People that don’t agree with you aren’t gospel fodder. I’ve noticed this trend in Christian circles to treat non-Christians as projects to be converted or left behind. If I’ve learned anything this year it’s that those with different views might be the very people that save you. If all you’re looking for in friendships is how you can help other people, you’re going to miss out on how they can help you, and you might need that help more than you realize.

I have an opinion about whether the killing of Michael Brown was an act of self-defense or police brutality, but I consider it to be an ill-informed opinion. Most of my understanding of the controversy has come from reading sources that generally agree with me politically, so I should keep my opinion to myself until I change that.

However, I do have two very strong opinions that I am comfortable sharing:

1. Anyone that strives to be intellectually honest ought to actively fight against confirmation bias (the tendency to search for, interpret, or prioritize information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs). If you haven’t carefully read and considered the reasoning of those who disagree with you, then you have no business making strong, confident statements on the subject.

2. Anyone that strives to be morally good ought not demonize people who have a differing view. The people who disagree with you may well be wrong, biased, foolish, or blind to the facts, but they probably don’t disagree with you because they’re evil. People are complicated, and our reasons for believing things are complicated.