Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Chatbot & I discuss why "Common Sense Is Not So Common"

Chatbot & I discuss why
"Common Sense Is Not So Common"

by R.E. Slater and ChatGPT 3.5
November 22, 2023

Good Morning. Title of File: "Common sense is not so common" Please explain why or why not this may be true or false.


Good morning! The statement "Common sense is not so common" is often attributed to the French philosopher Voltaire. The idea behind this phrase is that what seems like common sense to one person may not be so obvious or common to another. Here are a few reasons why this statement may be considered true or false:


  • Subjectivity: Common sense is often based on personal experiences, cultural background, and individual perspectives. What seems like common sense in one situation may not be perceived the same way by someone with different experiences or cultural norms.
  • Diverse Perspectives: People come from different backgrounds and have varied levels of exposure to different situations. What one person may consider common sense due to their experiences, someone else might find unfamiliar or counterintuitive.
  • Cognitive Biases: Cognitive biases, such as confirmation bias or hindsight bias, can influence how people perceive and apply common sense. These biases can lead individuals to interpret situations in ways that align with their existing beliefs or hindsight, rather than objectively assessing the situation.


  • Shared Values: In many societies, there are shared values and norms that are considered common sense. For example, concepts like honesty, integrity, and respect for others may be widely accepted as common sense in various cultures.
  • Universal Principles: Some principles may be considered universally common sense, such as the idea of cause and effect or the need for balance in various aspects of life. These principles are often rooted in fundamental aspects of human cognition and societal organization.
  • Educational Factors: Education and upbringing play a significant role in shaping an individual's understanding of common sense. In communities where education emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, there may be a higher level of agreement on what constitutes common sense.

In conclusion, the statement "Common sense is not so common" captures the idea that perspectives on what is considered common sense can vary widely among individuals. The extent to which it is true or false depends on factors such as cultural background, personal experiences, education, and shared values within a particular community or society.

Very good. It seems that through personal relationship contact and discussion and education commonality and difference may be surmounted. Are there other ways to surmount difference of ideation, expectation, and purpose?


Certainly, there are various ways to surmount differences in ideation, expectations, and purpose. Here are some strategies:

Effective Communication:

  • Active Listening: Actively listen to others, seeking to understand their perspective without immediately judging or formulating a response. This helps build empathy and creates a foundation for mutual understanding.
  • Clarity in Expression: Clearly articulate your own ideas, expectations, and purposes. Use language that is accessible and open to interpretation to avoid misunderstandings.

Cultural Competence:

  • Cultural Awareness: Be aware of cultural differences and nuances, as these can significantly impact how ideas and expectations are perceived. Foster a mindset of cultural competence to navigate diverse perspectives more effectively.
  • Empathy:Put Yourself in Others' Shoes: Try to understand the world from the perspective of others. Empathy enables individuals to appreciate different viewpoints and acknowledge the validity of diverse experiences.

Conflict Resolution:

  • Constructive Conflict Management: When conflicts arise, focus on finding solutions rather than placing blame. Encourage open dialogue to address differences and work toward mutually beneficial outcomes.


  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Emphasize collaboration and teamwork. Bringing people with diverse perspectives together can lead to creative solutions and foster an environment where differences are seen as assets rather than obstacles.

Education and Awareness:

  • Continuous Learning: Foster a culture of continuous learning, where individuals are encouraged to expand their understanding of different ideas and perspectives. This can be achieved through training programs, workshops, and exposure to diverse experiences.

Shared Goals and Values:

  • Identify Common Ground: Find common goals and values that can serve as a foundation for collaboration. Establishing shared objectives can help bridge gaps in ideation and purpose.

Flexibility and Adaptability:

  • Open-Mindedness: Be open to new ideas and be willing to adapt. Recognize that the world is dynamic, and solutions that worked in the past may need adjustments to meet current challenges.


  • Inclusive Leadership: Leaders play a crucial role in setting the tone for inclusivity. Leaders who promote diversity and inclusion contribute to an environment where differences are respected and leveraged for collective success.

Technology and Tools:

  • Collaborative Technologies: Leverage technology and collaborative tools to facilitate communication and coordination, especially in situations where individuals may be geographically dispersed.

