Reaching the Left from the Right: Former Feminist, Anti-war Activist and Pro-choicer Speaks Out

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Former feminist, anti-war activist and pro-choicer speaks out about social issues, Christian exclusivity, and other taboo topics. This new book teaches how to become more accepting and approachable to people different from you.

How do you relate to a gay man? How do you share a meaningful relationship with a feminist? Can you even speak to a Mohawk-sporting, tattoo-covered, body-pierced punk rocker? Most Christians stereotype those who look, act and believe differently than they -- how can we overcome these stereotypes in order to love, nurture and share community with those around us? As the right, how do we reach the left?

In her book, "Reaching the Left from the Right: Talking about Social Issues with People Who Don’t Think Like You" (Beacon Hill Press), Barbara Curtis teaches readers to overcome social boundaries and reach the unreachable. Before she found Christ, Curtis hated Christianity, conservatives and traditionalists, and everything she believed they stood for. She was a feminist and “fag hag,” an “acid-dropping hippie chick,” alcoholic, anti-war demonstrator, and a single mom on welfare in San Francisco. She was angry and cynical, and hurting ... Would you have wanted to know her?

“We destroy our credibility as followers of Christ when we rely on slogans or when we see ourselves as morally superior to those with whom we disagree,” writes Curtis. “Busy with Bible studies, home groups, and who-knows-what-else ... we barely have time to get to know the family next door, let alone the lesbian couple who just moved to the suburbs to get their adopted children into a better school system.”

Interview/Show topics include:

  • Practical ways to become more accepting and approachable to people different from you.
  • Familiarizing yourself with popular culture and trends in order to reach others.
  • Building bridges with single parent families and fatherless children in your community.
  • How Hollywood can help us love our neighbor better.

“If we truly love our neighbors, our knowledge of what’s going on in the secular arena of ideas gives us a place to start ... We must not fear contamination from familiarizing ourselves with the things of this world in order to speak to others of the next.”

Studying the issues, asking questions, being logically consistent, becoming familiar with liberal sentiments, and being confident but gracious, are all ways in which Curtis encourages conservatives to approach the most volatile issues of our times: feminism, abortion, homosexuality, stem cell research, euthanasia. Curtis suggests a little understanding on both sides could bridge the gap between “liberal” left and “religious” right.

“In our pursuit of righteousness and sanctification, we sometimes set up so many protective barriers that we no longer have anything at all to talk about with our next-door neighbors,” Curtis writes. "Our spirituality must find application in daily life and shouldn’t come across as something that makes us exclusive or strange.”

Barbara Curtis is a writer and editor and has contributed more than 700 articles to over 50 publications including World magazine and Citizen magazine, a monthly publication of Focus on the Family. Barbara and her husband Tripp are the parents of twelve children and reside in Waterford, Virginia.

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