Relational capital explanation

If Not a Culture War, Then What?  January 26, 2011 – 05:15 pm

Over at First Things, Greg Forster writes a very important essay, “If It’s Not a Culture ‘War, ’ What Does Winning Look Like? ”

Please, for your own sake and for the sake of neighborliness,  read the whole thing here.

Gallagher talks about the “deinstitutionalization” of marriage; that idea was what hit me like lightning back when I read [her book] The Abolition of Marriage. But there has also been an institutionalization of enmity.

If “winning” means the preferences of our cultural subgroup are enacted as policy, there is no hope for victory in the culture war – for either side. We will not submit because our consciences don’t permit it, neither will they for the same reason, and there is no serious prospect of either side eliminating the other. As long as we aim for a “victory” in terms of dominance for our cultural subgroup, the war will grind on. All we will accomplish is the fragmentation of society, the hollowing out of what used to be a real moral consensus and shared culture across religious divisions, and the ongoing destruction of the relational capital that might provide a basis for “living together.”

Gallagher says, “the challenge of our time—and it is a deep challenge, not an easy one—is to find new ways to combine truth and love.” Truer words were never spoken. If we want to rise to them, we have to rethink what counts as victory in the culture war. Victory means a truce we can all live with. We have to find a way to live together that doesn’t require either side to sacrifice its conscience.

Source: Family Scholars

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