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The Anglican Conundrum

What would you say is the most divisive socio­political issue facing Christians today, the one that has the potential to cause the deepest divisions among clerics and congregations, and in and among Christian communions? Is it abortion? The death penalty? Immigration? Same-sex marriage?

Consider abortion, the death penalty, and immigration. In each case, every Christian, whether he is for or against it, would likely agree that recourse to it is the final option, a course of action taken in response to severe circumstances, after serious consideration, and with a heavy heart. Most pro-abortion Christians, for example, would agree that abortion is an unfortunate act — unfortunate but necessary, a difficult “choice” women must sometimes make, and which the rest of us should respect. Not many are apt to “celebrate” abortion.

The same could be said of Christian death-penalty advocates: They would acknowledge that imposing a capital sentence is a disagreeable deed — disagreeable but necessary, an option the state must sometimes resort to in order to protect its innocent citizens. Not many are apt to celebrate an execution.

Even with immigration, those who wish to restrict it would admit that the people who feel compelled to leave their homelands often do so out of desperation and that those who flee political or religious oppression be given special consideration for settlement in less hostile countries.

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