civility

Is Brett Kavanaugh the New Scalia—or Just Another Kennedy?

As the United States has grown more and more ideologically polarized, the divide has been magnified on the Supreme Court. The divisions on the Court made Justice Anthony Kennedy the most powerful man in America by 2018 because he was often the Court’s swing vote on important decisions. Where the swing vote of the Supreme [...]

Breaking the Fourth Wall on Social Media

Just a few years ago, I was arguing in the comment boxes of a gay blog called Slowly Boiled Frog, a site that had gone after me hammer and tongs for years. I joined the combox conversation under my own name. I did it for fun, to sharpen my arguments, and, strange as it may [...]

Slowly Boiled Friendship?

There is a man named David Hart who runs what I once called “a smelly little blog” called Slowly Boiled Frog that lays waste to Christians who take public and aggressive stands against the gay agenda. He has come after me more than twenty times in recent years. This is how David introduced me to [...]

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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