By combining these approaches, individuals and groups can work towards overcoming differences in ideation, expectations, and purpose, fostering a more inclusive and cooperative environment.

Personal and Group Collaboration seem an effective means to identifying, and perhaps resolving, difference. This latter purpose may assist in resolving, sharpening, and/or accepting difference.


Absolutely, personal and group collaboration are powerful tools for identifying, understanding, and potentially resolving differences. Here's how collaboration can contribute to addressing and navigating differences:

Diverse Perspectives:

  • Collective Wisdom: When individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives collaborate, they bring a diverse range of ideas and insights to the table. This diversity can lead to richer, more comprehensive solutions to problems.

Enhanced Problem-Solving:

  • Synergy: Collaborative efforts often result in synergies where the collective intelligence of the group is greater than the sum of its parts. This synergy can be particularly effective in finding innovative solutions to complex challenges.

Conflict Resolution:

  • Open Dialogue: Collaboration encourages open dialogue and communication, providing a platform for addressing conflicts or differences constructively. Through respectful conversation, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of opposing viewpoints and work towards resolution.

Building Trust:

  • Shared Experiences: Collaborative projects provide opportunities for individuals to work together, share experiences, and build trust. Trust is a crucial element in overcoming differences, as it establishes a foundation for open communication and cooperation.

Learning and Growth:

  • Continuous Learning: Collaborating with others exposes individuals to new ideas and ways of thinking, fostering a culture of continuous learning. This, in turn, can contribute to personal and collective growth, allowing individuals to adapt to change and broaden their perspectives.

Common Goals:

  • Alignment of Purpose: Collaborative efforts often revolve around shared goals and objectives. Identifying common ground in terms of purpose and vision helps unite individuals and groups, minimizing conflicts arising from divergent aims.

Inclusive Decision-Making:

  • Participation and Inclusion: In a collaborative setting, decision-making can be more inclusive, involving input from all stakeholders. This inclusivity ensures that a broader range of perspectives is considered in the decision-making process.


  • Flexibility and Adaptation: Collaboration promotes adaptability by encouraging individuals to be open to new ideas and receptive to change. This flexibility is essential in navigating and embracing differences in rapidly evolving situations.

Cultural Competence:

  • Cross-Cultural Collaboration: In a globalized world, collaboration often involves individuals from different cultural backgrounds. Engaging in cross-cultural collaboration fosters cultural competence and helps navigate and appreciate differences.

Conflict Transformation:

  • Transformative Approaches: Collaborative processes can go beyond resolving conflicts to transforming them into opportunities for positive change. By addressing root causes and underlying issues, collaboration can lead to lasting solutions.

In summary, personal and group collaboration serves as a dynamic and effective means to identify, understand, and address differences. By fostering an environment of open communication, trust, and shared objectives, collaboration contributes to the resolution, refinement, and acceptance of differences in a wide range of contexts.

Considering all of the above it seems more hopeful the Voltaire statement "Common sense is not so common" may be surmountable... but what if it cannot. What are the items which may prevent personal and/or group transformation towards positive ends?


While collaboration and efforts to bridge differences are valuable, there are several factors that can impede personal and group transformation toward positive ends. These obstacles may hinder the resolution of differences and the achievement of common goals. Some key factors include:

Lack of Open Communication:

  • Communication Barriers: Ineffective or closed communication channels can obstruct the exchange of ideas and hinder understanding. Miscommunication, misunderstandings, or a lack of transparency may contribute to the persistence of differences.

Unwillingness to Change:

  • Resistance to Change: Individuals or groups may resist change due to fear of the unknown, attachment to existing ways, or a reluctance to step out of their comfort zones. This resistance can impede transformational efforts.

Cultural and Institutional Barriers:

  • Cultural and Institutional Inertia: Deep-seated cultural norms or institutional structures resistant to change can pose significant challenges. Overcoming ingrained practices may require substantial effort and time.

Lack of Trust:

  • Distrust and Mistrust: A lack of trust among individuals or groups can undermine collaborative efforts. Building trust is crucial for effective communication, cooperation, and the willingness to work toward common goals.

Inequality and Power Imbalances:

  • Power Dynamics: Unequal power distribution can hinder transformation efforts. Individuals or groups with more power may be resistant to relinquishing control, and those with less power may feel disempowered and less inclined to engage.

