Redwood Terrace residents embrace civil discourse of controversial topics

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Most of us have been told we should refrain from discussing touchy subjects in public, such as religion, politics and social issues. That’s not true for some Redwood Terrace residents.

For the last five years, a group of 25 residents have come together twice a month for the community’s Probus program to tackle the pros and cons of some hot-button issues, including the state of our economy, capital punishment, gun control, education and religion, just to name a few.

The community’s discussion group, held every other Thursday, was inspired by the Probus Club (short for “professional” and “business”), a fellowship group formed in the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s by retired Rotary Club members.

While many residents say they rarely had their opinions changed as a result of the hour-long discussions, most have been enlightened by the experience.

“This is a microcosm of what can happen if people of different persuasions were to sit down together and respect each other, even if they disagree,” Mick Cupples, chaplain at Redwood Terrace who moderates the meetings, told the San Diego Union-Tribune and Escondido Times-Advocate. “The biggest outcome is learning why people on the other side feel the way they do.”

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