Not At the Dinner Table Introduction

"JEEEEEESUUUUS! JEEEEEEEEEESUUUUUS!" The unmistakeable sound of a bullhorn preacher was blaring as my family walked towards the White House one night while on vacation in Washington D.C. We couldn't see him yet but we knew he was there and since he was still yet out of sight my wife, I call her Beautiful, takes the opportunity to make a request. She says, "remember, we are on vacation!" In other words, please do not engage this man in conversation that will surely take way longer than my patience to stand around and wait will allow.

But I love these conversations. They are the meaningful ones, the ones you remember. Look, I like talking Star Wars as much as the next nerd/geek (or if you really want to get me going, bring up some college football) but those conversations don't tell me much about who you really are. I can come away from those conversations and still not really know you at all. That's why they are delightful dinner conversation. Well, unless you are one of those people who think the Ewoks were a good addition to the Star Wars universe because then we have a problem.

But this blog isn't about Star Wars or college football or board games, as much as I like all of those things. No, this blog is about the things that you aren't supposed to bring up in conversation. Certainly never at the dinner table. The topics discussed here will be the kind that make some people cringe when they are brought up. They aren't acceptable dinner table conversation because these topics not only make many of us uncomfortable but also causes conflict when we disagree. And let's be honest, in these days where people are more divided than ever, where we sling partisan zingers that we heard on our favorite, totally unbiased news source, and discussions can quickly turn to heated arguments, I can see why you don't want to bring them up.

But look, we need to do conflict better. We need to disagree better. And we need to learn from each other, to speak AND listen lovingly to others.

So here are some ground rules, this blog is collobrative. I've brought some friends with me who want to write about politics, sex, religion, and more. We are all christians, but we don't fit in the box of christianity that you may have in your mind. We make up a wide spectrum of beliefs about all kinds of things. You may find yourself reading along with someone and nodding your head in agreement one day, find someone to be far too conservative the next, and call one of us a progressive hipster liberal the day after that.

Also important, we aren't writing in way to express the definitive beliefs of the Church or any of the churches we belong to. Some of us are writing about topics that we too are still figuring out.

Lastly, a word about why we are writing. First, we are writing as a creative outlet to express what is on our heart and mind. Second, as a way to start conversations. We share what we write because we'd like to talk about these things more openly and honestly with the people in our lives. So, if you read something and think, wow, I really disagree with that, I can't believe that he/she thinks this way, I'm pretty sure he/she is an unpatriotic, communist, heretic, etc, and we actually have some type of relationship, please, don't write out a comment describing every way in which I'm wrong and you are right or with the intention to correct me into the light.

Instead, invite us to get coffee or a beer and let's have a real conversation where we seek to understand each other as we discuss the topics we're never allowed to talk about at the dinner table. Maybe we'll both learn something.

So what now? You will see posts 1-2 times a week as we get started with the intent to post more often as we get our feet under us. Some of the authors will introduce themselves as they get started and have specific topics they want to tackle each time they post. Others will post about whatever is on their mind at the time or reactions to the events unfolding around us (and boy there are a lot!).

So welcome to our blog, a place where you can be free to ask questions and discuss all the things that you aren't supposed to talk about, especially at the dinner table!