Our proverbial automobile has returned to the gas station once again as the Homosexual Man, the Amish man, and the Presbyterian Pastor prepare to pay for their convenience store items. Can the three find moral consensus? Will the cashier also find consensus? Will the men’s families in their cars wonder why they are taking so long inside? Stay tuned to find out…
The caricatures of these three men are rather unhelpful in the real world. The Amish are often seen as unyielding to any culture influence or change, Presbyterians just want to talk about head in the clouds theology and gospel transformation, and Homosexuals have no basis of morality but desire. All three of these pictures are quite off the mark, but the use of stereotypes makes humans more comfortable with division and provides excuses for not working towards consensus. The reality of the situation, if one were to take the time to actually engage each of these three men, is quite the opposite.
Most Presbyterians, for all of their talk about theology, do not want to create a Theonomic state with the Bible as the foundation in a Christian version of Sharia Law. The truth is that the Presbyterian Pastor is well aware of the fact that the morals of moral consensus will be looser than his own personal morals and while he hopes the Gospel does indeed transform society’s morals, he understands that there will always be a difference between church and culture. Likewise, Homosexuals do not want a society where morality is simply based on what feels good. While they may argue for personal freedom of sexual orientation, Homosexuals still grow morally outraged over injustice, sexual abuse of children and animals, and anarchy. Both the Presbyterian and the Homosexual would agree that moral consensus is necessary for society to function. The Amish man is not as removed from society as one would think. Many of the social security laws in the US were created after the Amish sued the IRS. Does that sound like the actions of a completely removed and disengaged people group? I think not. The Amish have as much of a vested interest in the moral consensus of this nation as any other people because they benefit from the freedoms and protections of the Law as well. All three in the gas stations, four if you include the cashier who is glad their is consensus on paying for store items, would all agree as a consensus that moral consensus is necessary.
Not to overstate the obvious, but the Homosexual, the Amish man, and the Presbyterian Pastor (and the cashier) all care about America. The Amish man, while having German or Swiss roots wants what is best for America. The Homosexual as well wants the good of the country, and while the Presbyterian prays the country is transformed, he too wants national good. In order to consensus to be created, the three men involved must agree that moral consensus is good for the fabric of this country. The Founding Fathers understood the value of freedom, but also the value of consensus, a liberating but also restraining force upon the inhabitants of this land. For the good of the many, for the good of the United States, moral consensus is necessary and required.
Not only that, everyone involved would agree that moral consensus means each person will have to give up some of their personal beliefs for the sake of consensus. Moral consensus cannot be reached without such consensus. For instance, the Presbyterian Pastor may not agree that Homosexuals should receive all of the rights and benefits of heterosexual couples, but he would agree that murdering Homosexuals because of their orientation is wrong. The Homosexual disagrees with the narrow view of the Presbyterian on sexuality, but also recognizes the Presbyterian and Amish right to freely speak their views. In light of recent Supreme Court decisions, many may think that Homosexuals would disagree with the last portion of that sentence, but most Homosexuals are smart enough to realize that there can be no consensus with discussion of differing views and the Homosexual in this gas station is very smart. The Amish man, while desiring freedom to practice his beliefs, also understands that all the “English” are not suddenly going to become Amish. For the sake of moral consensus, some behavior which is verboten within the Amish community must be allowed for greater US population. Thus, in order for true moral consensus to exist, there must be consensus that such consensus will require give and take on the part of each involved.
Thus, as the wives in the cars begin honking the horn for their husbands to come out of the gas station, the Homosexual Man, the Amish Man, and The Presbyterian Pastor are prepared to begin creating Moral Consensus, agreeing that give and take will be necessary, but the end result of moral consensus will be good for each and good for the United States as a whole. Agreeing to meet again, each heads back to his own life, realizing that maybe each of these three is not that different after all.