Aug 29, 2016

Should Christians be "Open in Heart" to "Alt" Movement?

In the context of Hillary's recent speech denouncing alternative, non-classical-liberal politics as outside respectable public discourse, here's an interesting argument from the Christian left (!) that, despite a political movement's central
demand for independent [racially defined] political power and [racial] self-determination,
Christians should "listen proactively and authentically ... not from a defensive posture but with an openness of heart and mind."

The author, Dean Robert Vischer, (who will be a speaking on the same subject at the Religiously Affiliated Law Schools conference mentioned in the previous post) argues that, even with respect to such a group, we should "reject the increasingly common tendency to choose sides and then treat that choice as the end of moral reflection on the matter [instead being] ready to walk in the shoes of those on both sides who are too easily demonized."

By itself, this could sound like a platitude. But, in the context of an anti-liberal political movement demanding ethnic "self-determination," Vischer's injunction against easy demonizing is rare. Usually, we just call others "racists" and move on. But Vischer is against this kind of "othering."

We don't usually hear such prominent Christians arguing, much less from the left, that we should be trying "to understand and experience the feelings and worldviews of those who are different from us," at least not when we are talking about those who think that an ethnic group's
humanity and dignity requires [that ethnic group to exercise] political will and power.
I suppose it comes down to the fact that one must follow where one's conscience and principles lead regardless of the political consequences.

In any case, it is an important and surprising argument from the Christian left that acceptable Christian political discourse is not confined to universalistic liberal or socialistic schemes. I'm not sure I agree with Dean Vischer's judgment about this movement, but I do respect his courage in making such a controversial argument.

1 comment:

  1. That's very white of him, especially considering the alt-right's espoused views were majority Christian viewpoints till quite recently and, regardless, are not incompatable with following Christ, see here and here. Can the same be said of the DNC platform?