An Open Invitation to Civil Discourse

Our nation sits on a precipice right now, with it slowly dividing into polarized camps. This is taking its toll on society so that those who stand up for civility and discourse in disagreement are often trampled on. If one takes a stand on an issue, those who disagree with that issue automatically place a label on the person and treat him as such. In Christian camps if you claim you are against homosexual behavior on a moral level, but are civil, you will automatically be called a bigot and that your very opinion is in itself uncivil, thus there’s no reason to be civil with you. The opposite stands true as well; to many conservative Christians, to consider that homosexuality may not be a sin is an abomination to God, therefore we should react in fervor and not an attempt to understand.

Sadly, it is quite easy to get wrapped up in such rhetoric. It used to be that one could have a heated discussion or a strongly worded discussion on difficult issues, but still walk away friends and understanding each other’s opinions. Anymore, however, we often dissolve into ad hominem attacks before the fight even gets heated. “Well you only believe that because you’re uneducated!” “You want to justify your sin, so of course you’ll say that!” We attack the person and ascribe nefarious motives to him before hearing his opinion. Sadly, we do this because we often times don’t want to hear the other side’s opinion. We’ve already formed our judgment and believe they have nothing to offer us, that we could never be wrong and they could never be right. Such a recalcitrant attitude is the epitome of close-mindedness.

In an effort to reverse such incivility in our world, the Christian Watershed is extending an open invitation for anyone who disagrees with us to write articles in response to us and/or to voice their opinions. In all fairness, while we might write an article in response, we want to open our website to fair-minded and open discourse. We will only publish quality articles/blogs, but so long as the piece is written in a civil manner and written as an attempt to explain one’s position (even if that position is, “You are wrong”), we’ll post it. For some we’ll write a response and for others we’ll simply let them stand.

In either case, we want to show that while disagreement is inevitable, incivility is not. Incivility is bred out of ignorance, arrogance, and a general disdain towards deeper thought. While some things require an impassioned response, those things are few and far between.

To those who do agree with us, you’re also welcome to post articles. But we’re extending this invitation to those who do disagree with us. Again, while we’re respond, we will respond in a civil tone – to be open-minded doesn’t mean to be free from disagreement, it means to look at where your opponent is coming from and then to counter the argument, not the person.

To send us an article simply contact us with the subject line “ARTICLE.” Make sure to give us your first name (or pseudonym), a link to your website (if you wish), and any other background information you want us to publish (e.g. any books/articles you’ve published, where/if you have your degree, what kind of work/ministry you’re in, etc). Give us time to put your article up as we may be busy doing other things. In most cases you’ll receive a response within 72 hours confirming whether or not we got the article.

So we leave ourselves open. We hope to hear from you soon.