Thursday, April 15, 2010

Can We Be Civil?

Lately, a startling thing has been happening. I have found myself in agreement repeatedly with my friends who happen to reside in a different political ideology than myself. And what's more startling? They find themselves agreeing with me!

What is all this across-the-aisle, bi-partisan, non-partisan, a-partisan agreement about? Well, that the current state of affairs in public discourse is out of control. We're talking about politics, religion and faith, you name it. Any issue that falls into the arena of public discourse is getting more and more polarized. And one of the main problems, my friends and I find, is that we've forgotten how to be civil to one another. Talking heads on TV, politicians, religious leaders, have forgotten how to carry on a civil discourse with each other. Instead, we have one giant conglomerate shouting match in which reasoned, rational statements are not heard over the mass chaos of shouting, name-calling, and mom-bashing.

Christians have a better message than this. Christians should have a better role to play in all this. Christians should be above the rancor and be able to give witness to Jesus Christ with our words and actions. Christians [should] live within the understanding that our nationality and political affiliations are all secondary to our citizenship in the Kingdom of God and our adoption as God's children of faith.

Recently, Soujourners initiated a document called a Covenant for Civility in which signers affirm a need for civility in public discourse and dialogue done within context of the love of God known in Christ.

Many, many Christian leaders from many different denominations and movements have signed this covenant, and so have I. I hope you will too. Click here to read and sign the Covenant for Civility.

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