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15 September 2009

Can't We All Get Along? Or At Least Behave?

Rodney King's much ridiculed but heartfelt plea, "Can't we all just get along?" has stayed with me since the LA riots memorialized by his name. I have found myself asking that question off an on since then. This summer has me asking, "Why can't we get along?" And "Why can't we disagree agreeably?"
Health care reform town hall meetings...Joe Wilson...Serena Williams...Kanye council and vestry fights...campus shootings...domestic violence...violence against children...
There is a stunning lack of civility in the United States right now. Much of it is political and partisan, racially tinged and directed towards our President, his administration and family, but not all. Rage-based crimes on our highways and in our neighborhoods, including those perpetrated by and against children are commonplace.
I don't know if it is a lack of home training, a lack of common sense or an increase in violence on TV and at the movies. But it has got to stop. Not so much for God's sake. But for our own. We who have to live here. And our children.
We are shaping a world for our children. And we are shaping children for this world. And I am, quite frankly, past concerned. I'm downright scared.
At the risk of oversimplifying, let me suggest that those of us who believe that everyone (including the past and present Presidents - and anyone who loves or hates them equally), is created in the image of God, treat everyone as though our words and deeds were the only proof of that truth.
And for those who don't believe? Perhaps our actions if not our beliefs will be contagious.


  1. I agree. I have been just as guilty of incivility during the last administration. Is it too late to apologize and repent.

  2. It is never to late to repent. To make your apology meaningful, you'll have to apologize to someone you offended with your past incivility. This is how I as a priest would respond to someone coming to me far absolution.