Encouragement For A Difficult 2020: Dr. Tony Caito

Welcome to pandemic politics in America with an impeachment, riots, COVID-19, Supreme Court confirmation, and an election—it hasn’t been pretty. 

The great thing about being governed by a rule of law, however, is that we can usually say, “We have a process for that.” Enter COVID-19 and we’ve had to scramble to reimagine what a free and fair election looks like.

America has rich religious, ethnic, racial, ideological, and linguistic diversity requiring us to cleave together our many disparate wills—cleaving requires compromise. This is challenging because we are an increasingly individualistic, power-calculating, and rights-aware culture that has exceptionally high expectations of our laws and markets. 

Democrats’ and Republicans’ half-hearted adherence to liberalism is sowing seeds of doubt that the other is negotiating in good faith, 

minimizing harms, and responding proportionally. Further, when mutually valued resources are perceived to be scarce, indivisible, and unfairly accessible, pitched zero-sum political battles emerge

Americans are increasingly asking themselves if they should risk dividing the union they have to forge the union they desire. 

How then should the church engage with American culture and politics: should it reflect popular cultural norms to attract the lost; bow loyally to the will of the state to curry political favor; erect a wall of separation to maintain purity; insist the state remain within its sphere of sovereignty; seek Christian interests through power politics; or be social justice warriors on behalf of the powerless? 

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