Debating with DignityDecember 14, 2007
Amen! He makes several good points about the importance of listening to others and showing them respect. Hopefully Christians can help set this higher standard.
It happened again. A presidential candidate's debate in two languages. Just as the Democratic presidential candidates had done before, the Republicans have followed suit - a presidential candidates debate on Spanish-language channel, Univision.
... I think what is critical here in both nationally-televised debates is a healthy model of dialogue that is necessary on the national scene. This dialogue says we respect your culture and language. Allowing for your thoughts and words to be translated into another language can be a metaphor for inclusion and welcoming.
... As a person of faith, pastor, and follower of Jesus Christ, I am desirous of respectful debate and dialogue. On blogs, radio-shows, and political advertisements ideological and theological differences have often reduced some to more base temptations of demonizing the other (be they Republican, Democrat, immigrant, citizen, male or female). Frankly, this is not consistent with the gospel and a call to love our neighbor and even our enemies. Jesus even said, "Love your enemies." As a people we need to move beyond the childish temptation to dehumanize those we disagree with.
Dignity means you both speak and listen. Dignity may help us see someone who is radically different from us and call them by their name. Dignity transcends political ideologies and racial, ethnic, and geographic boundaries. Dignity is a faithful witness to a faith that says, "Por que de tal manera amo Dios al mundo (For God so loved the world....)"
Speaking in Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, German, etc. is a linguistic affirmation that God loves the world. Presidential candidates need not speak these languages but simply affirm the humanity and dignity of those who do.