“I am pro-life!”
“So am I. Abortion is murder!”
“But I am pro ALL life. I am opposed to the death penalty!”
“Wait a minute; I mean innocent life. Justice requires the death of a murderer.”
“Taking the life of anybody once they no longer present a threat is not justice. It’s murder.”
“Why are you just extending this conversation to human life? Animals were created by God too. How can you eat factory farmed animals who are killed after their miserable lives in the most hideous manner and call yourself pro-lift?”
So the conversation would proceed at Theology Pub. Theo Pub was a two year experiment in diversity which was sponsored by my church in Vancouver Washington. We met at a pub, The Brickhouse,” and enjoyed wonderful pub grub and a dizzying list of beers, wines and spirits while we discussed every imaginable topic. the idea was to speak honestly, and sometimes with heat, but always with respect and love for our partners at the table. People of other faiths and of no faith were invited, and the rules were the same: love each other and ‘splain yourself.
I was asked by a person at work why a church group would meet in a bar. “Because that’s where they serve alcohol” was my response. We explored evolution, gay marriage, abortion, and other topics and books, with tongues well lubricated but attitudes in check.
All things have an expiration date, and our experiment is concluded. Our love for each other and our warm regard for the owner and staff of The Brickhouse is intact. If you want good, open conversation, come to the House of Providence. If your preference runs to a cold beer and some nachos, The Brickhouse can accommodate you just fine.