Political Polarization and Christian Unity

Public Orthodoxy

by Will Cohen

polarization

When politics is as toxic as it’s become today in North America, Church unity would seem more than ever to require quarantining the life of faith from current political and social questions. Broader society’s most polarizing issues do get taken up eagerly, it’s true, in Christian congregations (of whatever tradition) that lean hard ideologically either to the left or the right, but how fruitful that engagement has been is unclear. In any case, most Orthodox parishes I know aren’t overwhelmingly partisan in that way. As a consequence, North American Orthodox parish and diocesan life steers mostly clear of the pressing issues of the day.

There are exceptions. Each year in January, parishioners in many jurisdictions hear a letter from their Archbishop or Metropolitan read from the ambo by the priest to coincide with the March for Life in Washington, D.C. On rarer occasion, episcopal letters or statements…

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