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All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Monday, June 25, 2018

Civility: Is it gone for good?


A restaurant refuses to serve the Trump Administration’s Press Secretary.

President Trump, unwilling to let the situation go, says the restaurant is probably “unsanitary.”

Diners shout unpleasant remarks as Governor Snyder and his wife try to enjoy a meal together.

A bakery refuses to bake a cake for a gay couple.

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh labels a Georgetown University law student with whom he disagrees a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

Has Martin Luther King's idea of peaceful protest vanished? In TV newscasts we see people of differing opinions screaming, sometimes fighting, sometimes even shooting. In places where we least expect it, such as in church or family circles, we find people saying rude things to each other. Sometimes we use scripture to justify it. “Righteous indignation,” we claim.

The Lord knows I’m in favor of protest. I was a known protestor as a broadcast journalist. The organization that I founded nearly 18 years ago systematically protests man’s inhumanity to man in the Michigan prison system. But you’ll not hear shouting or see shoving. It ain’t gonna happen!

I hosted a daily morning radio talk show for some 15 years. I wouldn’t think of roughing up a guest with a differing opinion, and I wouldn’t allow our listeners to do so, either.

Is it idealistic for me to think we can change all of this?

The President can say he’d like to “punch him in the face,” when referring to a protestor, but that doesn’t give us the license to mimic our leader. There’s a quiet and polite way to disagree and express opposing opinions. There’s an orderly way to protest. There are proper channels in which to share our ideas with elected officials. 

It's important to stand up for what we believe. It's also important to be courteous.

Tiffany, wife of a Michigan prisoner, is the perfect example. She travels a long distance with little kids to visit her husband, only to get in the visiting room and discover that the vending machines are all empty. Instead of screaming, ranting and raving, or carrying a sign outside the facility, she writes a letter to the warden asking how she can help remedy the situation. 

I say that it's time to reverse the trend, and you and I can join Tiffany in helping to make this happen.

Says the Apostle Peter:  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…

3 comments:

Cindy Anderson said...

Thanks for this, Doug. I hold out hope that we can return to civil discourse and mutual respect so we can solve our problems.
Thank you for being such an amazing model.

Robert Bulten said...

Good post, Doug. I’m not quite as optimistic as Cindy, but that doesn’t mean we stop working toward civility and respect. And “Amen” to you being such an amazing role model.

Grandma Kimmy West said...

Great points, Doug. Fellow advocates, Pray for our country!