So far I’ve tried to stay outside of the bathroom battles in the “gender” wars. Isolationism is becoming a tenuous position. This post is not a solution to the currently raging conflicts. This is post is simply another effort at highlighting a wise and ancient way to engage the chaos of competing values, perceptions and interests. It is concise, but not immediately obvious or easy.
*And listening to feedback I realize that this is another opportunity for me to be perceived as annoyingly pious and naïve 😉
Biological anomalies at birth, as well as difficult personal narratives, have traditionally been avoidable realities to most Americans. Now we live in an age where the “bliss of ignorance” is hardly an option. Even as information and globalization are overrunning barriers to awareness, Viking-like berzerk advances appear to be overshooting the rally point. Extreme counter-correctives, like taking complex and proportionately rare phenomena and forcing comprehensive and intrusive directives, are more than a little volatile. Perhaps this is a good time to remember general principles from Micah 6:8.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
~ Micah 6:8
Justice & Mercy in Humility
Humility reminds us that trusting that our own perceptions and suggestions are meaningful, but not exhaustive, allows for reasonably gracious engagement. We are not sovereign over all knowledge or power. So we ought to seek to do what is responsible and appropriate, in an appropriate and responsible way, even without assurance of our preferred outcomes; maybe even especially when outcomes are unclear.
Mercy reminds us that it is good to be gracious toward legitimately complex personal situations with which one has not personally wrestled. This is good for our own character, regardless of whether it is returned in kind. Winning a struggle at the cost of one’s character is a pyrrhic victory. Losing the contested territory, and doing so in a manner contrary to one’s values, is a comprehensive defeat.
Justice reminds us that a mandate to counter ignorance and inconsiderate laws and attitudes should be limited to accurate and proportional adjustments, not punitive new forms of distortion. The slippery road becomes increasingly dangerous with violent over corrections. We need clear thinking, restraint and intentional application of necessary counter-intuitive responses.
These reminders invite us to reflect. They do not prescribe with any tactical specificity.
Thank you for letting me post my thoughts on approaching conflict. Grace be with you as you wrestle with your own responsibilities in regard to thoughts, actions, sacrifices and priorities.