I knew many people at seminary who were of a different political stance than I am. We voted differently in every election, we were on opposite sides at protests or marches and we weren’t anywhere near each other with respect to theology.
But we had some common ground.
At the time, I worked at a food pantry and oftentimes volunteers would join me from the seminary. Despite all the differences we had, there was a common interest in bettering the world and helping people in need. My friends believed that God was telling them to go volunteer. I believed that by volunteering I was creating God. It didn’t matter whether our god was a proscriptive being, or an action done in love. We worked together handing out food and scrubbing pots and pans, standing on our common ground.
It is easy to see differences: in politics, in religion, appearance… but those aren’t nearly as important as our similarities.
There is usually common ground, we just need to find it. So when you disagree with a person or a group of people, don’t just write them off. Be open to them in loving kindness and try find some common ground where you can both stand. Try to push open the boundaries of differences and see where they are coming from, and allow them the time and difficulty to do the same with you. This is a hard task, but it is worthwhile, for we can create a world of peace and communal love.
Find the common ground, work toward a world transformed not by confrontation and angst, but by conversation and caring.
Great post from a nearby colleague
Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, was quick to blast the ruling, saying, “I am horrified by the thought that the owners of Hobby Lobby as Christians think their corporation has a soul, and I’m even more appalled that the Supreme Court agrees.”
There are a lot of religious people who aren’t jerks and work for the betterment of humanity.