Kevin den Dulk, the Paul B. Henry Chair in Political Science at Calvin College, has a thoughtful review of Confident Pluralism in Comment. One of Professor den Dulk’s main critiques is that I haven’t offered a sufficient theory for why people in this country ought to embrace confident pluralism. He argues that “we cannot assume that our legal and cultural history is a seedbed for confident pluralism.” He might be right—there is certainly a contingency to and an uncertainty about the possibility of confident pluralism. But I don’t think the book is without any underlying theory. To the contrary, I hope that what I’ve done is shown a kind of theory in practice.
This is a guest post by Ken Stern, the President and co-founder of Palisades Media and the former CEO of NPR. Ken is the author of With Charity For All (Doubleday, 2013) and of a forthcoming book on political polarization in this country, tentatively entitled “Republican Like Me” (HarperCollins, 2017).
This is a guest post by Anne Snyder, director of The Philanthropy Roundtable’s new “Character Initiative,” which seeks to guide and build a critical mass of philanthropists committed to character formation in our time. Anne has spent the last two and a half years as a writer studying the intersections of social class, immigrants, and religion. You can find more of her published work at www.annesnyder.org.
This is a guest post by Michael Wear, author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America, which will be published in January 2017. Michael is the Founder of Public Square Strategies LLC.
Michael Gerson discusses Confident Pluralism in his latest Washington Post column. He suggests that I am “proposing a national cleanup effort to make our public life more pleasant and productive.” And he concludes with this: “We should not play down the stakes. Tolerance, humility and patience are not the ornaments of a democracy, they are its essence.”
This is a guest post by Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit that aims to promote interfaith cooperation. Eboo is the author of two books, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation and Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America. He has spoken at the TED conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, as well as college and university campuses across the country.
A number of people have observed to me that the current political season is giving us lots of illustrations of the need for a more confident pluralism that allows for us to engage in genuine disagreement without abusing each other. Pete Wehner, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times makes the connection explicit in a piece out today in Commentary.