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religious freedom and non discrimination

Talking about . . . religious freedom and non-discrimination

Our constitution guarantees our freedom to express our religion. But what happens when our religious beliefs impact others in society? How can we honor and respect others with different viewpoints? Most recently, the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was the law of the land. But what about traditionalists whose creed says that it is a sin?  This conversation is about the line between individual rights and community values…plus the role of government. 

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

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Now that you are all together, here we go!

This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.

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One. Why are we here?

  • What interested you or drew you to this topic?

Two. Your core values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
  • what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
  • what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?

Three. What are your thoughts on religious freedom and non-discrimination?

Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals. 

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • What have you witnessed or experienced in the conflict between traditional religious and gay communities? 
  • What do you wish to understand about the other viewpoint?
  • Is it possible to strike a balance between religious freedom or unfair discrimination? If so, how?
  • Is there anything that is not being understood or considered in the current conversation right now?

Four. Reflection

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
  • what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Five. Accomplishment and moving forward

Answer both of the following questions:
  • name one important thing that was accomplished here;
  • is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Closing

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