Unity, Anger, Democrats, Republicans, Atheist, Believers, and Name Calling

Well, something has hit the fan.  Mr. Anonymous just posted:
I think any sort of reasonable thought disappeared from you a long time ago. CHICKENSH*T! This is my last reply.
If name calling is part of this "reasonable" dialogue that you speak of, then I still participate in it at times although I am not happy that I do.

Once we revert to anger and name calling, the ability to work together or come to some agreement has been thrown out the door.  The scary American culture that is developing around us is one in which both sides call each other names and refuse to share in productive conversation.  People get their news from news agencies, blogs, or forums who tell them what they want to hear and ignore the other side because they have been branded idiots for disagreeing.  I notice that both liberal news sites like the Huffington Post and conservative sites like Drudge do not even run stories that would make their side look bad.  This culture of isolating ourselves from other views will lead to no good.

We begin to demonize the other side and act like they are a bunch of imbeciles not even worthy of being treated as fellow humans created, like us, in the image of God.  This then allows us to treat them like animals.  It's as if both sides have arrived at perfect thinking and refuse to even consider something that might be different than what they already think.  If we do not consider thoughts other than the ones we currently hold, then we will never improve. This spiral of isolation and demonization that is engulfing America needs to stop because if we refuse to talk with people that we disagree with, then the inevitable outcome will be conflict. 

I just ran across a great article that deals with this subject of demonizing one another although in the context of religion.

Rational Theists and Rational Atheists of the World, Unite!

Here are some of the best excerpts:
Existence is a great, awesome, wondrous mystery.  In the face of this mystery, Atheists remain as stunned and speechless, as flabbergasted and inarticulate as Theists. From within the confines, within the perspective of our universe, solving this mystery is probably not even possible. All we can do is reach for answers, always seemingly just beyond our grasp.  And the Atheistic answers to this mystery are no more rational than the religious ones. Is it any more rational to assert that existence arose out of nothing or that existence has always existed than to assert that a divine intelligence -- outside of time and space -- created it? Science, in the end, cannot disprove the Theistic conjecture nor prove one of the Atheistic ones. We ought not therefore conclude that it is by definition irrational to confront this mystery and cast one's lot with Theism. Theism and Atheism are equally reasonable beliefs.

Perhaps religion is irrational. But so is hope. And given the very mystery of existence, I and many other seemingly rational individuals embrace -- and struggle with -- both religion and hope.
We need to work with and communicate with those we disagree with.  If not, then we will slowly wind up associating only with ourselves or allow the one exalted individual of the group to tell us what to think.  Either we have to conform to the group to be accepted by them so they will not cast us out into loneliness as one of the different people or we will not associate with anyone that disagrees with us.  In the end, we are hurting ourselves by not allowing our thoughts to be stretched.  It's almost like there is a disease going around our society in which anger and refusal to dialogue is creeping in more and more.  And it saddens me even more when I see this behavior in the church.  Lord, help us.

Mr. Anonymous, you're welcome back any time but please try to curb the name calling.  It really does not help.