"I’ve wondered rhetorically how our political life would have evolved differently if the Christian re-emergence into politics in the late 20th century had modeled a practical love of enemies."
I've wondered myself what this program would have evolved to be if it had modeled a practical love of its enemies.
The enemies (or as some involved with the show might prefer, the Other) I have in mind are the ones once again attacked, however quietly, in Ms. Tippett's post and, more loudly, in comments here, and who have never been treated on this show with the love shown for people with more liberal views.
I don't think the people who run this show have even an inkling, let alone a full and vivid sense, of how entrenched and pervasive their biases and prejudices are and how thoroughly they have shaped and damaged the show.
"Across the political spectrum, many increasingly turn to journalism not for knowledge but to confirm individual pre-existing points of view. What we once called the red state, blue state divide is now more like two parallel universes where understandings of plain fact are no longer remotely aligned."
Being (the show) has contributed to this. The unmistakable liberal slant, the continual implicit and explicit opposition to certain conservative elements, and the implicit and explicit promotion of liberal views, has inhibited understanding and love of the enemy, and kept the enemy from joining in the project. Being has gathered an audience who largely share its polarized view and has largely left out those who do not. Look at the comments here and elsewhere on the site for unmistakable evidence of this, and of the fact that preaching love for the enemy while not practicing it doesn't work.
This show seems to have taken a special interest in reaching out to atheists and others who are on the liberal fringe of belief. That's a good thing, but it's not hard because so many of them share the same liberal views the show has, which oddly often unify and divide more than spiritual values (perhaps a sign of which values have the deeper hold in our culture). I don't know if the show sees these fringe believers as lost sheep, but there's no question the real lost sheep for this show are the conservatives it's opposed to. Reaching them might require leaving the 99 others for a time, but the call is clear. In losing self by loving the enemy the show can find itself, and help the audience to do the same.
A couple more illustrations:
"We had impassioned and difficult discussions on our production team about his ideas, and the complications and contradictions they present. When he says that, as a Christian, he sees other human beings as “works of divine art,” can that genuinely apply to a person whose sexual identity he defines as fundamentally wrong?"
This appears unreflective. Does Mouw see this as a contradiction, or as any more of a contradiction than the view that humans are both divine beings and fallen beings in respect to things other than sexual orientation as well? Does anyone at Being understand his position, let alone that of more conservative believers? If so, shouldn't it be acknowledged instead of simply assuming there is a contradiction special to his views?
"I want to believe him, to believe that this is one answer to the question of how social change happens."
This also appears unreflective. It appears what you want to believe is that Mouw and others will be open to come around to your views, not that you will be open to change. Why isn't the implicit certainty underlying this viewed as a fundamentalism?
(One more point to reflect on. The Christian view is that God is Love, not Civility. I'm not sure the latter can be substituted for the former, nor that the former doesn't sometimes violate the latter. The New Testament suggests otherwise.)
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