September 14

Reflection 

Often, without any critical analysis, misinformation is accepted as truth and closed mindedness resists informed dialogue. Bias and violence seem to be replacing any attempt at resolving differences through civil exchange of viewpoints and ideas. Ridicule is substituted for listening to differences. This is not only seen in the political and national sphere but also from people who flaunt their Christian belief. Our ability for instant communication makes it more contagious and more visible.  Something disturbing has emerged among us.  Why is this happening?  It is worth pondering on what it means to live as a Christian people in this divided and critical time.

Prayer

May we be open to the message of Christ.

Action

Model civility to those with whom you come into daily contact. In conversation, express your views with respect for the views of others and with an open mind.  Stretch your thinking to include all the information that is now available which was not known in the past

Suggested Reading

I am writing you, although I hope to visit you soon.
But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God.
1 Timothy 3:14-16

Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.
Luke 7:31-35 

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.
Matthew 5

It is never too late to give up your prejudices.
Henry David Thoreau

It’s okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by other people. That doesn’t give you the right to deny any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs just because you don’t like what they are saying. Learn to recognize good writing when you read it, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what is comfortable.
Ashly Lorenzana

It does take great maturity to understand that the opinion we are arguing for is merely the hypothesis we favor, necessarily imperfect, probably transitory, which only very limited minds can declare to be a certainty or a truth.
Milan Kundera

The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.
Albert Einstein

I’m not shy about heated debate or passionate discourse, but when people get crazy or rude…there’s got to be a better code of conduct, some basic etiquette.
Mos Def

I think it is very difficult today to have a reasoned public discourse on any controversial subject. Certainly, election years present a complicating factor.
John Poindexter

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
Alan Alda

Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own.
John M. Barrie

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
Paul Boese

 

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