Cognitive Biases:

  • Confirmation Bias: People may be inclined to seek out information that confirms their existing beliefs, reinforcing cognitive biases. This can lead to the rejection of alternative perspectives and impede transformative dialogue.

Lack of Inclusivity:

  • Exclusionary Practices: Exclusive or discriminatory practices can hinder collaboration. If certain individuals or groups are consistently excluded from decision-making processes, it can perpetuate divisions and prevent positive transformation.

Fear of Failure:

  • Risk Aversion: Fear of failure or negative consequences can deter individuals or groups from taking risks associated with transformation. A culture that punishes failure rather than viewing it as a learning opportunity can stifle innovation.

Short-Term Focus:

  • Lack of Long-Term Vision: Focusing solely on short-term gains or immediate concerns may prevent individuals or groups from investing in long-term transformation efforts. Sustainable change often requires a forward-looking perspective.

Lack of Leadership Support:

  • Lack of Leadership Commitment: Without strong leadership support, transformative initiatives may lack the necessary resources, direction, and influence. Leaders who are not committed to change can hinder progress.

Overcoming these obstacles requires a concerted effort from all involved parties. It involves fostering a culture of open communication, building trust, addressing power imbalances, promoting inclusivity, and cultivating leadership committed to positive transformation. Recognizing and actively working to overcome these challenges is essential for achieving meaningful and sustained positive change.

Are there brief historical examples of both instances? One with negative outcomes and the other with positive outcomes?


Certainly, historical examples can provide insights into instances where efforts toward positive transformation were successful and where they faced significant challenges.

Positive Outcome:

  • The Civil Rights Movement in the United States (1950s-1960s):
  • The Civil Rights Movement in the United States aimed to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans. It was marked by nonviolent protests, legal challenges, and grassroots activism. Despite facing considerable resistance and violence, the movement achieved significant positive outcomes, including the passage of landmark legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. These legislative victories marked transformative changes in the legal and social landscape, contributing to greater racial equality.

Negative Outcome:

  • Apartheid in South Africa (1948-1994):
  • Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa. The policy was implemented by the National Party, leading to the marginalization and oppression of the majority black population. The regime faced widespread international condemnation and resistance from within South Africa. However, it took several decades before transformative change occurred. The negative outcome persisted for a long time due to deep-seated cultural and institutional barriers, as well as resistance from those in power. The system eventually crumbled in the early 1990s, leading to the establishment of a democratic, multiracial government.

These examples illustrate how historical movements can either successfully overcome significant challenges and bring about positive transformation (as in the Civil Rights Movement) or face prolonged periods of resistance and injustice before achieving positive change (as in the case of the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa). The success or failure of transformation efforts often depends on a complex interplay of social, political, economic, and cultural factors.

Are there more historical examples?


Certainly, historical examples of both positive and negative outcomes in transformation efforts abound. Here are a few more examples:

Positive Outcome:

  • The Women's Suffrage Movement (Late 19th - Early 20th Century):The women's suffrage movement sought to secure voting rights for women. Women across the globe, particularly in the United States and Europe, campaigned for their right to vote. Overcoming deep-seated cultural norms and significant resistance, the movement achieved success in various countries. For example, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1920, granting women the right to vote.

Negative Outcome:

  • Rwandan Genocide (1994):The Rwandan Genocide was a tragic event marked by the mass killing of an estimated 800,000 people, primarily from the Tutsi ethnic group, within a span of 100 days. Deep-seated ethnic tensions, fueled by political and historical factors, led to the genocide. Despite international condemnation, the violence continued for several months before outside intervention and internal efforts gradually brought it to an end. The genocide stands as a stark example of the failure to prevent mass atrocities and the devastating consequences of long-standing ethnic divisions.

Positive Outcome:

  • The End of Apartheid in Namibia (1988-1990):Namibia, formerly South West Africa, was under South African rule and subject to apartheid policies. The United Nations played a crucial role in pushing for Namibian independence. International pressure, combined with internal resistance, led to negotiations and the eventual withdrawal of South African forces. Namibia gained independence in 1990, marking the end of apartheid in the region and the establishment of a democratic government.

