Tastes Great, Less Filling: The Cross The Line Challenge

This weekend was all about patriotism. In fact, I’m wearing my blue scarf with the white stars, even though it’s July 6. Of course that’s mostly because it matches my red and blue nails. But still. USA and stuff.   
As recently as Friday, though, I was in a love/hate relationship with our country. Or more specifically, with its citizens. It started with another Facebook argument over politics. For what it’s worth, I think Facebook is a perfectly appropriate place to have these conversations. I think they’re better in person, where we can’t hide behind the false feeling of anonymity. But since we tend to spend time with people who think like us (or at least I do) Facebook can be a good place to discuss things with someone who has opposing views. 

But here’s the problem with that. 

None of us is actually discussing anything. 

Do you remember this commercial?

It immediately became a pop culture phenomenon. 

It’s a silly argument, of course. It doesn’t need to be one or the other. A beer can taste great AND be less filling, and we all have different priorities when it comes to beer consumption. In my case, for example, the answer to the “tastes great vs/ less filling” question by the way, is C. Neither. There is no reason to drink Miller Lite. Ever. Gross.  

My “conversation” on Friday reminded me of the Miller Lite commercial. A friend who I know to have political views that are pretty much the opposite of mine posted something. And he is a very smart person. But it was a very flawed argument. So I pointed out the flaw in his argument. I actually didn’t even say I opposed his view, (I do, but didn’t say it) simply that it was a silly argument. Almost immediately, I was attacked by two strangers basically asking why I hate America. Ok not really. But they were on the offense for sure. And I was trying to have an actual discussion. But then two phrases were used that made things so clear to me. 
“No reasoning needed,” and “plain and simple.”

  
And I just thought man. If we all assume our view is plain and simple, and there is no reasoning needed when we talk, no freakin wonder we can’t find common ground. 

Of course, I was wondering why they were being so difficult that they were refusing to even consider my point of view. And then came the conviction that I was behaving in exactly the same way. 

  
 
And I wondered. What if before we had knee-jerk reactions to people’s opinions as if we were rooting for rival baseball teams, (let’s go Mets!)

 

  we instead stopped. And thought. And looked at it from the other side. And I mean really really looked at it. 
And the #CrossTheLineChallenge was born. In my head, anyway. It won’t really be born until you guys join me 🙂

  
Here’s how it works: think of an issue about which you feel passionately. Then, list 3 solid reasons why the “other side” might be right. I tried it. It’s tough. My brain screamed NOOOOOOOO!!!! This goes against everything you believe!!!! 

  
So I had to say shut it, brain. We’re working on something here. 
And besides. One of the signs of intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in your head at the same time. 

  
So. How smart are you 😉
I encourage you to try it and tag #CrossTheLineChallenge

  
I encourage you to research and open your mind. 
I discourage you from using the Constitution and the Bible as arguments. 
Wait- what did she say????

  
That’s right. As a self-proclaimed patriot and Jesus-lover, I am challenging you not to use “because the Constitution says” or “as it says in the Bible…” as a stand-alone argument. Feel free to use the principles they stand for. But just quoting? That’s not a reason. And then we’re back into the circular thinking that says, essentially, “I’m right because I’m right.”
I’ll be posting my first #CrossTheLineChallenge in a few hours. As we head into another election season, let’s actually talk to each other. 

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