Dear Ms. Tippet,
I listened to your interview of Rev Mouw this past Sunday and I was very interested. He sounds like a wonderful man and I liked the conversation that you had with him. I do have to say that as important as it is for the religious and evangelicals to be held to account for messages they give, I have found far more incivility from the people in opposition to eveangelicals and irreligious people in general, as well as the media, generally.
Any discussion about bringing civility back to the public conversation should address these examples of incivility.
Obama, as a presidential candidate, referred to people he had not convinced of his message, including church goers, as "bitter people, clinging to their bibles and guns", has been portrayed as the very model of civility by a besotted media. The descriptions of the Tea Party in the media are far more uncivil than any action that the Tea Partiers have ever practiced. The portrayal by the liberal left that is currently running this country of any voices in opposition as extremest is uncivil far more often than, in my experience, the very limited incivility that Rev. Mouw properly addresses.
If evangelicals have been uncivil, they have been the recepient of far more incivility from the left. When the liberal elite write about people who do not share their views, it often amounts to "an attempt to understand the limited nature of their intelligence" rather than a desire to have a conversation on a civil basis. I suspect that you may consider the response to this aspect of incivility as not part of your purview, however, it is not being addressed very much that I have seen and needs to be. One of the unfortunate outcomes is that contempt breeds contempt, of which we have seen all too much.
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