If you missed The Big Class: Civil Conversations in Uncivil Times — Practicing Our Faith in the Public Square with Ray Suarez, no worries! Civil Conversations in Uncivil Times with Ray Suarez is now available For Individuals and For Groups. You can enjoy Ray’s ideas about the Christian call to civility and effective public communication on your own or with a group from your church.
Here are some thoughts that Ray’s talks have prompted among students who have taken the course:
The discussion to reach a compromise often makes the solution better. But, to get to compromise, you have to be able to have enough of a discussion that you can see or admit to your false equivalencies and give them up.
As a white, cis hetero woman, I’m not sure that I should be calling the shots when it comes to compromise. It matters to me what voices are at the table when compromise is part of the conversation.
On resisting the temptation to demonize opponents:
I am tempted many times to see people who disagree with me as bad people, but then I think about my dad. My dad and I do not agree on many things politically, and yet he is one of the best people I know. I know that, because we’ve worked hard at maintaining our relationship. It hasn’t always been easy, and there are times when I want to “make him see” it my way, but that doesn’t change the fact that we disagree politically and still love each other…Thinking of my dad pushes me to be better and to lower my wall.
I am not just tempted [to view opponents as bad people], but I did. Now, after hearing that maybe we have more in common then not in common, I feel that maybe all is not lost. I have some place to start a dialogue.
What new ideas might Ray’s conversation and discussions with others in your parish or across the world spark in you? How might they grow your approach to communicating with people when you disagree profoundly?