"Civility is claiming and caring for one's identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else's in the process."
...and it begins with us.
This statement is found on the website http://www.instituteforcivility.org. I met someone from that group this past week. The website goes on to say…
Civility is about more than merely being polite, although being polite is an excellent start. Civility fosters a deep self-awareness, even as it is characterized by true respect for others. Civility requires the extremely hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and perhaps fierce disagreements. It is about constantly being open to hear, to learn, to teach and to change. It seeks common ground as a beginning point for dialogue when differences occur, while at the same time recognizes that differences are enriching. It is patience, grace, and strength of character.
Consider this from our Baptismal Vows.
Celebrant Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People I will, with God's help.
And this from Jesus.
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5:22 (NIV)
Raca is a term of contempt.
Rather than demonizing someone today, which has become an