Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Legacy, Community, Culture. Prologue

Legacy. Community. Culture.

Such words. Such wonderfully resonant words.

Yet almost completely meaningless in my tradition of faith-practice. In the evangelical Christian world - as diverse as we truly are - we have spent so much focus on individualism and liberties (and the deity of them combined) that the above-mentioned have no functional place. So when these words of legacy, community and culture are bandied about, some of us may get misty-eyed. Be we so rarely practice these ideas (worldviews that are not, in fact, high concepts but ways of life) that we have no vision of their appearance.

And when I say we, I mostly think of me. But isn't that it? Isn't that the point? All throughout history, people have been people, thought of in terms of their tribal identity, thought of as a part of something that is whole. Of course there has always been selfishness and greed. But those were addressed as the spades they were, not the norm de rigeur they are today, not the fundamental building blocks of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness they are today. Historically, even royalty devised itself as the collective head of the collective community. And although it is appreciatively arguable that that way of thinking is dangerous (another form of false deism), is the contemporary way of governance (politics by rule of popularity with the most selves) any better, any safer, saner or healthier? If the opinion polls (the de facto contemporary method of governance in action) are to be believed, the US is on the verge of in-civil war on any given day, on any given issue. And certainly, these days, the Britons and the Franks would be more than obliged to hand out free weapons to both sides.

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