Negative Outcome:

  • Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976):The Cultural Revolution in China, initiated by Mao Zedong, aimed to reassert communist ideology and eliminate perceived bourgeois and traditional elements. The movement resulted in widespread persecution, violence, and social upheaval. It led to the loss of countless lives, the destruction of cultural heritage, and lasting social and economic impacts. The Cultural Revolution serves as an example of a transformative effort with profoundly negative consequences.

These examples highlight the varied outcomes of historical transformation efforts, showcasing instances where positive change was achieved through persistence, collaboration, and social mobilization, as well as situations where deep-seated conflicts and resistance led to tragic consequences.

How about historical theological outcomes?


Historical theological outcomes have played a significant role in shaping religious beliefs, practices, and institutions. Here are a few examples of historical theological developments with both positive and negative implications:

Positive Outcome:

  • The Reformation (16th Century):The Protestant Reformation, led by figures such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others, was a theological and religious movement that sought to reform the practices of the Catholic Church. The movement emphasized principles such as salvation by faith alone and the authority of Scripture. While the Reformation led to the division of Western Christianity into Protestant and Catholic branches, it also contributed to the promotion of individual religious freedom, the translation of the Bible into vernacular languages, and a greater emphasis on personal relationship with God.

Negative Outcome:

  • The Great Schism (1054):The Great Schism of 1054 marked the formal split between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The theological disagreements, cultural differences, and political tensions between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity eventually led to the mutual excommunication of leaders in 1054. This schism resulted in a lasting division within Christianity, with distinct theological, liturgical, and organizational differences between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions.

Positive Outcome:

  • Second Vatican Council (1962-1965):The Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) was a landmark event in the Roman Catholic Church. Convened by Pope John XXIII and continued by Pope Paul VI, Vatican II aimed to renew and update various aspects of Catholic theology and practice. The council led to significant reforms, including greater openness to ecumenism, changes to liturgical practices (such as allowing Mass to be celebrated in the vernacular), and a renewed emphasis on social justice and the role of the laity.

Negative Outcome: 

  • The Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834):The Spanish Inquisition was a series of tribunals initiated by the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile to maintain religious orthodoxy. While it had theological underpinnings, the Inquisition resulted in widespread persecution, torture, and execution of individuals deemed heretical or non-Christian. It stands as a dark chapter in the history of the Catholic Church, reflecting the dangers of using religious authority for coercive and oppressive purposes.

These historical theological outcomes illustrate the complex interplay between theological developments, institutional changes, and their impact on religious communities and societies. The positive outcomes often involve movements toward greater inclusivity, understanding, and adaptability, while negative outcomes can result from theological rigidity, power struggles, and the misuse of religious authority.

Are there any pertinent examples of church and state success or failure in this area?


Certainly, the relationship between church and state has been a complex and dynamic aspect of history, with examples of both success and failure in navigating their interactions. Here are a few examples:


  • American Model of Church-State Separation:The United States is often cited as a success in establishing a model of church-state separation. The U.S. Constitution's First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a state religion and protects the free exercise of religion. This has allowed for a diverse religious landscape, where individuals are free to practice their faith without state interference. The success of this model is seen in the relative religious harmony and the absence of religious conflicts that have plagued other regions.


  • The Holy Roman Empire and the Investiture Controversy (11th-12th Century):The Investiture Controversy was a power struggle between the papacy and secular rulers, particularly Holy Roman Emperors, over the appointment of bishops and church officials. The conflict arose from the dual role of bishops, who held both spiritual and secular authority. The controversy led to tensions, excommunications, and even armed conflicts. While the Concordat of Worms in 1122 attempted to resolve the issue, the Investiture Controversy highlighted the challenges and failures in achieving a harmonious relationship between church and state during this period.


  • Edict of Milan (313 AD):The Edict of Milan, issued by the Roman emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius, marked a pivotal moment in the history of religious freedom. The edict granted tolerance to all religions within the Roman Empire, allowing Christians to practice their faith openly without fear of persecution. This contributed to the eventual establishment of Christianity as a recognized and favored religion within the empire.


