How does intellectual humility express itself across the tapestry of Braver Angels?
This belief that love can transcend our differences is a belief that yet binds many Christians and non-Christians alike. We need love if we are to heal America. And we need the teachings and exemplars of love to come forth from our heritage to show us the way to mend.
What do reds and blues think about President Biden’s student loan forgiveness?
But the question of whiteness is a profound one, arching over history, society, psychology and identity. Is whiteness a cancer? A legitimate identity? Or is it just another divisive racial category that obscures the value of the individual?
The answer is complicated for a Black man like me.
This piece headed the Braver Angels Weekend Newsletter for July 17th, 2022.
Following their debate at Denison University in Ohio, students agreed that something profound took place and that the experience had changed them. “I’m asking myself how I can carry this forward to other students,” one student said, “and even more, I’m wondering how we can expand and bring it to a multiplicity of campuses.”
We cannot trust each other if we cannot tolerate the differences in our points of view. Still, aren’t some views wrong and perhaps dangerous as well? Braver Angels members and followers deserve a clear understanding of the principles that guide us. That is why we have published these Braver Angels Guidelines on Tolerance so that everyone who participates in and observes Braver Angels may understand exactly what informs our editorial and programming decisions.
Probably the most important question about social conflict, then, is not whether it exists (it does), or whether we can eliminate it (we can’t), or even whether we should try to eliminate it (we shouldn’t). The real question is how we should approach it.
Each of us is a product of our experiences. Understanding them helps us see that which makes the other human. This seems particularly important to me as we watch the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson unfold.
I think it’s safe to say most of us have been involved in heated political discussions with family or friends, whether we initiated them or not. But what flipped the switch from polite family discussions about whose turn is it to go pick up groceries to tense discussions about politics?
We already have the other ingredients that have helped stabilize and soothe Northern Ireland. We have the hope; we Americans are an optimistic people. We also have the intent, as seen abundantly in what Braver Angels and like-minded organizations are pushing so hard for.
This week we released an interview with Lorenzo Murphy, once righthand man to one of the most powerful drug dealers in America during the crack cocaine era: Freeway Rick Ross. The crack era gave rise to the phenomenon of mass incarceration, the decline of inner-city life and a new age of distrust between African-American communities and police. Our current controversies over race cannot be understood without an understanding of what happened to America—and black America—during this particular period of time.
It is so much easier to talk about people who disagree with us than with them. But there’s no other way when we’re this polarized, I’ve realized, to let our real perspectives check, challenge, and enrich one another. Nor is there any other way to look past our perspectives to the experiences and values that shaped them — the paths different people walk to their views.
How does one actresses controversy reveal the larger tensions between the African American and Asian American communities?
And indeed, my feelings about the two issues are fairly similar. Given the numbers, I feel that both pit bulls and guns should be subject to fairly aggressive restrictions. But my certainty over these issues is weakened by my understanding of the good-faith concerns and beliefs of those on the other side.
Talking about climate change has proven extremely difficult in our current political reality.
At each moment, millions of us held our breath, and millions more of us raged in righteous fury, or stood in trembling fear. The stakes of our times shone clear, the twists and turns of American life on bright, terrible display. Each a moment of fury and dread that, still unresolved, lives on. Each a moment, we raged and feared, that would end America as we know it.
Last week’s Braver Angels’ debate covered one of the most controversial medical topics in recent history: vaccine mandates.
“Call our recent debate on America’s interventions abroad “civil,” and it would be an understatement.”
There’s an inherent tension between this desire to enforce common values that we believe are important for creating a free and prosperous society and allowing individual communities within that society to choose their own values, to the exclusion of some chosen by others. So who gets to decide where this line is drawn?
The work of unity is a patriotic endeavor. But it is incumbent upon those of us who would take up this cause to recognize that one source of the division that plagues us is the language of patriotism itself.