iOS app Android app

Public Discourse

Our New Goal: 5,000 Trained Public Innovators Ready to Change the Country

Richard C. Harwood | Posted 04.27.2014 | Impact
Richard C. Harwood

We've put this stake in the ground to counter the growing toxic public discourse, division and mistrust in our society. There is an urgent need to make community a common enterprise.

How Can Journalists Repair Our Public Discourse?

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 03.09.2014 | Media
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

Americans blame the media for creating a level of incivility that is undermining their faith in journalism and deepening our nation's political dysfunction. The Civility in America 2013 survey found that 70 percent of Americans believe incivility has reached crisis proportions.

Preventing Gun Violence a Year After Newtown

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 02.08.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

A group of thoughtful clergy is taking it upon themselves not just to talk the talk, hold the hands, and hug the grieving, but to walk the walk -- and in this case take the flight and try new approaches to preventing gun violence.

The Twitter Delusion

Greig Lamont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Technology
Greig Lamont

Whether it's validation, narcissism, or even the upsurge in anonymous online vitriol and abuse, all of these criticisms seem to miss the mark. So, what's the rub?

Hinduism in the Public Square

Anantanand Rambachan | Posted 10.07.2013 | Religion
Anantanand Rambachan

The contemporary public square is not to be thought of as " my square," or " your square," but as "our square." Excluding voices in the public sphere, done in the name of religion or secularism, guarantees that the public square will not be a place where the common good can be pursued in earnest.

Food Stamps Debate Deserves Facts, Not Myths

Andrew Collins | Posted 09.16.2013 | Impact
Andrew Collins

Food stamps are the bottom layer of the social safety net. Even if you think government generally does too much, surely it can step in to prevent the elderly, poor, and sick from going hungry. A society that leaves these people to die is hardly a society at all.

The New Illiteracy -- Obfuscation -- Hinders Progress

Richard Steiner | Posted 09.07.2013 | Impact
Richard Steiner

Much has been discussed, rightfully so, about the global problem of illiteracy -- the inability to read and write. But recently, a new and perhaps mo...

Finding Common Ground -- Are There Enough Grownups Yet?

Susan Rhea | Posted 08.12.2013 | Politics
Susan Rhea

So what does work? Short of going to war and wearing everyone down with death, misery, grief, infrastructure and economic ruin, what works? Negotiation. Mediation. Education that you will never get exactly what you want, and I won't either.

No Comments? Internet Trolls and Women Writers

Colleen Glenney Boggs | Posted 04.01.2013 | Women
Colleen Glenney Boggs

As COO for one of the largest tech firms in the world, Facebook, Sandberg has a curious blindspot: She portrays communication as interpersonal.

Looking at Newtown: Gun Laws Alone Will Not Fix Society

Richard C. Harwood | Posted 02.17.2013 | Politics
Richard C. Harwood

At the heart of the nation's gun challenge is how to create a good society. People long to make a better effort to be in one another's lives. They want to join in give-and-take to identify solutions that will work. They want to focus on concerns larger than themselves. And they want to take action, together.

Why I Came to Occupy Wall Street and Why I Left: an Introduction

Max Bean | Posted 06.02.2012 | Politics
Max Bean

There are so many things about the movement that people ought to understand but that never get properly expressed in the public discussion or the mainstream media.

Philosopher Christopher Robichaud on Truth and Knowledge In the American Political Context

Matt Bieber | Posted 05.06.2012 | Politics
Matt Bieber

On Obama's birth certificate, on climate, and in lots of other areas, I think we tend to see people speaking out of need or desire, not clear thought. Tribal, partisan interests dominate discourse much more than an honest pursuit of truth.

Not Just a Fluke, Rush's Remarks Sting

Marjorie Gilberg | Posted 05.05.2012 | Media
Marjorie Gilberg

I am proud that Break the Cycle had the opportunity to work with Sandra. As often seems to be the case, we have learned much more from Ms. Fluke than we could ever teach her.

An Invitation to The Great Conversation

Cathleen Falsani | Posted 03.08.2012 | Religion
Cathleen Falsani

At the dawning of 2012, we find ourselves in nervous, troubling times not unlike 1943.

Writing About Science And Religion Within The Promise Of Rosh Hashanah

Noah Efron | Posted 11.29.2011 | Religion
Noah Efron

The promise of Rosh Hashanah is that sometimes you can do the same thing, with courage and faith and maybe a sense of humor, and different results will come. Which is why I'm writing again about religion and science.

I Am Not A Bible-Waver

Rev. Anne Howard | Posted 09.05.2011 | Religion
Rev. Anne Howard

We sure don't need any more screaming. My inbox and my Facebook feed fills up every day with screams from my favorite progressive organizations and people, faith-based and otherwise.

Washington Post, New York Times Fail on FOIA

Brec Cooke | Posted 07.16.2011 | Media
Brec Cooke

With much editorial commentary frequently limited to no more than 750 words, one would think that two of the nation's premier news organizations would jump at the chance to educate the public on the ins and outs of public disclosure laws.

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

Sen. Mark Udall | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Sen. 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.