civility

The Tyranny of Tolerance

When the Supreme Court re-defined marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision to include same-sex relationships, it was immediately clear that this sea change would create a conflict between this newly-discovered constitutional right, and the first freedom listed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: the right of religious liberty. Everyone from pundits [...]

The Thoughtfuls and the Roughnecks

There is a way of argumentation that academics use. It goes something like, “Thank you for your valuable contribution to this exchange. You have allowed us to consider more deeply the issues before us. If I have one quibble it might be…” They could be talking about a house-fire and it would go something like [...]

How to Overcome Nonfactual Emotional “Arguments”

In his essay “Why No Civility is Possible Today,” Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. writes that, “A common good can be worked out among those citizens who may prudentially disagree on this or that point of policy.” It is necessary for citizens to come together and debate because there is almost never one single way [...]

The Brine of Caustic Comments

“No one,” we read in St. James’s epistle, “has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison” (3:8). One wonders if Phil Montag, until very recently an official for the Democratic party in Nebraska, ever read, or understood, St. James. Montag was properly fired after he was [...]

Why No Civility Is Possible Today

Civility means to act as one would in a settled city wherein law and manners, not force and passion, guide the interchanges of the public order as well as the normal affairs of men within their homes and voluntary associations. Civility presupposes reason, but includes courtesy, compassion, and good taste. It usually involves a written [...]

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