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Video: Pro Life, Pro Choice, Pro Dialogue

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Constructive dialogue is a rarity these days. All too often, vital discussion is cut off in favor of its opposite, and we’re reduced once again to seeing the most complex and significant questions we face in strictly two-dimensional terms: red/blue, black/white, in group/out group. Especially this year, escaping the mainstream partisan noise can be a real challenge.

So we’re pleased to present something very different today. Courtesy of American Public Media, the following is the second of On Being’s Civil Conversations Project, hosted by Krista Tippett. Today’s installment, “Pro Life, Pro Choice, Pro Dialogue,” a discussion between Frances Kissling and David Gushee, takes a decidedly unconventional look at a deeply personal and emotional issue. Check out a video of the full discussion below.


Frances Kissling is a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics and a frequent contributor to The Nation and Salon.com, where she discusses faith and women’s rights. Kissling is also a leading pro-choice activist and was the president of Catholics for a Free Choice for 25 years. Along with Ellen Frankfurt, she is the coauthor of Rose: The Investigation of a Wrongful Death, and has contributed to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian.

David Gushee is an internationally-recognized Holocaust scholar, ethicist, and professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. Also a committed activist, Gushee is president of Evangelicals for Human Rights and since 2010 has served on a bipartisan task force led by the Constitution Project which investigates detainee treatment at Guantanamo Bay. His latest book, Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul, is a collection of essays that examine the War on Terror from legal, ethical, and spiritual perspectives. 

Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award-winning journalist and has hosted National Public Radio’s On Being for more than ten years. The granddaughter of an Oklahoma Baptist minister, Tippett served as a foreign correspondent in a divided Cold War-era Berlin before returning to the U.S. to complete a M.Div. from Yale. Since then, she has strived to achieve constructive dialogue around some of today’s most contentious and vital issues. Her latest book is Einstein’s God.

And be sure to check back later this week for our interview with author and On Being host Krista Tippett. 

Photo by Matt M. Johnson/On Being/Humphrey School of Public Affairs.