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Civil Discourse

Restoring the Promise of the American Dream

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 08.05.2014 | Politics
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

We are hopeful the Majority Leader's words will lead to action on the part of House leadership and members on both sides of the aisle. Then Congress will be able to take action on the major issues facing our county.

Let's Take the High Road

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 07.09.2014 | Politics
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

Fast forward to today and we have a Highway Trust Fund with just 15 days of money left to function. Just like in 1955, anti-tax zealots have been trumping common sense and the nation's future on blatantly political grounds.

Reflections on 'Common Sense' This July 4th

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 07.02.2014 | Politics
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

July 4th is a day when we all need to slow to the rhythms of the summer heat, pause, listen to one another, remember the goals and dreams that were articulated by our Founding Fathers in 1776 and still hold true today.

Maya Angelou -- A Pioneer of Civil Discourse

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 07.28.2014 | Impact
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

As we continue our path to promote civil discourse with our elected officials, in the media, and throughout our homes, we honor Dr. Angelou. She has set the path for how best it can be done: through the powerful use of words.

How to Answer Your Critics

Cara Paiuk | Posted 07.13.2014 | Women
Cara Paiuk

I have observed, with alarming regularity, how the comments sections of online articles become war zones. No one knows each other personally, and the facelessness gives people courage to speak their mind freely without worrying about the consequences.

Online Communities and Social Media Literacy

Jeremy Harris Lipschultz | Posted 06.15.2014 | Media
Jeremy Harris Lipschultz

Social media can be positive or negative, and Rheingold urges students to focus on context, whether it be interpersonal or political.

Finding Wisdom in a Fractured World

Harold Lloyd | Posted 06.05.2014 | Impact
Harold Lloyd

The wise person understands why we run from questions that we might not be able to answer, and why we wrongly avoid other obstacles or risks that we should face. Our default emotions have evolved to lament loss more than to celebrate gain.

Civil and Honest Discourse Needed for Nonprofit Boards

Eugene Fram | Posted 03.05.2014 | Impact
Eugene Fram

Relationships on nonprofit boards are more prone to foster distinctly different types of environments because some boards meet only one to four times a year; therefore interpersonal conflicts can more easily arise.

America Loses Unless We Act

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 12.18.2013 | Politics
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

hat Congress stepped back from the brink is critical; that our political leaders took us so close to falling over the edge -- and have no plan for avoiding a repeat of this crisis in a few months' time -- should be unacceptable to all of us.

We Are Each 100 Percent Responsible for Our Democracy

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

Americans with whom we have worked all across the country are frustrated and even embarrassed by the state of our democracy, once revered as a model for the world. Something must be done urgently.

Emotion, Reason, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

T.A. Ridout | Posted 08.17.2013 | World
T.A. Ridout

Choosing one's words carefully is important simply because the stakes are high and emotions are powerful. Some who criticize Israel and its policies are undoubtedly anti-Semitic, but any intellectually honest person knows that not all of them are.

A Return To Civility: What Everyone Knows, But Has Forgotten

Christina M. Martínez | Posted 06.23.2013 | GPS for the Soul
Christina M. Martínez

By no means is this a comprehensive list of do's and don'ts, or a magic end-all to hate and prejudices. Rather, it's a reminder. It's a reminder that we, as humans, should follow some very simple guidelines to ensure civility among one another.

What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate

Craig Snyder | Posted 06.18.2013 | Politics
Craig Snyder

Today, restoring the means for thoughtful and respectful discourse must be a primary national goal. Neither the Left nor the Right has a monopoly on wisdom or justice. What they do have is a stronghold on their own disciples - resulting in utter gridlock in Washington.

Is The Bible 'Clear' On Those Verses?

Emily Timbol | Posted 06.04.2013 | Religion
Emily Timbol

One of the quickest ways to shut down any type of theological discussion is to utter these six words: "Well, the Bible is clear that..." Any attempt to counter these claims has already been shut down by the person who spoke those six words. You can't argue with Scripture right?

How This Parent Will Strive to Disagree Better

Bruce Reyes-Chow | Posted 12.26.2012 | Parents
Bruce Reyes-Chow

I wonder if most parents would be proud if their children interacted the same way at school during passionate disagreements about playground life as their parents do during passionate disagreements about politics?

Katie Couric on Civil Discourse, Disagreement and Respect

92nd Street Y | Posted 12.10.2012 | Media
92nd Street Y

It is possible, even necessary, to disagree with someone while respecting their views. Katie Couric offers an example in Wikileaks founder Julian Assange whose methods she says are not always appropriate but his push for greater transparency in government is commendable.

Humility: If It Wasn't Hard, Everyone Would Do It

Bruce Reyes-Chow | Posted 12.10.2012 | Religion
Bruce Reyes-Chow

Jesus offers us an excruciating and easily ignored example of this as told to the church in Philippi as they too struggled with humility in their community.

Tales From the Election: Poison, Pinheads and Partisanship

Emily Booker | Posted 10.03.2012 | College
Emily Booker

Ten minutes later, our bosses rushed over, asked where the food had come from and were horrified to learn we had accepted food from a stranger. "What did this man look like, this is a political campaign! There could be strychnine or something in that! Let us know if you're not feeling well," they said.

The Role of Satire, Snark And Sarcasm In Building Community

Bruce Reyes-Chow | Posted 10.27.2012 | Religion
Bruce Reyes-Chow

In no way am I above this, as I too have leaned on what I think is funny in order to take a swipe at someone with whom I disagree. It can be cathartic and, truthfully, when you hit a snark-homer, it feels awesome.

A Season of Civility: Religion And Public Life

Parker J. Palmer | Posted 09.02.2012 | Religion
Parker J. Palmer

Political civility is not about being polite to each other. It's about reclaiming the power of "We the People" to come together, debate the common good and call American democracy back to its highest values amid our differences.

'What's With The Vitriol, Vegans?'

Tamar Haspel | Posted 08.27.2012 | Food
Tamar Haspel

"I've never been so disgusted with the human race," said one commenter. What could he have been reacting to? A piece on slavery? The Crusades? No, it was a piece about pigs.

Would Jesus Have Said "Vagina?"

Bruce Reyes-Chow | Posted 08.19.2012 | Religion
Bruce Reyes-Chow

Jesus called us to prayer, compassion, service and love... in order to make a point about an issue and to speak truth to power when needed, he did so with a prophetic and often shocking word.

Dear God, I Would Like My Presbyterian Church (USA) Back

Bruce Reyes-Chow | Posted 02.18.2012 | Religion
Bruce Reyes-Chow

With recent developments in the PCUSA constitution that now make it possible for openly LGBTQ folks to be ordained into leadership, there has been quite a bit of finger-pointing and blame.

Celebrating a Virtually Forgotten Media Maestro

David Tereshchuk | Posted 02.02.2012 | Media
David Tereshchuk

December's days are to dwindle down to year's-end, and I'm already into holiday time's mental excursions. They're taking me off-road a bit, into the b...

Invoking Hitler's Name: A User's Guide

Brandt Goldstein | Posted 01.11.2012 | Media
Brandt Goldstein

On November 9, celebrity chef Mario Batali made the mistake of comparing Wall Street bankers to Hitler. (He also threw Stalin in there, but let's keep this simple.)