"That little encounter reminded me that civility takes work. It takes spiritual work. Sometimes the Lord makes that point for us by sending someone to give us a hug!"
Richard Mouw challenges his fellow conservative Christians to civility in public discourse. He offers historical as well as spiritual perspective on American Evangelicals' navigation of disagreement, fear, and truth.
An open letter from Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler. He writes in direct response to the recent teen suicides. While maintaining his biblical stance against homosexuality, he asks his fellow Christians how they would have received Tyler Clementi in their church.
Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog
The first lesbian couple ordained without the blessing of the ELCA discuss coming out, falling in love, losing jobs then gaining them, and feeling God work through them during the AIDS crisis and their hospice chaplaincy. A guest contribution from Sasha Aslanian.
Another kind of contribution to civility, an act of care for "despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don't think they have a future" from syndicated columnist Dan Savage.
An unheard cut from our interview with Richard Mouw about a French Carmelite nun who decided to see her sisters as "works of divine art" rather than irritations.
"I come across a person who isn't just a stranger but maybe represents a strangeness to me that initially I might feel very alienated from that person. And then to think, this is a work of art by the God whom I worship — that God created that person…"
A compilation of our live-tweets from Krista's interview with Richard Mouw.
What are your thoughts about how to cover this issue? We could use your suggestions.
About the Image
'I really like this picture myself… Because I sat in front of these two girls, and they where so lovely to each other. They talked so kindly — kind voices. They held each others hands. They seemed to be deeply in love with each other, or having a close and warm friendship. The red haired girl was keeping the spirit up. The muslim girl was so very tired. It was also intelligent talk inbetween the two of them. And I think they where so beautiful — so beautiful together.'
Voices on the Radio
Host/Producer: Krista Tippett
Managing Producer: Kate Moos
Associate Producer: Nancy Rosenbaum
Associate Producer: Shubha Bala
Technical Director/Producer: Chris Heagle
Senior Editor: Trent Gilliss
Poetry is something many of us seem to be hungry for these days. We're hungry for fresh ways to tell hard truths and redemptive stories, for language that would elevate and embolden rather than demean and alienate. Elizabeth Alexander shares her sense of what poetry works in us — and in our children — and why it may become more relevant, not less so, in hard and complicated times.
How can unimaginable social change happen in a world of strangers? Kwame Anthony Appiah is a philosopher who studies ethics and his parents' marriage helped inspire the movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. In a tense moment in American life, he has refreshing advice on simply living with difference.
Frances Kissling is known for her longtime activism on the abortion issue but has devoted her energy more in recent years to real relationship and new conversations across that bitter divide. She's learned, she's written, about the courage to be vulnerable in front of those with whom we passionately disagree.
The civil rights leader wrote speeches for Martin Luther King Jr. and was one of his closest friends. Vincent Harding is teaching new generations about the lessons of that time — and how those lessons can repair divisions in America today. He finds hope in young people today and says they are his answer to the question that drives him: "Is America possible?"
Each of us, in our everyday interactions, chooses between letting technology shape us and shaping it towards human purposes, even towards honoring what we hold dear. Sherry Turkle, director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, is full of usable ideas — from how to declare email bankruptcy to teaching our children the rewards of solitude.