That stuff Jesus warned us to beware of, the yeast of the Pharisees, is so infectious today in the camps of both liberals and conservatives. Conservatives stand up and thank God that they are not like the homosexuals, the Muslims, the liberals. Liberals stand up and thank God that they are not like the war makers, the yuppies, the conservatives. It is a similar self-righteousness, just with different definitions of evildoing. It can paralyze us in judgment and guilt and rob us of life. Rather than separating ourselves from everyone we consider impure, maybe we are better off just beating our chests and praying that God would be merciful enough to save us from this present ugliness and to make our lives so beautiful that people cannot resist that mercy.
Note 1: Shane knows both sides–he grew up with the conservatives and spent time in Iraq as a human shield with a very different group of people.
Note 2: This paragraph reminds me of the chapter in Blue Like Jazz where Donald talks about forgiving conservatives as he found a new home and spiritual community at Imago Dei.