Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house . . .
In the Washington Post, science writer Chris Mooney suggests that the difference between political liberals and conservatives can be attributed to differences in their psychological makeup. They process information differently, he says. Liberals are more open to new experiences, with all that implies, and conservatives are more “conscientious,” valuing order and structure more than new experiences. In both cases, these differences lead not only to disagreements about what to do politically but about what is true and real. We don’t live in the same world.
It’s a thought-provoking article, and one which prompts me to ask what political implications whirl around a “tent god” and a “temple god.” What assumptions about reality lie underneath the ritual behavior? Can those of us camping outside the temple really talk to those of us inside the temple? Can there be a conversation? What might the tent people inside us say to those in the temple?
– Beth Harrison
“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC. BibleWorkbench includes a series of open-ended questions focused on a reading in the Common Lectionary aimed at drawing readers into the story and making connections with the world around them and the world within. Also included are “Between the Lines” reflections, Parallel Readings from literature, poetry, and the news, and Critical Background on the text and its setting. For details and subscription information, go to www.educationalcenter.org.