Moving away from religion for a while, I want to talk about something even more divisive -- politics. But I'm not going to preach about why we liberals are awesome and those crazy conservatives should be locked away. I'm going to preach against that very notion.
Both sides of the political spectrum bring balance to the equation. The liberal brain is fundamentally different than the conservative brain. Liberals tend to be more willing to embrace change, to seek harmony and equality, and to question authority. Their houses also tend to be messier. Conservatives are more likely to embrace respect for authority and elders, to take decisive action, to preserve traditions. They balance each other out.
I once had a friendship where we trusted each other enough to tell the other when she was being an idiot. If I would complain about a situation at work that I felt was unfair, she could remind me that this is how the world works, and I can accept it and move on or I can try to fight it and be angry. When she complained about her husband doing something amazingly stupid and threatening to throw his clothes on the lawn, I reminded her that it only seems like a big deal right now and he has lots of other good qualities. Neither of us wanted to hear these things at the time, but because we both knew we were speaking from a place of love and understanding, it was just what we needed to hear.
Liberals and conservatives could learn from this model. If more liberals realized that conservatives are not gun-toting facists out to shoot everyone who disagrees with way they want the world to be, we could all work together. If conservatives could recognize that the greatest changes in history have come by challenging the status quo, we could affect change we need. We could COMPROMISE which is the essence of politics.
Lately it seems like we're getting further away from this ideal. Liberals want to rewire the Conservatives brains so they can "think straight" and Conservatives want Liberals to stop hugging those damn trees and go to church and "live right." This is not helping our nation that we all share.
If there is anything I've learned in my life it is that it is possible, and at times amazingly awesome, to hold different views and opinions as someone else and still get along. You can learn a lot from someone who doesn't think exactly like you.
It's important to call out the really big, hairy mistakes but if we can do it from a place of understanding, with the goal of creating a better world, we'd all be better off.
I know, typical naive liberal. :-)
We don't agree about everything and that's OK. What we do agree on is the need to carry on the discussion in a civil way.
Before you contribute to a discussion, familiarize yourself with logical fallacies. Ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated.
The goal here is for civil conversation so be nice; no profanity. Anyone who calls another person an idiot will be banned.
Lastly remember, when someone disagrees with your views it does not mean they like you less as a person. If you can't handle being disagreed with then go away.