If you curled up in front of the TV on Tuesday, you saw members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, pair up like awkward fourth-graders at the school dance.
“The night of polite” became an underlying theme of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union evening — a bipartisan effort to muddy the clichés of talk radio and cable TV.
But if you had ventured into a bone-chilling rain and pointed yourself toward The Temple in midtown Atlanta that same evening, you might have seen the real thing: A Muslim scholar — one of the world’s best — explaining the Quran from the pulpit of a major synagogue.
In front of him was a mixed audience of 200 or so. Not of Republicans and Democrats, but Jews and Muslims, men and women, some in yarmulkes and some in hajibs. With the occasional bare-headed gentile thrown in for good measure.
The purpose in Atlanta was the same as in Washington — an attempt to escape the cartoon corner we have painted ourselves into.
On one hand, we
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