Civility and The United States….

In the distant past The New York Times earned the nickname, “The Old Grey Lady” for its insistence upon civil discourse, usually passionless and logical. My how things have changed! Ryan Anderson is somebody you should know. He is also somebody the NYTimes has decided should be treated with “incivility.”The old grey lady has become the senile hag, mean and vengeful to those with whom she disagrees! Ryan responds with grace: read more here.

Ryan Anderson is a Catholic and public scholar and speaker on the topic of the meaning of marriage, he makes the case for the traditional Catholic understanding of marriage while pointing out the logical fallacies of so-called, ‘gay marriage.’ His work can be found at Now The New York Times has declared that he deserves to be treated without civility because of his views!   The Acton Institute ( spends a good amount of time and energy insisting that democracy is not possible without a certain amount of public virtue. It would seem that civility is at the heart of that virtue, a sense that the opponent in a debate is still worthy of respect.  It is a great place to ponder how essential mutual respect among citizens is to the very existence of a democracy.

Here are a few quotes to remind us of the value of being civil:

“When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency.”  –Samuel Johnson, British author

“Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business. Large stores, gilt signs, flaming advertisements, will all prove unavailing if you or your employees treat your patrons abruptly. The truth is, the more kind and liberal a man is, the more generous will be the patronage bestowed upon him.” -P. T. Barnum

“I don’t believe in confrontation. That seems to me outside civil discourse and we all have to find way to be civil to one another.” – Condoleezza Rice

“Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.” – Henry James


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