In praise of civility

I’m always amazed at what minor things can set people off into a rage. Today I stated the obvious, that the LDS church as an institution (and most of its members) stood on the sidelines of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. This would seem pretty noncontroversial. While Martin Luther King was being beaten and jailed, the LDS church was defending its exclusion of black men from the priesthood and warning that King and his movement were Communist-directed troublemakers.

But for saying that the church and most members were uninvolved in the movement, I was told that I have a “jaundiced worldview and bigoted agenda against all things Mormon,” among other similar expressions of hate.

I never have understood people getting so angry about religion. Any disagreement is seen as an attack, and even the most inocuous statement is seen as a vile distortion of all that is true and good.

This little exchange reminded me of how much I appreciate civil dialogue, even when the two sides are far apart. It’s certainly possible, but I find that the more time I spend around certain people, the less agreeable and charitable they become.

But I guess that with the openly hostile, you know what you’re getting.

Anyway, thanks to the posters here who have managed to discuss things with kindness and civility.


6 Responses to In praise of civility

  1. zackc says:

    What I don’t understand is why you won’t deal with the folks at MDB but you’ll deal with Selek? Selek!?!?!?

  2. Chris says:

    lol! This was at MADB?

  3. K*tty says:

    That’s how people act when you strike a nerve or put them on the defensive when there is no defense.

  4. runtu says:


    Zack is right: it was selek (or as I like to call him, Pahoran lite).

  5. zackc says:

    They’re both insufferable. At some point I stopped differentiating between bad and worse and chose instead the little red “x” in the top right hand corner of my window.

  6. jr says:

    ETB called the Civil Rights Movement a communist plot. Quite the ‘inspired’ man.

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