1. Here is Dr. Haidt on talking about one way to step back. What he does is force what I’d call an admission of sin. Each polarized side has “things that they have left undone” as the corporate confession says. Recognizing that is the start of actually addressing the problem.
2. Rod Dreher takes this to an interesting place in regards to civil law. Confirmation 101 stuff: Q. What is the first use of the law? A. Civil or curb. The government/state/Caesar holds the sword for a purpose. As we ask for in our prayers for the state, we ask that they “make, administer and judge our laws…according to Your holy will”. What that all means is that our laws have a teaching function. This is appropriate behavior, and this is not. They are a curb, with the sovereign in place to protect the mass of society from the depravity from the few. God help the people whose sovereigns abdicate this responsibility. The bible might say it is analogous to having a child as the king. (Eccl 10:16) What Mr. Dreher points out is that really simple laws work for the best of society. Including really simple rules like “don’t smoke pot” or “get married, stay married, and raise your kids within marriage”. Rich and clever people can break the rules and come out smelling like a rose. Who amongst you were wise, powerful, or noble birth? (1 Cor 1:26) Or maybe, Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom – James 3:13. The wise abide by simple rules out of meekness knowing that creates the better society. The rest of us abide by simple rules because: “hey, we might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, why push it.”
3. The Gospel Coalition on the one really simple rule that we all have ruled ourselves smarter and wiser than all of recorded history on.
How do we step back from the brink? Confession, absolution, walking in the way we should go. That’s not so hard is it?