Yes, religion can be a forum for people of different discussions to converse...if they go to the same Church. I'm not sure how often that's the case. I hope for the sake of our national conversation that Mr. Thomas is right. But he certainly has the right thesis:
People are pack animals. We need one another. From the earliest chapters of Genesis we read that it is not good for people to be alone. People need community. Only in community are we fully human.
There are lots of places we go looking for community: bars, golf courses, civic clubs. But it's hard to find real community. Especially since the advent of air conditioning, VCRs, home computers, video games and iPods. Forget gated communities. Most of us live gated lives.