Can We Live Together? Thoughts on Battles Over Gay Marriage, and Co-Existence

I can’t speak for all of U.S. history, given that I’ve only been around since 1975, and spent the first 15 or so years of my life not terribly attuned to the broader social dynamics in the culture of my country. But I can say that in my lifetime, I have never experienced the kind of bitter divides that I see happening in the country right now over politics, where people are at times ending friendships and cutting off contact with family members who have different political views. I have complicated feelings about this trend. It definitely concerns me that our society is going in this direction; it doesn’t seem like a healthy thing. At the same time, I feel sympathetic to the view that some positions are so toxic that they simply corrode the possibility of any real trust or good faith in relationships. I know that these were fraught questions long before our last election, but since the ascendance of Trump, it feels like it’s almost impossible to get away from them. To be perfectly candid, I’m in a place right now where I find it very difficult personally to really trust anyone who is a Trump supporter. It feels to me like those people are living in a world with completely different values. And more than just different; values that are actively hostile to me and the things I most care about. I imagine that they might say the same thing about me, though. And I realize that depending on where you are, you might see my perspective on this as simple sanity, or you might see it as my making unfair judgments about people. Read More