The Common Good

rhetoric

Culture Wars: Blood on the Hands of All Sides

Thank you, Family Research Council, for now conceding what conservative groups have been loath to acknowledge in recent years: the truth that incendiary rhetoric indeed does contribute to a climate conducive to politically motivated violence.

Never has the moment seemed more opportune to forge consensus around an overdue new rule in the culture wars. Starting now, can we all please watch our words?

Most likely, you're aware of the incident that ignited this renewed debate about rhetoric and violence. On Aug. 15, a volunteer from a Washington, D.C., community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people walked into the headquarters of the Family Research Council, an influential conservative Christian organization, with a gun, a box of ammunition and a burning grudge against the group and its anti-gay politics and rhetoric, authorities said. The suspect, according to court documents, shot a security guard in the arm before he was subdued by that same guard and taken into custody.

Thank goodness no one was killed and that the security guard acted so heroically to prevent the incident from getting far worse. The group's fiercest opponents in the ongoing national arguments — organizations representing ardent secularists and gay-rights advocates — were quick to condemn the shooting, and rightly so. Conservatives have likewise been clear, for the most part, in their denunciations of violence committed against liberal figures over the years.

Here's where the plot gets thicker.

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Newt Gingrich Is Right

Governor Perry should have to stand up and have the three hour Lincoln-Douglas style debates about why he wants to cut the Departments of Education, Commerce, Energy, and perhaps even the Environmental Protection Agency, and all the other government work that he would like to forget.

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Did Someone Say "Class Warfare"?

When President Barack Obama laid out his deficit plan Monday, he wasn't just trying to sell a policy. When he pressed for tax hikes on the rich and announced, "This is not class warfare," he was trying to exorcise a demon that has bedeviled the Democratic Party for decades and in the process deprive the Republicans of one of their trustiest weapons. The reaction from the right was swift and sure: "Class warfare!"

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On Palestinians: Whose Narrative Wins?

Once again last week the pages of the New York Times was graced with an ad published by David Horowitz's Freedom Center, one of
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Embracing Creation Theology

Today is the annual National Day of Silence, a day where students across America pledge to be silent for a day in order to bring attention
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Why I Support President Obama's Decision on Libya

I believe deeply in the power of nonviolence, first as a Christian, and second as one committed to seeing the principles of human dignity, freedom, and justice advanced throughout the world.
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'Farewell Rob Bell' (Or, John Piper's Inferno)

"Farewell Rob Bell." With this three word tweet John Piper -- senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist church in Minneapolis, Minnesota and elder statesman of the neo-reform stream of American Christianity -- triggered an online firestorm over the weekend.
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Xenophobic Border Watch Groups are Domestic Terrorists

On May 30, 2009, a terrorist attack in Arizona ended the lives of two U.S. citizens -- a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter.
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Conversion Stories and Mary Karr's Lit

I used to live in a world where God was a given and unapologetic faith was the lens through which the world was seen and interpreted.
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Examples of Civility, Then and Now

The calls for a more civil discourse in our public life spurred by the shooting in
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