"We live in a world," says Brad Hirschfield, "where religion is killing more people than at any time since the Crusades." And when it comes to fanaticism, Hirschfield is not speaking abstractly; he once embraced it. As a young man in the early 1980s, he left his family's upscale North Shore Chicago neighborhood for the West Bank city of Hebron, where he joined a group of settlers who were committed to reconstituting the Jewish state within its biblical borders. He carried a gun and, on one occasion, used it. He still doesn't know if his bullets found their mark.
Now, Hirschfield has renounced all such rigid delineations of people into categories of totally right and totally wrong, entirely good and entirely evil. He seeks to build bridges among people of different faiths--and those with no faith at all. He is devoted to teaching inclusiveness, celebrating diversity, and delivering a message of acceptance--not as feel-good pabulum but as forceful and indispensable antidotes to the blind passions and willful ignorance that threaten us all.
Grounded in biblical scholarship and interwoven with personal stories, "You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right" provides a pragmatic path to peace, understanding, and hope that appeals to the common wisdom of all religions. Pointing the way through the continuum of conflict, Hirschfield addresses:
- the ways faith has many faces
- how justice can coexist with forgiveness and mercy
- how unity does not necessitate uniformity
- the ways we can learn to disagree without disconnecting
Though conflict is an inevitable part of life--a function of being connected to one another--Hirschfield is a voice of peace and reconciliation, showing us that conflict is also an opportunity to learn and grow and often to grow closer.