fire them for being that type? Fifth, is there anything else going on in the world that we're missing?
My first comment on the matter was that A&E has made a serious mistake - they ticked off the Boomers. Our generation  has never had any patience with not being allowed to have or voice an opinion. Political correctness is not the product of the Boomer generation. We're the most politically incorrect group to come along in over a century - we made our reputation being as incorrect as possible for the fun of it. And we love guys with long hair and beards, and have little love for big corporations. And we've made an art form out of protest and boycotting. And we're big. Ticking us off has economic consequences.
My second comment was to just post this. I've been trying to say this for years, decades, and I've never been able to say it this well. I love a man that gets this, and even has the courage to say it out loud. This is the crux of our long-time affiliation with the Democratic party. But even it seems to have forgotten this now.
It seems fundamental - respectful disagreement, unconditional compassion. And it has a crucial corollary - we have a responsibility to judge positions and beliefs, but we dare not judge persons.
And all of this is part of why I'm Eastern Orthodox. The Church Fathers got this. This morning I was reading the Athonite Gerontikon, the chapter called "On Criticism and Accursed Judging," and I kept thinking about this situation. Our generation was right - love is the answer. But not everybody realized that love of that kind isn't possible apart from Christ.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about this situation. Phone call, text, Skype, Facetime, or a visit would be fine - whatever works for you. You have no idea how much I want to talk to you about this. So try to work out something for me. Of course, I'd be more than happy to come to you!
Love you, miss you, want nothing in this world except to come to you!

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