In the wake of the awful Limbaugh debacle and listening to so much uncivil discourse in the political realm I was glad to read a couple articles in this week's Sunday paper about civility and integrity.
James Calvin David, a professor and author says,
Wouldn't it be nice if we could talk about these issues with some civility? Civility means the exercise of patience, integrity, humility and mutual respect in conversation, even (and especially) with those with whom we disagree.
Civility does not require us to retreat from our convictions, but it does ask us to engage people who disagree with us and truly listen to what they have to say. It asks us to consider modestly the ways our own perspectives might be shortsighted, misinformed or hurtful. Above all, it demands that we express our convictions without demonizing those who hold other views.
American politics is now almost devoid of civility, and many of us think the vitriol is hurting our national community.
David also points out that those who are (rudely) calling for Christian values might remember that the virtues of civility are the same as the New Testament's Fruits of the Spirit - patience, integrity, humility, respect for example.
Right under this article was one on Ronald Reagan, still considered a hero and icon of the Republican party. The author, Mike Collins, states:
Problem is, those who most fervently claim to adhere to Ronald Reagan's principles don't seem to understand Reagan's greatest principle: decency.
As a man, Ronald Reagan had a sunny optimism and faith in the goodness of his fellow Americans. While his political opponents disagreed with him over policy, he did not consider them his enemies. He viewed them as his fellow citizens, and right or wrong, he valued them. He was a true gentleman.
If some Americans now are so intent on trying to force us all back into the way things used to be - maybe they should be intent on emulating the decency, civility, good will and patriotism that was Ronald Reagan.