Relationships Across Difference
Chapter 8 examines the implications of Confident Pluralism for engaging with people who differ from us in important and often insurmountable ways. Those relationships are not always possible—sometimes the best we can do is coexist. But in many cases, we can work together toward common ground in spite of our differences. In fact, these common efforts may not actually bridge any ideological differences—we may remain uncompromising or unchanged in our own views. That's not to say that either compromise or change is impossible. But it does suggest that meaningful relationships for the sake of shared interests do not depend on either one. Let's call this the Common Ground Imperative. Chapter 8 explores the Common Ground Imperative through a series of case studies including the relationship between fundamentalist preacher Jerry Falwell and pornographer Larry Flynt, the partnership between an anti-abortion advocate and an abortion rights advocate, and the story of Portland mayor Sam Adams teaming up with an evangelical Christian.
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