(USA Today) Tom Krattenmaker—Learning to tolerate the tension

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Feel the tension? There's a lot of it out there in the body politic this season. We have tension between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama supporters, between Republicans and Democrats, between religious conservatives and secular liberals.

"Tense" is not the state in which most of us are looking to spend our summer vacations. Yet as two of our best politics-and-culture commentators remind us in their recent books, there's a different and healthy kind of tension we should respect in this age of narrow-sighted, all-in commitment to our pet idea or philosophy, as if it were the only valid thing out there.

Government is killing free enterprise. Government must protect our benefits. The religious nuts will run the country off a cliff. We need to turn back to God. So go the competing battle cries. Yet as Ross Douthat and E.J. Dionne argue in Bad Religion and Our Divided Political Heart, respectively, our religious and political life has always benefited from healthy tension between competing principles. This tension is inevitable but, more than that, a key to our renewed success —if only we can learn to appreciate it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

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Posted July 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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