Without looking at your phone, tablet or searching Google provide a clear and understandable definition for any one of the following words; marriage, corporation, public, private or government.
We all have implicit understanding of these words. Marriage is not a mystery, we know what it is and does but it can be a controversial topic because we don’t all agree who it applies to (or should apply to). We don’t understand that when we discuss marriage we’re not just talking about the Church or our Government contract and license that allows you to get marriage. The same goes for concepts and discussions regarding companies both public and private, as well as government. We can all discuss and engage with these concepts because we implicitly understand what these words are but we don’t understand what they actually mean. Enter the never ending fog of modern day discussions – the truth is we create the fog because society never slows long enough to have a coherent discussion about any issue.
When we discuss anything we discuss nearly everything. A discussion about marriage no longer centers around what the Christian church believes is ok, now we discuss what society at large believes is ok, what the government has made legal, and more – all in one discussion, at one time, regardless of the purpose of the conversation. To an extent these things are linked and will be for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand each section of this wider topic as fully as you understand the next.
The problem is that all these sections should not be one discussion. This should be half a dozen conversations; how should our government define marriage, how does the church preserve their rights in this regard (remembering that it is within their equal rights under our Constitution to disagree and hold independent beliefs – the same as any other private group), how does the worlds views factor into these national discussions and so on and so fourth. This concept provides for a preverbal clear and sunny day conversation. Yet we don’t establish this sunny day for our discussions, instead we prefer the fog of war that is cable news. We like discussing these important issues in the fog because it provides for highly entertaining and well rated gotcha moments as hilariously illustrated by Parks and Recreation.
Change occurs with each and every person at an individual level. Next time you have a spirited debate with your friends (and you should be having these spirited debates) peel apart the discussion. Find the sunny day and discuss one section of an issue at a time, use each section to build and you’ll be amazed at how much you might agree on.