The Death of the Middle Ground

Recently as I was walking through the campus center at my college, I saw our wall of college related news. Anything in local and national newspapers that is at all related to or mentions Messiah College gets posted there. One particular article piqued my interest. With some time to burn before class I read it.

The article was about a recent forum on religion and its relation to the public school system. The basic thesis of the article was an attempt at having an honest attempt at finding middle ground between Creationists and Evolutionists and possibly including theories such as ID theory in schools.

The tone of the article was at first excellent. It really focused on the middle ground and how for too long things have been polarized at the cost of all. There was a definite sensation of reaching out.

Then everything collapse.

For the last half of the article, we had large sections of opinions from Creationist and Evolutionist perspectives. Basically, the whole jist of the article turned into another exposition by both sides, their dogmatic ideas that slight any attempt to find a middle ground, and the perpetuation of a futile venture.

The death of the middle ground.

I have always held to my beliefs, and I think ill of no one for doing likewise. I do not despise creationism or the Creationist, evolution or the Evolutionist. What I despise is the end of mystery and understanding both.

The idea that there are some things we as humanity can not fathom, and the idea that we should attempt to understand another's view (while still disagreeing) have long since been left to ruin and abandon by the vocal populace in many arguments akin to the creation/evolution "debate".

There is a key difference between those who are dogmatic and those who hold to belief. One considers what the other has to say, but disagrees, the other simply disagrees. One seeks answers objectively and finds support for their side or the opposing side, the other simply finds whatever supports their side as they seek it.

When dogma reigns supreme, the middle ground becomes caught between two warring sides. As the two sides annihilate each other without care, the middle is wiped out doubly so. Any attempt to create a bridge between the two sides is met with hostility from both.

As a middle grounder, times like this feel only of despair. I think sometimes all I can do is lament the death of the middle ground, and of intelligent discussion. I've had arguments about traffic light colors more intelligent than this. But to give up entirely is to leave the future a doomed place without a populace that takes a serious look at their beliefs and the beliefs of others. A populace that sees only a precipice between them and their foes.

To all middle grounders like me, I can only encourage us to persevere.

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