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Public Discourse

The Orientalist Narrative Distorting the Egyptian Struggle for Freedom

Abdulrahman El-Sayed | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Abdulrahman El-Sayed

Just as my well-meaning acquaintances pigeonhole me, orientalists attempt to fit the history and politics of Muslims or Arabs into a greater arc that is dominated by cultural or religious stereotypes.

Logic, Guns and Mental Illness

Gloria Duffy | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Gloria Duffy

The logic is absolutely clear -- the more guns in private hands, the more people will be shot and killed each year in the US. The more guns in private hands, the greater the number will be of mentally unstable individuals with guns.

After Tucson, the State of the Union

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jim Wallis

The speech Barack Obama gave in Tucson was a memorial to the victims of a horrible tragedy, but the spirit of his speech could also shape Tuesday's State of the Union address by calling us to be worthy of each victim's sacrifice.

Return Civility to Washington

Mark Udall | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Mark Udall

Last week, I called on Congress to make a symbolic gesture of national unity by abandoning the traditionally partisan seating at the President's State of the Union address -- and the idea is catching on.

Arizona Tragedy Breathes Life Into Discourse Debate

Jonathan Merritt | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jonathan Merritt

The Arizona shooting is an unmitigated tragedy, but if this event can fuel a transformation in our public discourse, it will be a small glimmer on a dark moment in history.

Distractions

Terry Newell | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Terry Newell

What do the following have in common? "Death panels", "The Party of No!", "Save Social Security," government bail outs, Sarah Palin's latest gaffe, t...

Conviction and Civility in American Public Discourse

Richard J. Mouw | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Richard J. Mouw

People these days who are civil often lack strong convictions, and people with strong religious convictions often are not very civil. What we need is convicted civility.

Seven Steps to Civility This Election Season

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jim Wallis

This week, a group of more than 130 former legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, released a letter urging for civility and encouraging candidates, once elected, to focus on cooperation to face our country's greatest challenges.

Be A Teacher, Not A Judge: The Essence Of Yom Kippur

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld

A primary cause of incivility in public discourse emanates from arrogating to ourselves the role of Judge. On this the Jewish tradition is clear: we are not the Judge. At our best, as my friend pointed out, we may be a teacher.

Simple Leadership in a Complex World

Terry Newell | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Terry Newell

"I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." - Ol...

Take the High Road: Personal Responses to Political Tantrums

Deborah Schoeberlein David | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Deborah Schoeberlein David

It takes guts to face anger with inner patience, and take the higher road of ethical responses. But, I believe that we are gutsy as people, and capable of rising to a higher standard.

On Civil Discourse in Online Forums: Learning From Immigrant Youth

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Marjorie Faulstich Orellana

We need wise hearts on all sides of the political spectrum, as we engage with the thorny issues of our day. When, after all, did empathy become a bad word?

Comprehensive Discourse Reform

Daniel Cluchey | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Daniel Cluchey

My feeling is that listening to the Republicans' rhetoric between now and November will be like watching someone continue to blow up an already too-inflated balloon as we cringe and wait for it to pop.

A Room Without Rants: Where Reasonable Theists and Atheists Meet

Andrew Pessin | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Andrew Pessin

The reasonable theist and atheist may reach opposite conclusions, but both will spend much of their time investigating, in an open-minded (and frequently critical) way, the strongest and most coherent versions of theism available.

Where Have All The Philosophers Gone?

Tom Morris | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Tom Morris

Science pays off in technology and medicine. Where does contemporary philosophy pay off?

Splitsville

Steven Weber | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Steven Weber

Avowed liberals consider themselves to be loyal to the truth while die-hard conservatives seem only to be loyal. Somewhere in the middle lies the perfect American.

Reporting on 'Lies' and 'Liars' ...

J. Richard Stevens | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
J. Richard Stevens

If I say that a statement is a "lie," does that mean that I have now accused every person who passes along the statement of lying? Where is the space for misunderstanding? Ignorance? Faulty logic?

Considering Lies and Liars ...

J. Richard Stevens | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
J. Richard Stevens

Much remains unsaid in our public space, which is likely one of the reasons the pseudo-public space (cable news, talk radio, email chain letters, etc.) tend towards naked partisanship and nastiness.