Meet the God Squad, the brains behind our series “Faith, Food, Friday: Improbable conversations for people of faith and no faith at all (because talking politics wasn’t hard enough). We hope you’ll join us as we explore what happens when people of good will who might not agree cross each others’ thresholds and break a little bread together. Whoever you are, whatever your beliefs, bring an open mind, an open heart (and an empty stomach) for a continuing conversation on the two topics your mother taught you to never broach in polite company. Faith, Food, Friday is $8 if you register through the Tuesday ahead of each program ($10 after) and free if you’d like to bring your own lunch (or not eat).
It’s almost as if the Washington political class knew our fall launch God Squad topic, since the din of media polarization has never been on more full display than it’s been this last summer. We seem to be living in two parallel universes without a common understanding of anything – no wonder there’s a problem. Past time to call in the God Squad!
Where’s the balance between personal freedom (e.g., to smoke cigarettes, drink 60 oz. sodas, drive without a seatbelt) and the government’s role in ensuring the well-being of its citizens? And who is responsible for the consequences of that freedom? And while we’re on these easy topics, is healthcare a right of citizenship?
In this polarized environment, are we allowing our commitment to our political ideology overrule our professed commitment to certain faith-based moral convictions? If forced to choose, do we side with our political tribe and rationalize away any moral conflicts that might create?
After a tragedy, people will say that those affected are in their “thoughts and prayers.” In the digital age, we promote social media awareness through a hashtag (e.g., #prayforparis). How can we genuinely express our faith, especially through public prayer, even in a religiously diverse setting?
We’ll be looking at everything from “safe spaces” to “trigger warnings” in light of the freedom of speech. How can we have a diverse society if we’re not confronted with opposing viewpoints, even if they seem mean-spirited?
At FSU’s Club Downunder! As bad manners and ill-tempers replace conversations of substance and charges of “hate speech” sprout like crabgrass on an un-mowed lawn, we seem to be in a societal-wide spitting match about just who is the most tediously offended.
Shortly before his assassination, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King offered us this stark warning on race: “Together we must learn to live together as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.” Tragically, over half a century later, race in America is arguably a more divisive topic than in most of our memories.
The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas first gripped the nation as it broke our hearts, now it’s taken a hold of our political debate and already made tectonic shifts in it. Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher Ernie Rospierski, who was grazed by 2 bullets, will join our panel that day. You won’t want to miss this special 90 minute program. (Photo: Bob Howard)