“The need for courageous leaders has never been greater. We simply ask that all refrain from language that disrespects, dehumanizes, or demonizes another. All are created in God’s image and are worthy of respect. We ask that all who seek to influence public opinion, all who hope to serve this nation as leaders, be always mindful of the common good and respectful of the dignity of each and every person.
Citizens of this pluralistic nation form a diverse polity characterized by a wide variety of beliefs, experiences, and interests. Disagreements and differences of opinion have the potential to challenge all of us to abandon easy certainty and seek a fuller truth. The problem is not our many disagreements. It is how those conflicts are handled that spells the difference between building the common good and destroying the bonds that bind this nation together.”
The Leadership Council, IHM Sisters
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O God.
Do not accept the insulting and condemnatory oratory so much a part of our political scene as “the way things are”. Engage in careful listening and honest questioning. Honor the dignity of those with whom you disagree and treat them with the respect that is their God-given right. Seek the common good, desire only good for all others, and offer your own truth with equal measures of conviction and humility.
Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you.
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
Let us not forget that “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.
Three words encapsulate a new way of being political as we strive to come home to ourselves as a planetary, cosmic and spiritual species: interdependence, sustainability, and justice.
The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions?
Terry Tempest Williams
When we forget that politics is about weaving a fabric of compassion and justice on which everyone can depend, the first to suffer are the most vulnerable among us—our children, our elderly, our mentally ill, our poor, and our homeless. As they suffer, so does the integrity of our democracy.
Civility is not not saying negative or harsh things. It is not the absence of critical analysis. It is the manner in which we are sharing this territorial freedom of political discussion. If our discourse is yelled and screamed and interrupted and patronized, that’s uncivil.
Two truths are all too often overshadowed in today’s political discourse: Public service is a most honorable pursuit, and so is bipartisanship.
The level of discourse in this country is falling to a depth that cannot be sustained.
We need to in this country begin again to raise civil discourse to another level. I mean, we shout and scream and yell and get very little accomplished, but you can disagree very much with the next guy and still be friends and acquaintances.
Leah Ward Sears
There’s only one way we’re going to change our political climate and ensure we establish some respect in our discourse. And that is to show there is a real price to pay for being a disrespectful partisan idiot.