“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me. It’s the parts that I do understand.”
The noise has to be lessened. There can be no productive or enriching result from the constant bickering clogging up the airwaves. Nowadays the presentation of supposed news is entertainment
Keith Olbermann blasts Rush Limbaugh—the talk radio giant responds in kind. Back and forth the banter goes. No advance of information or cogent argument is made, yet we tune in.
Bernard Goldberg and Jon Steward engage in dueling commentary that is laughable in its stupidity. Goldberg is a newsman, while Steward is a comedian. Each has their electronic pulpit to rail at the other, which their audiences gobble up.
Then there are primetime panels that more often than not descend into heated shouting matches. Opinion and sarcasm garners attention, so the host fuels the flames by presenting “facts” to support or justify vitriol.
We watch with voyeuristic glee, lining up behind those voices that reflect our particular view. The ratings for these verbal volleys are always high. Evidently the public is just fine with getting itself informed by displays of belittling and bullying that wouldn’t be acceptable in a schoolyard.
Whatever happened to civility and common decency? Whatever happened to an understanding that a healthy community requires respect for our common humanity?
America is one large patchwork community. We are all in this mess together, and no one gets out alive.
The common good is not served by the excess of rhetorical hyperbole that is the present norm. Not only is it the norm, we have come to expect and even want it.
Political discourse in this country needs to be elevated to a reasonable and intelligent level. Someone has to provide leadership out of this wasteland where gotcha video clips masquerade as dialog.
Civility is not a conservative issue per se, but it’s past time for those who are right of center to lead by example. If Gallup and other polls are correct, conservatives have a tendency to take God seriously.
Yet we engage in or give credibility to the mucking around of slash and burn attacks with an ease equal to those who openly thumb their noses at God. Of what value is our faith if we participate in behavior that’d get an eight year old sent to the principal’s office?
The Golden Rule states, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” It’s one of those parts of the Bible that’s devoid of mystery; it’s quite easy to understand.
Even Christmas and Easter church-goers have a nodding acquaintance with the direct simplicity of those words of Jesus. Why does the Golden Rule not get applied in the rancorous reality of opposite viewpoints?
Imagine caustic critiques replaced by a sprinkling of grace; imagine those purveyors of name-calling journalism shamed to silence.
Perhaps if conservatives would practice civility in the public square, it could be sewn into the national quilt of community.
Or maybe not; maybe we’re too far gone.