Religion and Public Land Zoning?- Let’s Not Go There

Here is  an interesting story in the LA Times today about a movement to decide the right use for public lands as celebrated in a religious service.  Now, my personal opinion is that mixing religion and politics has presented more problems than it has helped.  Theoretically it should help, because religions are about goodness, but in the real world,  it sometimes has hurt because some beliefs and ideologies can make people more intractable and less willing to compromise.

Some time ago, I was invited to give a talk at a Festschrift for my adviser for my post-doctoral work, Dr. Gene Namkoong, who was then teaching at UBC (University of British Columbia). I was in a group of speakers with a medical ethicist.  He said that while people have varying strongly held moral principles, that when specific cases in the hospital occur,  people with differing principles often agree on the right thing to do.

Reflecting back on our week of  the Science Forum and the National Roundtable, and the role of collaboration, one of the tensions was the role of local collaboration compared to the need for national groups to be involved in discussions.  This discussion is likely to carry throughout the development of the Rule.   Where is the right balance between pragmatism, compromise, and ideology? And who decides what is the right balance?

As for me, my blogdom spiritual adviser is Francis of Assisi, who sought to understand more than to be understood, to bring hope where there is despair, and to seek peace where there is conflict.

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