Urging Civility

October 16, 2008

Some religious leaders have urged candidates to be more civil in their campaigns. Here are a couple highlights from a Religion News Service article:

The political discourse has shifted from important issues facing the country to "acrimonious, disrespectful and divisive rhetoric," according to Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops.

Palmer and the Rev. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, sent open statements to McCain and Obama urging a "focus on the critical challenges that threaten the future of our nation and the world."

... The rhetoric of political campaigns is often based on "divisiveness, hyperbole, half-truths and innuendo," Kinnamon said.

"We call on people of faith to raise their voices to challenge all political parties and leaders to embrace a public discourse that is free of divisive and demeaning rhetoric," Palmer said.

In his statement, Kinnamon expressed concern that the U.S. leaders govern "by surrounding themselves with an isolating barrier of like-minded cronies." Open dialogue is only possible if candidates are willing to "expand the circle of internal discussion," he added.
Amen! It probably will not change anything, but it could if more people would speak out like this. But since negative advertising often works, the candidates will keep attacking.

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