  • Tudor England and the Church of England's Supremacy (16th Century):The reign of Henry VIII in England saw a complex interplay between church and state. Henry's desire for a male heir led to his break with the Catholic Church over his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The Church of England was established with the monarch as the supreme head. While this resolved the immediate issue, it led to religious conflicts and tensions, including the persecution of Catholics and later conflicts between Anglicans and Puritans. The attempt to tightly integrate the church with the state in this context had both political and religious repercussions.

These examples highlight the challenges and varied outcomes in the relationship between church and state. Success often involves finding a balance that respects religious freedom, prevents undue interference in religious matters, and avoids the establishment of a single, state-sanctioned religion. Failures, on the other hand, often result from power struggles, attempts to impose religious uniformity, and the disregard for the principles of religious freedom and separation of powers.

Might you have any observations of today's trumpian church-state success or failure?


As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, I don't have specific information on events or developments related to the intersection of church and state in the context of the Trump administration beyond that date. Therefore, I cannot provide real-time analysis or observations on recent occurrences. Please note that developments in this area may have occurred since my last update.

During Donald Trump's presidency, there were several instances where the relationship between church and state became a subject of discussion and debate. Here are a few observations based on events up to my last knowledge update:

1. Religious Liberty Executive Order:

  • In May 2017, President Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty. The order aimed to address concerns among some religious groups about their ability to freely express their beliefs without facing legal repercussions. Critics argued that it could potentially allow for discrimination in the name of religious freedom.

2. Engagement with Evangelical Leaders:

  • President Trump had a close relationship with many evangelical leaders and sought their support. This engagement led to policies and decisions that aligned with certain conservative religious values, such as the appointment of judges with conservative views on social issues.

3. Controversies Surrounding Church Photo-Op:

  • In June 2020, there was a controversial incident in which protesters near the White House were forcefully cleared to allow for President Trump to pose for a photo holding a Bible in front of St. John's Episcopal Church. The incident raised questions about the use of religious symbols for political purposes.

4. Supreme Court Appointments:

  • The appointments of conservative judges, including three Supreme Court justices during Trump's tenure, had implications for cases related to religious freedom and social issues. These appointments were generally well-received by conservative religious groups.

5. Policies on Contraceptive Coverage:

  • The Trump administration took actions to expand exemptions for employers with religious or moral objections to providing contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans. This move was praised by religious conservatives but criticized by those concerned about women's access to reproductive healthcare.
  • Public opinion on these issues and the Trump administration's approach to the intersection of church and state varied widely, reflecting the diverse perspectives within the United States.

It's important to note that the evaluation of "success" or "failure" in this context is subjective and often depends on individual perspectives and values. Additionally, developments may have occurred since my last update, and I recommend checking more recent sources for the latest information and analyses.

As these "social policy changes" are disputable to many in a free, civil society how might they be resolved with conservative religious elements?


Resolving disputes over social policy changes involving conservative religious elements in a free and civil society requires a careful and inclusive approach that respects differing perspectives. Here are some strategies that can contribute to constructive dialogue and potential resolution:

Open and Respectful Dialogue:

  • Encourage open and respectful dialogue between different stakeholders, including religious leaders, policymakers, and representatives of the affected communities. Providing a platform for genuine conversation allows for the exchange of ideas and helps build mutual understanding.

Engage Interfaith Dialogue:

  • Facilitate interfaith dialogue to bring together representatives from various religious traditions. This can foster common ground, promote understanding, and highlight shared values, even among diverse religious perspectives.

Educational Initiatives:

  • Implement educational initiatives to inform the public about different perspectives on social policy issues. Knowledge about the religious and cultural underpinnings of diverse viewpoints can foster empathy and reduce misconceptions.

Community Involvement:

  • Involve local communities in decision-making processes. Community members, including those with conservative religious beliefs, should have the opportunity to voice their concerns, propose alternatives, and be part of the conversation.

Mediation and Conflict Resolution:

  • Utilize mediation and conflict resolution techniques to address disputes. Independent mediators or facilitators can help guide discussions, identify common ground, and work towards consensus.

Respect for Pluralism:

  • Emphasize the importance of pluralism within a free society. Acknowledge and celebrate diversity, recognizing that individuals and communities may hold different beliefs and values.

