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How to discuss about vaccination

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 (22:07)

Karmen Kaukver spoke with Lutheran archbishop Urmas Viilma. One of his answers seems interesting for the Synodal Church:

KK: Mida soovitate inimestele, et nad sõprade ja perekonna seas suudaks säilitada rahu ja head suhted vaatamata erimeelsustele vaktsineerimise osas?

UV: Seni, kuni me naudime vaidlemist ja soovime vastanduda, me seda ka teeme. Kui soovime rahu, tuleb enda jaoks jõuda otsusele, et ei lähe tülitsemisega kaasa. See ei eelda teise poole argumentidega leppimist või nõustumist. See eeldab rahu ja hea läbisaamise väärtustamist enam kui oma tõe manifesteerimist või vaidluses peale jäämise tunnet. Seega, rahu säilitamiseks peab seda rahu hindama, väärtustama ja selle nimel vaeva nägema.

My comment:

I am not satisfied with his answer. He doesn’t say anything wrong, but leaves out something important.

When a community has a problem which the majority fails to see, then those who see it cannot say “let’s not speak about it because that would cause discord and battle”.

Urmas’ answer reveals one of the differences between (classical) democracy and synodality: synodality says that even when only one member of the community says “something is wrong”, the community needs to listen [SR1]. Synodality requires consensus, not majority.

Of course there are unpleasant things we cannot change, and we need to accept these things, it would be a waste of energy to continuously quarrel and complain about them. And of course it is not always easy to discern the things we can change from those we can’t. Of course, if you are really the only one to see a problem, you need to humbly ask yourself whether your inner voice is right, whether it is really important and whether you really have the duty to disturb the process with your concerns. Sometimes we lack humbleness or patience.

But if you comply with the majority against your clear voice and just because you are too lazy or shy or arrogant to talk about the problem, then you just sweep the dirt under the carpet. The problem will remain and eventually grow. Silencing down minority opinions in controversial discussions is not the synodal way of finding peace because it leads to lazy compromises, loss of motivation and increased work-to-rule.

I guess that Urmas basically agrees with me. After all this was just his spontaneous answer in an interview, and they were speaking about vaccination, which is a quite hot topic…

Post scriptum

Urmas is right in an important point, which I forgot to see immediately. He just chose to focus on the following: Christmas time is a time for celebrating. One of the important functions of celebrating is to offer a spiritual place where “the rule” says to everybody: “shut up now!” If we fail to obey this rule, we spoil the celebration. One benefit of art of celebrating is to cultivate our detachment skills.