The First Post

December 23, 2008

While I highly doubt anyone will read this post for a while (I would imagine it takes quite some time before one can get another person to bookmark one’s blog), I suppose there must be a first. 

I will start by setting forth the goals of this blog.  This blog is intended to provide a forum to discuss various cultural developments (mostly in America, but not limited to that) from a legal, philosophical, and theological perspective.  In particular, I am interested in exploring ideas such as neutrality and tolerance.  I find Americans’ fascination with the value of moral and political neutrality fascinating in itself. 

Our American society loathes “extremism,” a term reserved for those whose beliefs differ from the supposed prevailing societal views, from the viewpoint of the one casting the term about of course.  But why is it a bad thing to be “extremely” _____?  It depends on the idea filling in that blank, not the fact that it is “extreme.”  If someone is extremely loving, i.e. an “extremist” for love, that is presumably a good thing (citation credit to be given here to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail).  I might submit here that most of the time that the term “extremist” is used in the American media, the hidden word in the blank above is “religious.” 

Even so, there is something about the term “extremist” that resonates with Americans because we like the “middle,” whatever that may be.  But is that even a legitimate value in itself?  Was there not a day that it required “extremists” to oppose the popular practice of slavery in certain places? 

These are the types of questions I would like to explore through a group discussion, if I am able to get one going.  Of course, that will require some readers with comments they are willing to share…