*The Debatewise Blog
Debate Park51According to polls, most Americans recognize the right of developers to build the Park51 Center on its proposed site. But most Americans also oppose the developers exercising that right. A local planning issue has become a topic of such national concern that President Obama has voiced his views. Yet some are reluctant to debate it, fearful that intolerance will drown out the voices of reason.
The lack of reasoned public discussion on this issue may be for any number of reasons, but it can only be remedied by engaging in exactly what has been avoided so far: debate. IDEA thinks open, fair and informed public discourse is at the heart of an open society. It is especially important in our schools and on contentious subjects so we'd like you to join us in debating this issue.
Get together a group of friends and visit www.debatepark51.org/register-online to register your team. You will take part in at least two debates - first on one side of the issue and then the other. Those debates will be adjudicated and scored by some of the finest debate coaches in the world. The best team will receive a stunning trophy. The best debate will secure both teams another beautiful trophy each. You can also join in 'bonus debates' on related issues, testing out your clarity of thought, learning and earning extra points for your team.
Our aims are to give you a space to engage with diverse people, to promote informed discussion, to foster tolerance and enhance understanding. Through debating - and reading the arguments made by others - you can improve your critical thinking skills. Together we can create a fabulous resource, breaking down barriers to understanding a potentially divisive issue.
Debates start on 15th November so register now!