Legal Protections:

  • Ensure that legal protections for religious freedom are clearly defined and respected. This includes understanding the boundaries between religious freedom and other societal interests, such as non-discrimination principles.

Religious Freedom Commissions:

  • Establish commissions or advisory bodies that include representatives from diverse religious communities. These bodies can offer recommendations on policies that respect religious freedom while considering broader societal needs.

Seek Common Ground:

  • Identify areas of common ground where compromise may be possible. While not all differences may be reconciled, finding commonalities can help build bridges and foster cooperation.

Long-Term Engagement:

  • Recognize that resolving disputes may require long-term engagement. Change often takes time, and ongoing dialogue can contribute to evolving perspectives and solutions.

Leadership and Role Models:

  • Leaders, both religious and political, play a crucial role in setting the tone for respectful dialogue. Encourage leaders to model open communication, tolerance, and a commitment to finding common solutions.

Legal Challenges and Appeals:

  • If necessary, ensure that legal mechanisms are available for addressing grievances. This includes opportunities for appeals and legal challenges, especially in cases where fundamental rights may be at stake.

Resolving disputes involving conservative religious elements in a civil society requires a commitment to pluralism, open communication, and a recognition of the diverse perspectives that make up a free society. By fostering an environment of inclusivity and understanding, it becomes more possible to navigate complex social policy changes in a way that respects the rights and values of all members of the community.

Hence, personal and group dialogue might be an effect solution to discussing hot disagreement between religious and civil groups... and yet, my experience tells my religious groups would be the last to change their opinions and beliefs structure. What can a civilly free democratic society do in the face of these difficulties?


Navigating hot disagreements between religious and civil groups, especially when there is resistance to change, can indeed be challenging. In a civilly free democratic society, several strategies can be employed to address these difficulties and foster a more inclusive and tolerant environment:

Promote Civic Education:

  • Implement comprehensive civic education programs that emphasize the principles of democracy, pluralism, and the importance of respecting diverse perspectives. Educating citizens about the foundations of a democratic society can contribute to greater understanding and tolerance.

Legal Protections and Safeguards:

  • Ensure that legal protections are in place to safeguard the rights of individuals and groups, including religious freedom. Establish a legal framework that balances the rights of religious groups with the broader principles of equality, non-discrimination, and the protection of individual liberties.

Independent Judiciary:

  • Maintain an independent judiciary that can impartially adjudicate disputes and ensure that legal decisions are based on constitutional principles. An impartial judiciary helps protect the rights of all citizens, including those with differing religious beliefs.

Media Literacy and Responsible Journalism:

  • Promote media literacy to help citizens critically evaluate information sources. Encourage responsible journalism that provides balanced and accurate coverage of diverse perspectives, fostering a more informed public discourse.

Community Engagement Initiatives:

  • Facilitate community engagement initiatives that bring together diverse religious and civil groups. Encourage dialogue, cultural exchange, and collaborative projects that build bridges and promote mutual understanding.

Interfaith Dialogue:

  • Support interfaith dialogue initiatives that involve leaders and members of various religious traditions. Interfaith dialogue can promote empathy, dispel stereotypes, and highlight shared values.

Conflict Resolution and Mediation:

  • Develop mechanisms for conflict resolution and mediation. Trained mediators can assist in facilitating constructive conversations and finding common ground, even in deeply rooted disagreements.

Public Forums and Debates:

  • Organize public forums and debates on contentious issues, allowing for respectful and moderated discussions. These forums can provide a platform for different perspectives to be heard and may contribute to shifting public opinion over time.

Promote Inclusive Leadership:

  • Encourage inclusive leadership at various levels of society. Leaders who champion diversity, inclusion, and the principles of a democratic society can set positive examples and influence public attitudes.

Protection of Minority Rights:

  • Prioritize the protection of minority rights within the democratic framework. This includes ensuring that minority religious groups are not marginalized or discriminated against, and their voices are considered in the decision-making process.

Long-Term Community Building:

  • Recognize that change may take time, and focus on long-term community building. Establish platforms for ongoing dialogue, relationship-building, and collaborative initiatives that contribute to positive social change.

Public Awareness Campaigns:

  • Launch public awareness campaigns that emphasize the benefits of diversity and the importance of respecting individual rights. These campaigns can counter misinformation and promote a culture of tolerance.

