Is civil dialogue a thing of the past

I am getting more and more frustrated with the level of debate in our country.  It seems we cannot have a conversation about anything without it turning to personal attacks.  Most recently, a candidate for the United States Senate, the body that usually raises the bar on debate, called his opponent “pond scum.”  I just do not understand it any longer.

Last night, I posted a story to Facebook about the decision of the Church of England to ordain woman to the hierarchy.  Now just to make it clear, I do not really care what the Anglican Church does or does not do and it is a settled argument, regardless of what people think, that the Orthodox Church will never ordain women, but I posted it for informational and discussion purposes only.  But it soon turned to personal attacks, by two Orthodox Christians!

This is not the first instance when this has happened.  If I post anything about sexual morality, call me a prude if you like but I think people should only be having sex with the person they are married too, and only the opposite sex, but if I post anything along those lines I am ridiculed for my position.  I find it interesting that the very people who are asking for tolerance and, acceptance of their position do not respect my right to hold an opposite position and will paint me as intolerant, as well as my faith.

I have always held the position that you are entitled to your position on an issue.  I also agree that you have the right to speak in opposition to what I believe, in fact I will argue that right to the death if necessary, but in this world of political correctness gone amuck, if one does not hold to what is popular today you are held up for ridicule.  So, I will gladly take it and continue to point out the fallacy of the liberal position on certain topics.

We have some big problems in America right now and all voices need to be heard in the debate, but when the argument is reduced to personal attacks it is time to just walk away from that discussion as it is not helpful.  We have people in America today who can barely survive and we are more concerned about getting elected then fixing the issues.  We want to demonize people and make them afraid rather than have a meaningful discussion about poverty, abortion, education, sexual morality, etc.  Rather than talk about the state of mental health in America we want to start banning guns.  Rather than a discussion about teen pregnancy and the number of abortions and what the cause of all of that is, we want free condoms for everyone.

What needs to happen is a serious conversation about what is causing all of this and not some band aid approach, but that will never happen in the America of today because we have to blame someone, or make you afraid of someone, of turn to comments like “pond scum.”

So I am going to try and raise the bar.  I will continue to solicit comments and discussion on the social media, after all it should be more about discussion than picture of cats and horses, but if your comments turn personal or you attack another person unjustly, then you will be deleted, and I am the judge, it is my wall so these are my rules.

“We the people,” need to control the story and hold our elected officials to a higher standard, but the only way we can do that is if “we the people” hold ourselves to a higher standard.  America deserves better!


  1. Dear Father Peter:

    I am a convert to Orthodoxy, and I’ll be the first to admit I am not at all a tolerant person; however, I will also say that neither I nor anyone else is as intolerant as those who regard “tolerance” as the supreme virtue. No one is as intolerant as the tolerant, nor is anyone as quick to resort to verbal and occasionally physical abuse. However, when someone’s only argument is to address the messenger rather than the message, it usually means they themselves have no argument that will stand up under cross-examination, and they have to keep that from happening by any means, lest the rickety props that act its foundation be kicked from beneath it and their whole house of illusions collapse and shatter on the ground. If someone will go to great lengths to prevent the open, polite discussion of a subject – ANY subject – there is a good reason why; because they fear what that examination might reveal.

    My grandmother would have said such insults and attacks are a sign of weakness of character; I tend to regard them as more of a weakness of position.

    Thank you for your good work.

    Gregory Kay

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!