By Tom Ehrich

I suppose we all live in "bubbles" nowadays. Maybe we always did.

My "bubble" is the progressive Christian bubble. It is based on real information, an honest engagement with Scripture, Tradition and Reason, a bold belief in ambiguity and acceptance of competing viewpoints, and, of course, decency, tolerance, diversity, good caffe latte, and recycling.

Another "bubble" is a right-wing world grounded in distorted information, fraudulent science, hatred of a black President and anyone named Clinton, intolerance, and a belief in miracles, such as civility through gun violence, economic vitality through awarding all gains to the mega-wealthy, and democracy through denial of voting rights.

I could go on. Put every subset in a bubble -- all but mine being flawed, of course. But I don't want to go another step on this track. I am tired of subsets glowering at subsets. There is so much more that should be uniting us.

Grandchildren, for example, are far more interesting than bickering about evolution vs. creationism. Who cares if the iPhone 6 Plus bends (if it bothers you, don't buy one), or if some people cringe when two men kiss (if it bothers you, look the other way)?

Some things do matter, and I suspect that we agree on what some of those things are. The safety of children, for example, respect for women, freedom of thought and expression, fairness, and gratitude for those who sacrifice in service of others.

Sure there's a lot on which we disagree. But is that cause for alarm? Or for smugness? I think, for example, that Bojangles chicken tenders and fries constitute the perfect meal. You don't. Does it matter?

Let's just agree that a rising tide of hungry children is simply wrong. And that using children as shields for violence is wrong. And that teaching a baby to play "piggy market" is a solemn obligation.

Yes, there are matters on which we have to vote, allow majorities to rule, and protect minority opinions by law. But we shouldn't keep replaying those votes, as if not liking the outcome would make the outcome go away.

One thing I wish more of us agreed on was comfort. I am convinced some people value comfort more than anything else. That's why they stay within bubbles. If we could agree that some discomfort is necessary for being human, we could step outside our cozy bubbles and stand together in a storm that threatens us all.

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