It's important to note that these strategies should be implemented with sensitivity to cultural and religious contexts, and a commitment to upholding democratic values. Overcoming deeply entrenched beliefs and fostering a more inclusive society often requires a multifaceted and sustained effort.

Moving from a civilly free democratic state centered on moral empathy for the plight of others seems extremely difficult to produce in the light of the human condition to protect itself and vested interests such as one's belief structure. Often the religious element claims immorality for morality, and morality for immorality... that is, it claims wrong is right and right is wrong in light of its religious beliefs. To a civilly free and open democratic society willing to co-exist and co-operate with all members of its society the conservative mindset can present (extreme) difficulties to such a democratic institution attempting to remove its discriminatory practices off the backs of the discriminated (racial minorities, religious nationalities, sex and gender differences, medical health options to all versus limited medical health options to some).


You've highlighted a significant challenge that democratic societies often face when attempting to balance the principles of individual freedom and religious belief with the broader goals of inclusivity, non-discrimination, and the protection of minority rights. The tension between the preservation of personal belief structures and the promotion of a society that values diversity and equal rights can indeed be a complex and delicate matter. Here are a few additional insights into addressing these challenges:

Dialogue and Education:

  • Continuous and open dialogue is crucial. Engage in educational initiatives that promote understanding and empathy. This includes not only educating the wider public but also providing opportunities for individuals with differing beliefs to engage in respectful conversation.

Legal Protections and Boundaries:

  • Clearly define the boundaries between individual freedom of belief and actions that may infringe on the rights and well-being of others. Ensure that legal protections are in place to prevent discrimination based on race, religion, gender, or other protected characteristics.

Religious Literacy:

  • Promote religious literacy to foster a better understanding of different belief systems. This can contribute to breaking down stereotypes and dispelling misconceptions, creating a more informed and tolerant society.

Secular Governance:

  • Emphasize the importance of secular governance, where government decisions are based on reason, evidence, and the well-being of all citizens rather than religious doctrine. This helps maintain a neutral and fair approach to diverse belief systems.

Ethical Leadership:

  • Encourage ethical leadership that upholds the principles of justice, equality, and human rights. Leaders who prioritize these values can influence public discourse and set the tone for inclusive policies.

International Human Rights Standards:

  • Uphold international human rights standards as a foundation for domestic policies. International agreements and treaties provide a framework for protecting the rights of individuals and minorities, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Public Engagement and Activism:

  • Facilitate public engagement and activism. Encourage citizens to peacefully advocate for their rights and for the rights of others. Public pressure and activism can influence policy changes and foster a culture of inclusivity.

Social and Cultural Initiatives:

  • Support social and cultural initiatives that celebrate diversity. Festivals, events, and programs that showcase the richness of various cultures and beliefs contribute to a more inclusive society.

Collaborative Decision-Making:

  • Promote collaborative decision-making processes that involve representatives from diverse backgrounds. Inclusive policymaking ensures that the perspectives of all citizens are considered.

Media Responsibility:

  • Encourage responsible media reporting that avoids perpetuating stereotypes and biases. Media plays a significant role in shaping public perceptions, and responsible journalism can contribute to a more informed and tolerant society.

It's important to acknowledge that achieving a balance between individual beliefs and societal goals is an ongoing process. Striking this balance requires a commitment from both individuals and institutions to uphold the principles of democracy, human rights, and social justice while respecting the diversity of beliefs within a society.

In the main, religious beliefs are stubborn and resistant to change. Religious beliefs also underline racial, national, religious, and personal discriminations which refuse to be displaced by open acceptable practices of common sense morality. A sense of incompleteness and failure seems to inhabit a truly civilly free society when some of its members prefer to continue in their religious mindsets of unfairness and unfair relationship toward the unacceptable other...


Your observation touches on a fundamental tension that exists in societies where religious beliefs, which are deeply personal and often rooted in tradition, encounter the principles of equal rights and social justice. This tension can indeed create challenges for the realization of a truly civilly free society. Here are some additional considerations:

Inherent Conservatism:

  • Religious beliefs often carry a sense of tradition and continuity. They can be deeply conservative, resisting change, especially when long-held doctrines and practices are involved. This conservatism may extend to societal attitudes, affecting issues such as gender roles, sexuality, and relationships with those outside the religious community.

