Civility Linkblogging: Pennsylvania, Montana, Tennessee, and Ephesians

Linkblogging
By Anita Pratanti, via flickr

This post is part of an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web. We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.

This week’s edition of linkblogging might well be subtitled: playing catch-up. It features articles articles about civility and civil government from the greater part of September and the beginning of October — from just before the government shutdown.

But just because these items are a little bit old in terms of current events does not mean that they are irrelevant. Here, we have what happened in Levittown, PA when Republican Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) took the stage with Missouri Democrat Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5) to talk about civility and civil discourse. We have retired pastor Jim Bell’s scripturally grounded call for greater civility from politicians who self-identify as Christian. And we have a success story — of the ascendency of civility in municipal government in one California town.

If you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

Covenants of Civility
Posted by Jim Bell at Pastor Jim Bell’s Jottings, September 16, 2013

The church in the United States can offer a message of hope and reconciliation to a nation that is deeply divided by political and cultural differences.

Too often , however, we have reflected the political divisions of our culture rather than the unity we have in the body of Christ. We come together to urge those who claim the name of Christ to “put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

Fitzpatrick Promotes Civility with Democratic Congressman
Posted by James Boyle at Levittown Patch, September 18, 2013

Cleaver carried his new devotion to self-control and quiet strength throughout college and into public office, where he became the first African-American mayor of Kansas City, Mo., in 1991 and now serves in the House of Representatives alongside Mike Fitzpatrick, who represents Bucks County in Pennsylvania’s 8th District.

They sit on opposite sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C., but Monday afternoon Cleaver and Fitzpatrick shared the same stage at Neshaminy School District’s Maple Point Middle School in Langhorne to highlight the importance of civility.

Watching Civility and Fair Negotiation in Action
Posted by Yvonne Holt at The Modesto Bee, September 25, 2013

I realized during these meetings that civility works when people are willing to participate in civility. It became apparent to me that the board members and the residents in attendance all wanted what was fair for the entire homeowners’ association. It is hard to resolve every single issue that is brought to the table.

It is eye-opening to witness fair negotiation between leaders and residents who are willing to try to stick to facts and then make decisions using due process.

Montana Governor: Politics Can Be Made More Civil, But Will Take Time
Posted by Charles S. Johnson at The Missoulian, September 26, 2013

Gov. Steve Bullock told a Leadership Montana gathering Thursday that he remains hopeful that civility eventually can be restored to the U.S. and Montana political systems, but it will take efforts by many to make the needed changes.

“I am still confident about the future of politics and civility in our system,” he said. “I think it’s going through a rough time. I look ahead to what we want in 10 years.”

Civility the Latest Casualty of Politics
Posted by Otis Sanford at The Detroit News, October 3, 2013

When President Barack Obama visited Chattanooga July 30 to talk about the economy and job growth, not a single ranking Republican official in Tennessee was anywhere around.

Sen. Bob Corker, a former mayor of Chattanooga, stayed as far away as possible. So did Sen. Lamar Alexander and Gov. Bill Haslam.

Even the Chattanooga Times Free Press newspaper was unwelcoming. “Forgive us if you are not greeted with the same level of Southern hospitality that our area usually bestows on its distinguished guests,” the newspaper said in an editorial before the president’s arrival.