“…the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech…” – Barack Obama

The best way to follow the scripture “If it be possible, as much as in you is, have peace with all men” (Romans 12:18) is not to silence dissidence, but to promote rational and safe dialogue. It does little good to force someone to stay with you who yearns to leave. Control incites rebellion. The burning of books does not make their contents less believed, on the contrary it entices great curiosity over what might lie therein. We all have different ideas and values – and especially in a society as varied, rich, and complex as the United States, we need to be not only cognizant of others’ notions, but in dialogue about them with each other. Some ideas, to be certain, are not promoting the general welfare – and that will come out through rational discussion. Other ideas are simply mistaken – and through clear and open dialog, the laws of physics and characteristics of human nature will become evident. Committee may be a terrible way to run anything efficiently, but it is the only way to run something equitably.

The more we know about a person – the miles they have walked in their specific shoes, the rationale they have for what they hold to be true – the more we can see that they are not the enemy at all, rather a brother or sister with a different perspective we likely can also learn a thing or two from.