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In reading several replies to my posts on religion, I have been very impressed with the quality of the thought expressed, even where I find myself completely disagreeing with the view being expressed.   I am far more taken that the persons would put such thought and effort into their replies than I am distressed by the disagreements.  The unity, in other words, is in the good-faith effort and mutual desire not to get sidetracked into a shouting match.  Such unity does not require uniformity of belief.   Wouldn’t it be ironic if unity requires disagreement?   The latter need not rule the day.   This is not to say that differences will be resolved.  In deciding to reply not just to what I agree with, I have been assuming that the differences are real. Were I to paper over them for fear of precipitating a fight, I would be left with tissue paper discussions that feel good but are ultimately not fulfilling.   So, in replying to a comment,  I mention both where I agree and disagree, but orient myself to the good-faith effort and excellent thought that is palpable in the comment.   I am more overawed by the effort and thought involved than detracted by the disagreements.  As human beings, each of us with our own minds, how could we ever expect the absence of disagreement; surely unity does not depend on uniformity of opinion.

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