Mitch Carnell: Show Respect for Those Who Disagree
By Mitch Carnell
Just when the harsh rhetoric had seemed to abate a little, the leak at the Supreme Court shattered our dreams of a more civil political debate season. Now the atmosphere is more toxic than ever. Where are the voices of reason?
The leak is reason enough to stimulate harsh debate, but then there is the all-important issue of overturning Roe v.Wade. The anti-abortion faction is empowered. The Freedom of Choice faction is incensed.
The Sixteenth Say Something Nice Sunday is fast approaching on June 5. It is a day set aside to temper our language and to be more respectful of others. In a long ago time, worshipers could expect a more reasoned tone from the pulpit. Not any longer. Today the church is often the source of heated take-no-prisoners venom.
Sixteen years ago, First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina recognized the urgency for a more Christ-like dialogue. Such a conviction is rooted in the church history as stated in the Church Covenant adopted on August 21, 1791. “We will be careful to conduct ourselves with uprightness and integrity, and in a peaceful and friendly manner, toward mankind in general, and toward Christians of all descriptions, in particular.
Say Something Nice Sunday is rooted in the words of scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” There are great differences of opinion among Christians of all denominations. That fact alone should drive us to seek a more reasoned, respectful debate. Many denominations are already in turmoil. We must not allow this controversies to drive us further apart.
For at least one day can we put the vicious rhetoric aside and acknowledge that each person deserves to be respected? This week I attended the Charleston Book and Author Luncheon. Five New York Times bestselling authors spoke for about fifteen minutes each. What was most noticeable was there was not one political remark in either of their speeches. In a week when the leak at the Supreme Court dominated the headlines not one speaker referenced it. What a refreshing occurrence. This secular event proves that it can be done.
The movement is endorsed by the Charleston County Baptist Association, The Charleston/Atlantic Presbytery, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston (all of SC), many Disciples of Christ, Lutheran, and Methodist churches. All religious organizations are encouraged to participate. If this date does not fit, choose a different one.
Free materials are available at www.fbcharleston.org. Click on Media at the top of the page and then “All Resources.” Scroll down to Say Something Nice Sunday.