Friday, June 11, 2010

Fr. Ryan Hall (Brookings, SD): Factors in the decay of civil discussion

He had some fine comments on a post at this blog, and has since constructed a fuller analysis at his.

A sample here but go to the link and read it all:

My wife, who is a Nebraska grad, made the point last night (as she was about in tears over my ranting about Nebraska selling out), that politics and sports are basically two sides of the same coin in terms of discourse. The more I have thought about it, both are symptoms of the a disease that affects the body politick in this country. I abhor talking politics. I have political opinons; I read papers; I vote. But I don't like talking politics (particularly with parishioners) because people cannot do so anymore in a civil tone of voice if the topic or party of the person they are discussing politics with differs in any way, shape, or form.

I think brings me back around to my initial comments on Fr. Tim's blog. Most people in the under 35 crowd idolize people like Jon Stewart of the Daily Show or The Onion website, both harsh satirists. What I was trying to get at in that comment was to ask the question, "How did we get to this place where we can't talk to each other anymore?"...

...Whatever the factors and motivating influences that have led us to this complete breakdown in civic discourse, I think our culture in itself has failed because we have lost the ability to see the face of God in people who don't have the same ideologies as we do. By ideologies, I mean everything from people who don't vote like us to people who don't root for the same team as we do. Until such time, I am resigned to the fact that civil discourse is lost to our culture because it is more important for us to be right than to be the children of God in the community that God has ordained for us to be in.

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