Religious Conservatives, “Nones,” and Interfaith Dialogue -- Sightings (Joseph DeMott)
As one who has long been involved in interfaith dialog (I'm currently a leader of a local interfaith group), I know it's easy to gather together religious progressives who aren't so concerned about our differences and want to stress that beyond all the doctrinal differences we're really all the same. For religious conservatives that makes no sense, and apparently the Nones have little interest in such love-fests. But could it be that the two groups that most need to be in the conversation are conservatives and non-affiliated folks who apparently have the most negative views of religions other than their own or of religious conservatives. This Sightings essay by Joseph DeMott is both provocative and timely. How, I might ask do we create venues where people with differing positions come together and engage one another forth-rightly. Tolerance is an important virtue, but we need to be able to share our differences and not simply look for kum ba ya moments! What is interesting is that such efforts have begun to take place in places like Western Michigan and elsewhere. My son attends an evangelically inclined college that has taken such steps, especially focusing on Christian-Muslim interactions. So, take a read and offer your thoughts.