We live in a volatile age. The last decade in American politics and public life has been increasingly dysfunctional, polarized, and vitriolic. Especially troubling is the incivility that increasingly characterizes public discussion and debate.
By Bruce Ashford, The Gospel Coalition
We shouldn’t be surprised.
We live in a secular age. Many or most Americans deny transcendent moral absolutes, viewing morality as subjective or as having developed out of the evolutionary process. Thus, when we debate morality and its application for politics and public life, we have no agreed-on point of reference. All we can do is shout each other down.
We live in a polarized age. We find our nation not only more divided politically than at any time since the 1960s, but also divided along lines of religion, race, age, gender, geographic location, economic status, and educational background.
We live in an age when those on one side of the aisle often view those on the other side as reprehensible persons, in whom little or nothing good can be found. The effect is that citizens are tempted to justify unethical behavior–insults, mockery, partial truths, and even lies–as a necessary means toward the end of “winning.”
Learning from Missionaries
As believers we have an irreplaceable opportunity to help our nation find a better way forward, especially in the tone of our public discourse.