Addressing Guns by Moving Morality

In a public square fractured by debates on moral questions — how can we make space to address them and find common ground?

Michael Holzman
Jun 8, 2018 · 7 min read
Photo by Heather Mount

Politics should enable us to disagree without killing each other.

But politics is ill-suited for the task of addressing moral questions.

Uncontained moral rhetoric leaves our communities divided and our political system weakened. While passionate speeches at gigantic marches may motivate civic engagement, they are no time for complicated discussion of morality. Without providing an alternate venue for moral passion, one that encourages nuance and demands respect for dissent, the political system chokes on competing moral demands.

Photo by Heather Mount
Photo by Matheus Ferrero

Citizens need moral spaces in addition to political spaces.

Moral spaces can relieve some of the pressurized passion from politics while encouraging greater civic commitment. They exercise our atrophied muscles of healthy dissent and remind us to honor disagreement.

Photo by Ben White

Office of Citizen

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) is a network of funders who believe our democracy will be healthier, more resilient, and productive with the office of citizen at its center. This diverse range of stories come from PACE members, partners, and guest contributors.

Michael Holzman

Written by

Husband, father, writer, interfaith leader, devotee of tough questions, and a rabbi at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, VA.

Office of Citizen

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) is a network of funders who believe our democracy will be healthier, more resilient, and productive with the office of citizen at its center. This diverse range of stories come from PACE members, partners, and guest contributors.