Now that I've posted the first piece in the "controversies" series, I wanted to put just a quick note explaining why I've taken that approach. Here are the basic points I've tried to address, and what I hope to accomplish with them.
The common ground: you can only have a controversy when there's a common ground to start with. There aren't controversies over whether the Houston Texans are better than the Utah Jazz. They'll never meet in regulation play.
The group's beliefs on the controversy: Can we define the group in such a way that both groups recognize it as a fair representation?
Internal diversity: Because many beliefs fall along a spectrum and are more complicated than simply being opposites.
Strong points: For every belief, there's an honest reason why people believe it.
External criticisms: For every opposing camp, there are things they just don't get about the belief in question.
Response to criticism: Most groups actually have thought about what the other camp has to say. It's not necessarily that they're closed-minded; they may honestly find the opposing arguments unpersuasive.
The slippery slope: If a controversy makes for a spectrum of beliefs, and if beliefs out among real people lie along a bell curve, then what is the outward edge of a set of beliefs? Can you articulate how to keep from going to the extreme, for your own side? Can you recognize that not everybody is at that extreme, for your opponents' side?
Uncharitable moments towards the other side: What is it about this group's reaction to the other group that tends to fuel the fire?
Charitable moments: What outlook would permit conversation again?
Fair questions: What are the honest questions about the actual beliefs of the other camp?
Related controversies: Because very few controversies stand alone.