Identity and Belonging:

  • For many individuals, religious identity is closely tied to their sense of self and community. Challenging religious beliefs can be perceived as a threat to one's identity and a rupture with a community that provides a sense of belonging. This can create resistance to change even when it conflicts with principles of equality.

Selective Interpretation:

  • People may selectively interpret religious teachings to fit their existing beliefs or prejudices. This can lead to the use of religious doctrines to justify discriminatory practices, despite the presence of alternative interpretations that promote inclusivity and compassion.

Fear of the Unknown:

  • Change can evoke fear, particularly when it challenges deeply ingrained beliefs. Members of a religious community may fear the unknown consequences of embracing more inclusive practices, leading to resistance even in the face of evolving societal norms.

Lack of Exposure:

  • Limited exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences can contribute to the perpetuation of discriminatory beliefs. In some cases, individuals may not have had meaningful interactions with people from different backgrounds, reinforcing stereotypes and prejudices.

Generational Shift:

  • Change in religious beliefs and practices often occurs gradually, and generational shifts can play a role. Younger generations may be more open to evolving views, but resistance can persist among older generations who may hold more traditional perspectives.

Role of Religious Authorities:

  • The stance of religious authorities and leaders can significantly influence the beliefs and practices of a religious community. When leaders resist change, it can impede progress toward more inclusive and tolerant attitudes.

Balancing Individual Freedom and Societal Values:

  • In a civilly free society, there is a delicate balance between individual freedom of religious expression and the promotion of societal values that uphold equality and justice. Striking this balance requires ongoing dialogue and negotiation.

Addressing these challenges involves fostering understanding, engaging in respectful dialogue, and working toward a shared vision of a society that upholds both individual freedom and collective well-being. It may require a combination of legislative measures, educational initiatives, and community-led efforts to encourage more inclusive and empathetic perspectives. Recognizing the complexity of these issues is a crucial step toward finding meaningful and sustainable solutions.

To wrap up, this discussion shows the degree to which "Common sense is not so common" among members of the same society... that there must be a civic willingness to live peaceably with one another when commonality is eschewed for discriminatory traditionalism. Both the Magna Carta as well as the teachings of the Apostle Paul and Jesus in the New Testament declare one seeks love and compassion with one's neighbor when all else fails. It is the higher calling - if not the highest subversive calling - to any nation wishing to avoid forms of societal oppression, division, suspicion, fear, and refusal to see one another re a universal blessing and benefit to any democracy.


Your thoughtful reflections encapsulate the essence of the challenges and aspirations inherent in the pursuit of a just and inclusive society. Indeed, the idea that "Common sense is not so common" underscores the complexities that arise when individuals and communities grapple with the tension between traditional beliefs and the evolving values of a democratic and civilly free society.

The call for a civic willingness to live peaceably with one another, even in the face of discriminatory traditionalism, resonates with the foundational principles of justice, compassion, and love espoused in documents like the Magna Carta and the teachings of figures such as the Apostle Paul and Jesus. These principles advocate for a higher calling—a commitment to a shared humanity that transcends divisions and embraces the richness of diversity within a society.

Your mention of love and compassion as the ultimate response echoes a universal theme found in many ethical and religious traditions. It serves as a reminder that, even in the midst of disagreements and entrenched beliefs, a commitment to empathy and understanding can pave the way for positive change. This higher calling challenges societies to rise above oppression, division, suspicion, and fear, fostering an environment where each individual is seen as a universal blessing and a benefit to the collective well-being of a democracy.

The pursuit of such ideals requires ongoing efforts, dialogue, and a collective commitment to building bridges of understanding. It is an aspiration that speaks to the heart of creating a society where respect for individual rights, inclusivity, and a shared commitment to common values form the bedrock of civic life.

Thank you for engaging in this insightful and meaningful discussion. If you have any more questions or if there's anything else I can assist you with, feel free to reach out.

Thank you for your dialogue. Peace.


You're very welcome! If you ever have more questions or want to engage in further dialogue, feel free to return. Wishing you peace and all the best!

"Common Sense," created by R.E. Slater  |   Imagine   |   Trademarked