August 2, 2018

This month’s topic, IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA, will engage us in discussing values related to care, liberty, fairness, and community while giving us a chance to once again practice active listening and respect for others’ views.

As usual, we will begin at 6:30 PM with dinner and fellowship followed by an introduction to the topic, a review of our Ground Rules, and small group discussions. OPTIONAL: BRING A DISH TO SHARE (if you can)– keeping with the immigration theme, feel free to bring a food representing you or your relatives’ country of origin – or US region of origin.

Readings for this month (links below) include a piece from along with an article from the Better Angels organization on Immigration and the American Family. We are also going to discuss writer Jonathan Haidt’s moral matrices for Liberals, Libertarians, and Social-Conservatives. Jonathan Haidt is the author of the Righteous Mind and has also been featured on Better Angels podcasts.

Article 1:

Article 2:

Media: Friend or Foe?

Enemy of the People? The Fourth Estate? Many of our participants have questioned the influence of media sources on political perspectives. Therefore, next meeting, we’ll focus on the effect of the press.

Please consider these lead questions as they will frame our discussion: “Is the press the ‘enemy of the American people’? What effect does the press have on our political system and the beliefs of our citizens?” “How do we distinguish ‘bias’ from ‘inaccuracy?”

As usual, we will meet as a whole group for an overview and then break into smaller discussion groups. Then, we will reassemble and share our “common” beliefs and ideas.

We’ll begin at 6:30 PM with dinner and fellowship (potluck if you can; please make/buy a favorite dish to share). The discussion meeting will begin at 7 PM. We plan to end around 8:30.

Optional Background Viewing:


2. Media is the Problem
(and the recent follow-up)

3. We are the problem


To reserve your free spot (and for location details), click on the ticket link. ENTER THE FOLLOWING PASSWORD:


Reserve your free spot here
PASSWORD:  cgnashville2018

“Is Healthcare a Right? A Privilege? Or Something in Between?

Please join us for our next Common Ground Nashville meeting on May 3 which will focus on Healthcare in America. While there are many aspects of healthcare to discuss, we decided to focus on the question of “What model of healthcare would you favor for you, your family, and the country?”  Employer-based healthcare? Obamacare? Single-payer healthcare or “Medicare for All”?

This month’s topic will engage us in discussing values related to individual liberty vs. the common good while giving us another chance to practice active listening and respect for others’ views.

To facilitate a rigorous and factual conversation, we ask that you prepare by reading the following articles related to single-payer healthcare.

Guns in America

At our March and April 2018 meetings, we discussed the  timely topic of “Guns in America.” Moms Demand Action, the Tennessee Firearms Association, and the Nashville Police participated.

We revisited this very popular topic at our November 2019 meeting, starting with brief presentations by Beth Joslin Roth of the Safe Tennessee Project and Barbara Holland of the Tennessee Firearms Association. Keith Caruso, a CGN member and forensic psychiatrist, also presented on the link between mental illness and violence.

We shared how our life experiences shaped our perspectives on guns, and agreed that we all wanted safe communities, safe schools, and safe places of worship. We found common ground on gun safety issues, including prevention of gun theft and comprehensive training for gun owners.

The Safe Tennessee report was discussed

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Keith A. Caruso MD, one of our participants, also created this document to answer questions about Psychotropic Medication.

Real News or Really ? News

We shared the nexus of Common Ground before. It’s always been about promoting a civil dialogue between persons of different views and opinions. That task has always been challenging, but it’s even more problematic in our current atmosphere of information inundation from non-stop media.

The sources of that media – whether print, television, radio, or social – are seemingly not subject to the constraints of facts or fairness.   The fairness part may have always been true, but opinions were labeled as such. Now “fake news” is real and may be a term that doesn’t require quotes.

Ours is a polarized world and no faction has real cause to complain about media fairness. On all sides of the political, social, and theological spectrums, “facts” and statements are quoted without context, and extreme opinions are presented as definitively valid.

So our conversation for November will focus on the media. Questions might include:

  • What should be their responsibilities and how do we hold them accountable?
  • How do we identify “fake” or for that matter real news?
  • What is our responsibility to assess media input with an open mind? Do we sometimes close ourselves to information because it doesn’t fit into our own set of values or beliefs?

These and other questions should form the basis for an intriguing conversation.

Please join us to find Common Ground.