As a Presbyterian minister, I represent one of the spiritual voices that The Seminal brings to FDL. My experience as a progressive pastor in a very conservative state (South Carolina) gives me a somewhat unique perspective on the critical issues of the day. Part of what I do in my writing is to foster understanding between the spiritual and secular factions of the left. I also look for common ground between the left and the more reasonable factions on the right.
In addition, I rarely focus on the policy details and day-to-day commentary that is the standard fare of political blogging. Instead, I delve into the broader issues that connect current political debates to the larger sweeps of history, culture, and faith.
The health care fight is a good example of this. Much is being said about whether a public option is necessary, why single payer was never allowed into the conversation, and how political and corporate interests have once again taken over the process. As I see it, my role is not to argue any of these particulars, but is to ask larger questions – such as why we have such a toxic climate for productive debate, why the American public seems willing to tolerate millions going without care, and how we can foster an overall cultural climate that is more conducive to meaningful reform.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Friar Ron Rohlheiser: “Don’t turn right. Don’t turn left. Go deeper. Each side has a part of the whole picture — deep truths that must be cherished and protected. We get stuck in ‘either/or’ mode when we argue on the surface of our belief systems without going deeper into the assumptions that underly those systems. We need to seek ‘both/and’ mode, but that’s a very hard sell to people infected with the virus of ideology.