So, an atheist and a devout Christian walk into a Tacoma hotel restaurant-bar…
Wait, though, it's not what you think! The atheist in question is public radio star Ira Glass, amiably sitting for an interview with amateur spiritual anthropologist and former This American Life guest Jim Henderson. The mutual respect is refreshing. Henderson makes it his mission to seek out influential people who are "unusually interested in others," and willing to "stay in the room with difference." Glass' relaxed and chatty demeanor translates to mission accomplished.
The non-believing child of secular Jews does his tribe proud by volunteering the opinion that Christians get a bum rap in the national media. The portrayal of Christians as "doctrinaire crazy hothead people" doesn't square with fond recollections of former public radio colleagues who kept Bibles on their desks and invited him to screenings of Rapture movies (At WBEZ? Really?).
The civility of the discourse could renew your faith in mankind, whatever your beliefs.
You can watch other parts of the longer interview on YouTube here.
Ayun Halliday is in Ira's camp. Follow her @AyunHalliday