Prayer Is a Lifestyle; Not an Emergency Exit
Texts: Colossians 2:6-10; Luke 11:1-13
Rev. Dr. John E. Manzo
July 28, 2013
There are, at times, interesting conversations on Facebook. There are significant issues the nation is facing and people of faith happen to face. Often there are threads of people having civil conversations with a variety of viewpoints. This is good.
I am amazed and saddened, however, when many of these constructive conversations come to an abrupt halt usually because of one person. The person becomes what is often called a ‘troll.’ They are the person who chooses to bring incivility into the thread. They throw around names and labels and call people stupid, etc. Instead of good intentioned people having a conversation the discussion turns nasty and one person begins to ‘take on the room’ so to speak. They become the center of attention and conversation and the civil give and take is lost.
The mechanisms by which this takes place vary.
There is name calling or calling someone dumb. There is the tossing of red herrings to divert attention away from the main subject. There are the consistent attacks on others; especially those who are trying to be reasonable.
Civility has become a major problem. Who knew?
Seriously speaking, most people learned manners while growing up. If our parents didn’t teach us manners, our teachers did. We learned decorum in school along with everything else. We learned to now shout out, to not interrupt, to be unkind to other people was not a good thing. I know I learned during ‘nap time’ in Kindergarten that we were supposed to be quiet and that my teacher had very good ears.
We have all been taught or told that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are important and to listen to everyone who speaks with respect. I’ve learned over the years that listening to people with respect has been helpful.
I am not sure what happened. I suspect talk radio has had an impact on things. Many of the talk radio hosts seem to take on the ‘troll’ role and go on and on, often viciously about other people.
In the political realm we see truly nasty and mostly dishonest commercials about other candidates.
But now this lack of civility has crept into society in very sad ways. In a day and age when we face really difficult issues, people who behave badly in conversation with others are disrupting the ability to solve complex problems.
I’ve taken to deleting threads and taken, also, to be sure that I do not sink into the mud with others. There’s an old saying that when you get into the mud with someone pulling you there you are in the mud with someone who likes it.
For one, I don’t like it at all.
I have been watching very little news these days. There is very little I am actually interested in watching. I find that whenever a politician gets on television my first impulse is to change the channel. It has made me a far happier person.
There are some things of note.
I am dazzled, amazed, and impressed by the three young women who had been held hostage and abused in Cleveland. What they endured was horrific. By coming out and talking about their lives moving forward, I find they are exhibiting an amazing amount of courage and class. Their healing has a long way to go, but one cannot be anything but impressed by them right now.
I worry about the world we live in right now. Egypt is once again in a mess and so much of the Middle East is turning upside down with revolution and violence. We are seeing it in Brazil and there are moments in Europe when it is breaking out. Culturally we seem to be, as people, pulling further and further apart----and this is often goaded on----at times when we need to be pulling together.
While this may only be of interest to me, and Giants’ fans, I’m glad Victor Cruz signed a long term deal with the Giants.
Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes are competing against one another in the Senatorial election in Kentucky in November, 2014. It will not only be ugly, it already is ugly as there are already attack ads running for this election. AGH!!!!!
I’m guessing other people are very interested in the George Zimmerman trial. Last week, when I actually wanted to watch news for a little while, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and Headline News were all running the trial live.