I have just returned to the States to do my annual stint of Young Life new staff training in Colorado. I flew into the environment of the aftermath of the Tucson shooting. The call for a more civil form of political engagement has dominated what I have seen since returning.
I think there is a point here. In my academic circle we often have disagreements with others, but in many cases that discussion takes place in a context of mutual respect and a staying on the issues versus attempts to label someone or vilify them. We need to appreciate that our rhetoric tears at our community. Yes, there are important differences in the views, but there are healthier ways to engage someone than suggesting even figuratively that they should be eliminated. I am reminded that Jesus taught believers to love their enemies and to bless them, as well as pray for them. Surely we can do better. I saw this done during my three years of study in Scotland, because the British often engage without making accusations about the character of another. So let's engage on the issues and reason together better, even when we disagree.