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By Tom Driscoll
April 7, 2013 6:20 p.m.

Even as I start to write this I begin to realize a certain amount of futility. I know the argument I make will fail at some level or another. Still something calls me to express it. I woke this Sunday morning as I do most mornings to the sound of my clock radio. Most Sunday’s what I hear first is NPR’s ‘On Being‘ — a program that used to be known as “Speaking of Faith’ —all argument aside, feel free to read this post as nothing more than a plug for this program.
This morning the show’s host, Krista Tippet was interviewing two men, David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch, men of past plainly stated opposing views on the subject of gay marriage rights. Each of these men spoke candidly and convincingly of their genuine deeply held beliefs. None of this was new particularly. The basic range of ideas has been in stir for several years now. There were maybe one or two nuanced points to each argument I hadn’t considered before. But I don’t mean to make this post yet another aperture for examining the particular question of marriage equality.
What was interesting —maybe even inspiring— was in the nature of the disagreement these two men managed. The way they negotiated their disagreement, it was something of a gift. Blankenhorn and Rauch referred to it as an achievement:

Mr. Blankenhorn: See, because it’s easy to have a false disagreement. I can just say, oh, you’re a bad person and you’re stupid, but to actually know where we disagree requires effort from you and from me. We have to have a relationship to do that and that, I’ll tell you, in today’s world of hyperpolarization and the sheer idiocy that is our public debate, you know, the heart just cries out for this kind of, you know, serious effort to achieve disagreement.
Jonathan Rauch: I believe there’s an element of patriotism about this, and I saw in you someone who is willing to say, you know, being right is not as important to me as making a pact with my fellow Americans on the other side so that we can share this country.
Mr. Blankenhorn: We can — we can live together.

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