Fewer Politicians Are Seeking Compromise. Should Christians?

The norms of working across the aisle are changing. So is the church’s attitude about it.

Last Friday, both chambers of Congress passed an infrastructure bill that will commit more than one trillion dollars to America’s deteriorating roads and bridges, making life easier for pedestrians and bikers, improving broadband access, and renovating suffering public transit systems.

This bill has been closely tied to Biden’s Build Better Back, legislation that would invest heavily in climate change and social policies. While the bill had passed the Senate in July, Progressive Democrats in the House had wanted to hold out on passing the bill until Build Better Back first passed.

But mustering support for that initiative has been challenging for Democrats, including from within their own party. Last week, West Virginia senator Joe Manchin suggested his refusal to support the bill was because it didn’t share enough of the other side’s interests.

“While I’ve worked hard to find a path to compromise, it’s obvious: Compromise is not good enough for a lot of my colleagues in Congress. It’s all or nothing, and their position doesn’t seem to change unless we agree to everything,” Manchin said in a press conference.

Though Manchin and fellow Democrat Arizona senator Krysten Sinema have insisted that their holding out is part of a commitment to look out for the interests of everyone, some suggest that their posture is actually selfish.

“It is simply not fair, not right that one or two people say: My way or the highway,” said Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

Amy E. Black is professor of political science at Wheaton College and author of several books, including Honoring God in Red or Blue: Approaching Politics with Humility, Grace, and Reason.

Black joined global media manager Morgan …

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