Category Archives: civility

Shining Your Shoes – My latest Not Eudora Column

Robert Sumner Mars May 21, 1926 – July 10, 2016

It begins:

I’m the odd Republican on a largely Democrat Inspired Facebook page where I’ve been watching the intergenerational tug-o-war between Biden and Bernie supporters and everybody else. There’s nothing new in this. John Kennedy heralded a changing of the guard when he became the second youngest President in 1960 giving the parents of baby boomers their moon shot to remake America. Now in 2019 its the Baby Boomers turn to stand in the way.

I had my own tug-o-war with a representative of JFK’s generation. It came to an end when Bob Mars died in 2016.

Read on.

Civil Discourse

My chat with “Juan Percent” reminds me that I view all debate as an opportunity to share points of view to blow off the cloud of confusion. Here are some of my thoughts on this and some evidence:

All of us have a pretty wide latitude to say what we think. Even the Prince of Peace, in an era long before the First Amendment, could say alarming things like this: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26 But that does not prevent me from biting my tongue when I find someone else’s ideas infuriating, stupid, or worse.

My preferred reply to such a statement would be something to make them reconsider their statement. There are at least three overlapping reasons why I would want to reply thoughtfully.

1st. A smartass reply by me would only close their mind to any counterarguments of mine and thus confirm their opinions.
2nd. I suspect most people who offer a smart ass comment know full well its not a satisfactory argument.
3rd. I always liked Will Roger’s maxim “I never me a man I didn’t like.” Just because someone says something I object to doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be prepared to like him despite it.

None of this means that I will curb a sharp tongue when I think something needs to be addressed plainly. Jesus didn’t hesitate to use the cult-like ridicule of family loyalty to make his point either. Continue reading