I have a request.

I would like this site to be a place where people of different minds can come to be challenged and respected at the same time. I would like us to model respectful disagreement.

Now, obviously, I am liberal. And I’m not against sites where liberals or conservatives can come together with others who feel the same way and blow off some steam. But, I would like this to be a place where we can speak passionately from our hearts and still see those who disagree with us as human beings worthy of respect.

I think the balance we need is to be tough with ideas, and gentle with each other.  If any of us take pot shots at people from another group, it will feel like all of us are laughing at all of them. At the same time, if we don’t stand up for our beliefs we have failed in our duty to teach.  So we need critical analysis of actions and words of certain groups, and hospitality toward the people from those groups. To criticize a conservative or liberal position can be helpful, but to ridicule conservatives or liberals isn’t.

We cannot change the world if we only speak to people like ourselves. I started my blog with a hope of sharing ideas not usually covered by the mainstream media. I obviously have very strong opinions I want to share, but the blog has grown into a community that includes conservatives who disagree with what I am saying, but come every day to be challenged. They are honored guests here. I wince when I see my liberal mates ridiculing them.

All of us will slip sometimes and say things that are unfair, but think what a wonderful gift we will give the world if our conversation models how intelligent people can reach across the divide and discuss together how to make this a better world.