Polemics and war. Do they have a similar effect on the soul?
A culture warrior, or polemicist is one who is given to controversy, who wars with words. The object is not dialogue, but the destruction of one’s opponent. Our face turned against them as an enemy, we engage in the sort of discussion that St. Paul urges Titus to avoid (Titus 3:9) – a factious discussion, one brother acting as an inquisitor to the other.
Do we sometimes take the same misguided approach to the culture wars that we do to actual war, suffering the same consequences and the same inability to heal? What if we utilized polemics only as a last resort, aware of the damage that it causes to others and ourselves? And what if when we did find ourselves tragically forced to use it we recognized that even if we “win”, we will have healing to do on the other side of the conversation? Both for our own sake, and for the others.
Do we recognize the trauma inflicted by the culture wars and seek its healing?