Keeping a Civil Tongue

A denominationally and politically diverse group of more than 100 U.S. Christian leaders released a “civility covenant” in March promising to pray for politicians and to publicly model civil dialogue (see page 7). “The church in the United States can offer a message of hope and reconciliation to a nation that is deeply divided by political and cultural differences,” reads the statement. “Too often, however, we have reflected the political divisions of our culture rather than the unity we have in the body of Christ.” The signers represent a broad range of the Christian and political landscape, including Chuck Colson, founder of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, Sojourners’ president Jim Wallis, and Morna Murray, president of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

This Christian leaders’ covenant follows last year’s launch of the Civility Project by Mark DeMoss, a politically conservative evangelical Christian who was an adviser on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and Lanny Davis, who served as White House special counsel in Bill Clinton’s administration and worked on Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency. “Important debates are no longer fought with ideas and words,” said DeMoss on why he started the project, “but with shouting and screaming, even throwing things. I am concerned about the hate and animosity being aimed at men and women with whom we may disagree.”

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