Having been in the back-patting position often enough myself, I propose that what works most effectively is interfaith dialogue that is not initiated for the sake of public consumption. It is spontaneous, unrehearsed and often completely unexpected.
Honestly, I hate the term "common ground." It just sounds boring. But all of my shaking and wagging has only ever succeeded in ending conversations, and sending people running in the opposite direction.
As soon as I was in the cab, I noticed that pretty much every surface of the car's interior was covered with a JESUS LOVES YOU sticker. This wasn't just a cab, it was a rolling cathedral! Part of me thought I should just jump out of the car.
"In this electoral year tensions are particularly high. Polarities are strong. Many people think that the future of our country ... is at stake," Miroslav Volf says. "Honoring everyone contains the promise of possibility."
This conflict is really about the role that faith will play in America. It is about whether or not we will accept Muslim Americans as true Americans or as second-class citizens. It is a test of our character, and we dare not fail it.
Despite sincere efforts by some in Congress, that body as a whole has failed meaningfully to act on climate change. But the point was not so much to condemn the inaction but to urge Congress to work rapidly to raise its grade.
I don't know how, but people say this all the time: "He cannot go to heaven because he does not believe in [insert your Prophet or God's name here]." Frankly, I would have checked out of my faith if it took such a position. Thank God (or Allah) that it doesn't.
Change won't happen overnight but nothing happens if we don't do anything. By building their houses of worship together, the congregants of the tri-faith group are making a long-term commitment to each other.
When we see all the evil that is done in the name of religion, we naturally want no part of it. But the truth is, the problem isn't with religion per se. The problem is with seeing religion as an end unto itself.