The sheer volume of information that finds its way to my email address on a daily basis is bewildering. It is impossible, at least for me, to read it all. Occasionally I try, and this morning I followed a couple worthwhile links from two different ideological perspectives. They helped me balance my information bubbles.
My first click was to an entry in God’s Politics blog opposing the war in Afghanistan. The blog post was written by Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a Christian advocacy organization dedicated to social justice. Its publications are written by Christians for Christians. Politically they lean a little left-of-center. I skimmed his article on why we should get out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later. Wallis points out, among other things, the number of soldiers who have died or been injured in the war in Afghanistan and that the cause does not justify such loss. His argument was compelling. But I wasn’t finished reading yet.
I scrolled down to see an update from World Magazine, a news magazine led by former atheist communist, now conservative Christian, Marvin Olasky. World is also written for Christians by Christians, and its politics tilt a little right-of-center. I skimmed two informative news articles, one on President Obama’s decision to bring home 30,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of next summer and a far more disturbing story about the nightmarish beheading of an Afghani Christian man simply because he was a Christian. The latter article quoted an Afghani Christian living in India as saying that if U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will take over and will intensify their persecution of Christians.
That piece of information added a new dimension to my understanding of the situation in Afghanistan. How many other nuances and complexities exist of which I am completely unaware? I am sure of nothing except that the situation is multifaceted and not necessarily well understood.
My morning mouse clicks reminded me of two things. First, it is vitally important that we consult a variety of ideological perspectives when evaluating national and global issues. When I read World, I factor in its generally conservative perspective; with Sojourners, I adjust for their left-leaning slant. They both provide good and valuable information and one tends to balance the other. A steady diet of information from just one source would result in the hardening of one’s ideological arteries. A balanced diet from different perspectives would promote a healthier circulation of information and ideas.
I’m also reminded that sincere, intelligent, and passionate Christians can and do disagree over political issues. That’s fair, but our allegiances to political parties or ideologies should not sabotage our Christian unity. God is far more interested in our unity as brothers and sisters in Christ than our politics.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on ideological bubbles, the war in Afghanistan, balancing information sources, Christian unity or anything else that might be on your mind.
“The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” Proverbs 18:17