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(RNS) Instead of reasoned debate among people who all seek the common good, we have a toxic spew of ads aimed at nothing more than instilling fear and hatred. Such willful destruction of the public square is despicable, and now it has become normal. By Tom Ehrich.

2 Comments

  1. I read your piece in the Newark Star Ledger today and I was left shaking my head when I finished. I thought your article started out with promise that your words would accomplish something in this toxic arena of divisive politics. Sadly, all it did was reinforce the idea that the divide is great and your perspective is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    It didn’t take long for me to realize that your philosophy is that of the progressive left. As a conservative, we are clearly on opposite sides of the spectrum but I was intrigued to read further to see what you wanted to accomplish in your article.

    The thrust of your piece is the notion that we must stay informed and understand “truth”. You tell us about the various news sources you frequent and then are quick to dismiss Fox News as you claim they abandon journalistic integrity and simply broadcast information. You do not provide one shred on proof or give even one example of how they allegedly do that – are we supposed to take your word as “truth”?. And for someone who feels it is important to seek many sources, wouldn’t it make sense to include news sources that do not share your philosophy? Otherwise, how can you sort through what is true and not true if you are getting your information from one slant? Bias would be an automatic here and truth would then be lost.

    You then speak of “broadsides” from Tea Party folks and wonder what universe they live in. I would be one of those “folks” and I am proud to say that I do believe in the tenets of smaller government, lower taxes, states rights, personal responsibility, strong defense. Does that make me an alien from another planet? Is there no hope that you and I could have a peaceful, respectful discussion of our differences without the name calling?

    It is ironice that you decry the toxic climate of hate, anger and fear. Yet, your own words and demeaning references to those that do not agree with you add fuel to this fire. That is sad.

    I appear to be the polar opposite of you as it relates to the issues you reference. However, I have no desire to call you dishonest or ridicule the news sources you choose. You have free will as I do and I can disagree with you but maintain respect and dignity while doing so.

    You had such an opportunity here. Unfortunately, nothing was accomplished. Your insulting tone and dismissal of others really puts you in the same boat with the people you criticize. It’s not very Christian, either.

  2. Mainline Protestantism is about as vibrantly diverse as skim milk; paternalism dressed up in silk robes and wringing its hands over unpleasantness from Martha’s Vineyard or Marin County. These are churches for the poor, not of them.