Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On "Civility" in Political Discourse

Since last week there have been calls for "civility" from many politicians and journalists.  But, when did this call for "civility" happen?  Was it after many of the Left-Wing journalists tried to connect Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and other conservative commentators to the Tuscon shootings or was it after these conservative commentators defended themselves against the outlandish false accusations and spoke up in defense of their Constitutional right to express conservative principles via freedom of speech?  Unfortunately, it was after the latter occurred.  Civility is just a code word from progressives for censorship of dissent.  If the Left really cared about engaging in a civil debate and stopping personal attacks then they wouldn't have resorted to their abominable accusations on Saturday before their was one iota of evidence known about the suspected gunman. It would be great if instead of using personal attacks and false accusations political journalists, commentators, and politicians focused on criticizing politics and stances on the issues instead.  

Msgr. Charles Pope has written an article on civility where he shares what the scriptures teach us on civility and political discourse. Below, I am posting some of the Scripture quotations which Msgr. Pope used in his article. 

Here are a few of the texts that counsel charity and civility: 

Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. (Eccl 10:12)
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. (Eccles 9:17)
Anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.  (Matt 5:22)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph 4:29)
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be (James 3:9-10)
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19)

 Even Jesus when addressing the Pharisees wasn't what we would call civil today.  The Bible texts below show denunciations of opponents. 

Jesus said, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?” (Matthew 12:34).
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me….You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire…..He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:42-47)
Jesus said, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me (Mark 7:6)
Paul against the false apostles: And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. (2 Cor 11:11-14)
Paul on the Cretans: Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith (Titus 1:12-13)

Here are two videos that Msgr. Pope posted. 

1 comment:

Patrick Button said...

The Left loses any sort of credibility in regards to civility when it tries to politicize murder.