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July 12, 2009

“Talking Back Softly to an Angry World” - *

I was poking around on the internet the other day, and found an article with an intriguing title: “Talking Back Softly to an Angry World”. The author went on to discuss an issue that doesn’t concern me directly, but the title continues to speak to me. For we do seem to live in an angry world, and the way we “talk back” says a lot about us.

More and more lately, I see people whose tolerance for other viewpoints is all but nonexistent. Sadly, some of the people who do so justify their heated reactions on the basis of their faith. And as William Doino Jr. says in an article found here:

The vitriol and name-calling has been raging online, all too often anonymously, for quite a while. But what was previously regarded as fringe or extreme, and confined to heated exchanges on web forums, has increasingly seeped into the Catholic mainstream. The verbal abuse among fellow Catholics has gotten out of control, and Catholics need to address it if they care about healing the Body of Christ... It is true that “everyone is doing it” — and that is precisely why Catholics should not be doing it. If we prided ourselves less on destroying those we disagree with and more on the Christian values of humility and charity, then we wouldn’t be emulating the secular culture by engaging in vulgar, ad hominem, slash-and-burn tactics.

Certainly Catholics aren’t the only denomination guilty of this. Here are a few samples from a variety of online forums:

  • What I like about Catholics is that they retain so many pagan rituals.
  • It's just so amazing how -- and I mean this in as objective, non-judgmental way as possible -- stupid people can be when they are too lazy to process things or they have an ax to grind with the Church
  • This is a Spiritual War as well, and many of those you're talking about may be "Spiritually" or "Morally" Blind. At the same time, many of them have become so indoctrinated to the Pro-Abortion, Pro-Death Agenda, they don't know that ALL of the original "Women's Libbers", the Suffragettes, opposed Abortion precisely because Abortion was used by men to imprison, oppress, subjugate & brutalize women.
  • Liberals are such idiots.
  • You just made such a large leap into faulty logic, I'm amazed you didn't fall over.
I’m not suggesting that we should accede to or ignore that which is clearly wrong. But I do believe that we get further with civil conversation than with condemnation.

In the book of Ephesians, we read, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Let us begin.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, let us begin again. I feel disappointed at times when I read words less than kind and sometimes abusive in ways as a Catholic I find offensive. I wonder at the reasoning for such verbal violence, for that is what it is. It is also unproductive. This was a great post. Thank you! Cathy


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