You're Not as Crazy as I Thought (But You're Still Wrong): Conversations between a Die-Hard Liberal and a Devoted Conservative

You're Not as Crazy as I Thought (But You're Still Wrong): Conversations between a Die-Hard Liberal and a Devoted Conservative

Language: English

Pages: 230

ISBN: 1612344615

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Americans have been divided along political lines for so long that they have nearly forgotten how to talk to one another, much less how to listen. This is not likely to improve as long as differences between them continue to be cast in overly simplistic terms, such as “ignorance” vs. “enlightened awareness” or “morality” vs. “reprobate immorality.” Such dichotomies ignore the fact that many citizens who disagree politically nonetheless share a desire to work for the larger good of society.

Phil Neisser, a self-described “left-wing atheist,” first met Jacob Hess, a social conservative, at the 2008 proceedings of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. After discovering a shared commitment to cross-party dialogue, they embarked together on a yearlong attempt to practice what they preached. In this book they share the result by exploring the boundaries of core disagreements about morality, power, gender roles, sexuality, race, big government, big business, and big media.

Each chapter revolves around an issue explored in depth through back-and-forth, lively question and response. This nuanced, iterative process was transformative for both authors, and could likewise serve as a valuable resource for anyone—liberal or conservative—who feels disillusioned by today’s often shallow, demagogic public discourse.

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Pornography Awareness Week. In the context of that event, the more conservative religious ministries, like my friend Pastor Wayne Wagner’s Illini Life Christian Fellowship, were comfortable supporting the message that God’s will extends to sexuality, and that there are particular messages and materials that are toxic to one’s spiritual health. Alternatively, liberal-leaning ministries seemed much more focused on addressing institutional, structural problems than on advocating for certain personal

December 2010, to be exact). That gave us each room to reflect on what we had shared previously and to think at length about what the other person had been saying, and how to best respond. The Results When it was all over, we still disagreed intensely in much the same ways we had at the start. On the other hand, we were heartened to discover some patches of newly uncovered common ground. And we were excited to find that we had each been led away, over and over, from the simple either/or

fit your particular vision of being equal, lead people to stay in relationships they ought to get out of, and encourage the stigmatization of single parents, breadwinner moms, and gay couples who are good parents, loving partners, and good citizens. Just to give one example, the vision you celebrate is linked to the notion that what truly fulfills women is to live vicariously through the success of others, in short to be sacrificial. More specifically, the nurturance idea is linked to women

the humanity.”12 6 ONGOING RACIAL TENSION: INEVITABLE OR ESCAPABLE? On August 29, 2005, a hurricane hit landfall in southeast Louisiana. Beyond the estimated $81 billion in property damage, at least 1,836 people lost their lives, either as a result of the storm or the subsequent flooding, making Katrina the deadliest U.S. natural disaster in nearly one hundred years. Adding to the calamity, moreover, was the slow pace of the governmental relief effort, an effort that prompted a mountain

it will highlight how social practices that seem very different are not as different as they seem, and will thereby reveal groups of people that seem “other” to be composed of fellow human beings. Jacob: Perhaps in the end, Phil, that which divides us is not as important as that which unites us. That’s a remarkable thought to consider, given how polarized our communities are. Phil: Yes. But it’s also true that the suspicion some diversity activists harbor toward calls to commonality has a

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