Political divisions, for good and ill, are nothing new in the U.S., but lately, they have been unhealthy, not only between the candidates on each side of the aisle, but among their supporters. In the past couple of decades, a Pew research study shows, extreme antipathy between Democrats and Republicans has risen sharply, with many members of each party viewing the other party as actively dangerous for the country. An exceptionally vitriolic election season has done nothing to dampen these party-based hostilities.
As a ministry to bring reconciliation and peace into this contentious political season, Bexley Seabury, the Center for Courage & Renewal, the Episcopal Church, Forward Movement, and Living Compass are sponsoring “Bridging the Political Divide,” an online course, led by theologian, author, and social justice activist Parker Palmer.
In this class, author and activist Parker Palmer discusses the sources of today’s antipathies and talks about ways for us to engage in productive political discourse. He suggests that while healthy divisions strengthen American politics, unhealthy divisions bring us down socially and politically. He offers guidance in how to re-frame our approach to political thinking and conversation to produce better discussions, better politics, and better relationships.
The course takes about 45 minutes to complete and is free through September 19. It is being offered through ChurchNext, the online learning site founded by The Rev. Chris Yaw.