Civil discourse is one of the greatest freedoms we enjoy in America. I support and defend the passionate speaking of your mind. I have coached high school debate for nearly 20 years and I love a great debate, passionately argued with enthusiasm and well supported with sound rationale and facts. But when discourse turns to hatred, something is wrong with the process.
Putting the ‘Civil’ in Civil Discourse
If you’re like me, maybe you have experienced a barrage of ‘hateful, even hurtful’ conversations recently. Whether by traditional media like TV and news radio to social media like Facebook and spam mail, opinions on social issues, political ideologies and, yes, religion are alive…and well harsh.
A former college acquaintance of mine, Keith Pittman (also a debate coach for nearly 20 years) recently posted some insightful thoughts on Facebook regarding ‘civil discourse’ (or the engagement of conversation intended to enhance understanding):
“Civil discourse is one of the greatest freedoms we enjoy in America. I support and defend the passionate speaking of your mind. But, when discourse turns to hatred, something is wrong with the process…”
As Christians, let’s follow the example of Peter writing to fellow believers to… “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16.
So, agree to disagree…but, with gentleness and respect.
VERSE: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” Psalm 150
QUOTE: “A person who loves his job, will never work a day in his life.”
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