I listened to the Francis Kissling podcast interview yesterday and kept saying, "Yes!" "Yes, yes!" I remember the Abortion question that was posed online, I believe by Speaking of Faith; I remember answering that question and reading the other responses. I also remember feeling like it didn't quite get to the heart of the matter, perhaps because of the medium? But I was so hopeful that somehow Krista would be able to create a healthy dialogue about such a polarizing issue.
We need face-to-face, honest, respectful conversations with each other where we first acknowledge, above anything else, that this person with whom I am speaking is my fellow human being. We need to approach each other with open-heartedness. I feel about the phrase, "open-minded" the way Ms. Kissling feels about the phrase, "common ground." Having the expectation that a person with deeply-helpd convictions about a thing will somehow approach a conversation with an open-mind is counter-intuitive. The success of a conversation between any two people, but especially two people who stridently disagree about X, is about open-heartedness. But it requires a humble attitude and it requires a person to know and acknowledge that all their deeply seated convictions do not mean they have all the answers.
I want to be in conversation with those fellow Christians without being told that because I hold to a certain point of view about a certain topic, then I am not really a Christian. I want to be in conversation with people who hold different convictions than me and understand why they hold them and how it came to be. Then I want them to know the same about me. I'm no longer interested in changing anyone's mind about anything anymore. I don't think that should be the point.
Ms. Kissling's parameters for holding conversation with "the other" needs to be applied to all conversations. Especially those hot-topic, often political conversations. We need to assume the best in each other and stop assuming that because another human being has a different perspective or belief, that he or she is our enemy.
Thank you so much for the podcast and this article. I hope it is widely-read.
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