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I hope one day for a nation whose citizens handle their differences less violently and emotional. One of the most important first steps for the sake of peace is determining issues which are moral or immoral in nature. I suspect those who think all or most issues are their way or you can go to Hell don’t have many deep, positive relationships. We have to choose our battles in personal and national relationships. Failure to do so negatively impacts our children and our nation as a whole.

There are some things in life which there is no compromise.

Most agree that murder or thievery is immoral. One way to distinguish if a matter is moral is whether there is almost universal agreement on laws against certain actions. We don’t have to vote if murder should be a law. Another way to discern if a matter is truly moral is whether extremists would accept actions toward themselves that they force on others. Terrorists would reject being beheaded, raped, or denied freedom of beliefs. Criminals don’t justify their actions; they deny they ever committed such crimes accused of.

We must not claim acts are immoral if the physical rights of others not violated.

Christians often condemn behaviors because of their understanding of God according to a Book. But, biblical scholars who respect the authority of Scriptures don’t all agree the Bible condemns homosexuality which is the point. One who proclaims certain actions immoral according to a Book often fail to admit their view is only one possible interpretation. Two consenting adults who choose to be in a relationship, who feel they can no more choose who they love than straights can, are not violating anyone rights.

Abortion is more complicated because there are questions about when a baby feels pain in the womb. Still, no one can impose their beliefs on someone else because of a Book supposedly condemning such actions. It is complicated if abortion violates the rights of the unborn child, but we at least must have humane, rational discussions.

Not even God imposes moral views on others.

If God imposed supposed moral views on others, why did God not oppose concubines? King David, who probably had hundreds of concubines, was proclaimed a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). Why didn’t Jesus advocate for political change rather than how we love one another in our differences? Why didn’t God demand slavery be abolished? Long lasting change isn’t always best accomplished by controlling love. The Apostle Paul in the New Testament, much like God with the Israelites, perhaps understood to change society within requires independence. There may be steps necessary to accept God’s perspective – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). 

How we can stop imposing our morality on others.

The first step in conflict which may seems obvious is committing to no verbal or physical violence so discussion can be had. This includes belittling and bullying tactics in communications. Then, we must stop moralizing our opinions so there can be discussions. In a democratic society the vote of the majority must be respected. Otherwise, choices are to move away under such a society or actively change the law you believe in for a greater good. Differences must be resolved by defending one’s reasoning, respecting the freedom of opinions, and committing to growing in understanding. The conversation changes completely when treating others how you wish to be treated if in their shoes. Differences don’t have to lead to chaos.

 

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