You and I might very well come from different types of cultural backgrounds. Your skin color may be different than mine and we might be different genders. We might disagree on sports, art, politics, morality, religion, and just about everything else. We might each live our lives in a totally different fashion, with completely different understandings of what’s right and wrong, even true and false.
I want you to know something about me though. Even though I passionately hold to those things which I believe to be true, I am 100% committed to this fact: No matter who you are or how you live your life, you are created in the image of God, fearfully and wonderfully made, and worthy of my respect as such. Please forgive me when I fail to live up to this ideal, and know that those who do not espouse such belief, do not act in the name of Christ, no matter what they may claim.
I'd love to really get to know you, and have you know me. Where we differ, let's at least try to better understand one another. We don't need to agree in the end, but perhaps we can avoid the almost reflexive vilifying of each other that is all too common in our culture. And where we do happen to find common ground, let's commit to working together for what we agree is the common good.
No doubt, we will continue to disagree on any number of issues, ideas and areas of belief. But if such a mindset and practice as I've outlined here were to become commonplace, the world--though still far from perfect--would certainly be more pleasant. That would be nice. And I think that's something on which we can all agree.