Sometimes the current situation seems hopeless. Political gridlock with the parties deeply divided seems to prevent negotiation and compromise. There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor with the richest 1% having about twice as much wealth as the bottom 90%. A radical self-centered individualism and widespread decay in family life prevail. And the number of Americans who claim to have religious faith has declined dramatically . One is tempted to feel that there is no achievable solution to this interlocking complex of problems.

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