Dear Editor: I have grown weary of the tenor of political debate on the airways, the internet, and in print. The "silent majority" remains silent because they don't want to be drawn into the ugliness of the current climate of "conversation." As the saying goes, "don't wrestle with a pig, because you both get dirty and the pig likes it."
Late last year, an inter-faith group of religious leaders in New Orleans issued this challenge to other people of faith and elected leaders. It bears repeating in as many venues as possible. It is my hope that The Covington News will share this with its readers.
Faith statement on civility in public discourse:
As people of faith, we are deeply troubled by the lack of civility that we witness daily in public discourse. Since we regard all human beings as Gods children, created in Gods likeness, we regard an offense against our neighbor as an offense to God. Violence begets violence, in speech and in action.
As people of faith, in light of the intensifying debates on such issues as healthcare, immigration, economic and foreign policy, we pledge ourselves to civil discourse and invite all to commit to this pledge:
1. We will disagree without being disagreeable.
2. We will affirm the right of the other to differ, as we affirm ours.
3. We will debate the issues, not debase the individual who differs from us.
4. We will avoid listening to, encouraging, or endorsing those in public and in private life who demean the dignity of others by name-calling and labeling.
5. We will not acknowledge or forward electronic messages or videos designed to demonize or humiliate persons or groups.
6. We will be examples of civility to those who come into contact with us.
We call upon all people, especially our elected leaders, to embrace this pledge by word and deed.
To this I say, amen.