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Voters’ voices: Dinner-table debates that don’t tear a family apart

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Here is Liza Long on a hike with her son Kirk and her boyfriend Ed.

Liza Long recognizes her family doesn’t fit this year’s political stereotypes. She’s a female, Catholic Romney supporter, while her son is a Mormon Obama supporter in Idaho. Her family’s divided loyalties haven’t divided the family, though. Political conversations at the dinner table are stimulating and respectful — and sometimes even funny.

Voters’ voices: Keeping a divided congregation together

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Bonnie Wilcox, senior pastor of Gustavus Adolphus Luteran Church in St. Paul, MN, is trying to keep her congregation united in this election season even though her congregants fall on many sides of the political spectrum.

Rev. Bonnie Wilcox, like so many clergy around the country, knows her congregation is politically divided. She walks a delicate line between offering pastoral guidance about “moral issues” and keeping her own political views to herself — even on social media, where she is both minister and “friend.”

Story feed: Politics, relationships and our strained social fabric

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facebook politics map screen shot

Every two years — and especially every four — Americans are confronted with a red-blue divide that polarizes the candidates and the public. The stories we’ve heard from more than 500 people paint a picture of a social fabric under tremendous strain from the pressures of the political season.