The ELCA is asking for comments on the guidelines for the Church in the area of moral discernment and/or civil discourse in this election year.
“We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes’ legal thoughts tie in with the desire for “civil discourse” which has been much lacking in the past decade in our country. If our Christian faith is about anything, it is about living with our fellows on this earth in peace, a peace that is constructed by compromise and a desire to share in the basic rights of life and natural freedoms -- shelter, food and water, health and family. When stubborn pride and self-righteousness interfere with rational moral discussion, when anger and the determination not to allow the other speaker to be heard, it is then we are closing our ears to the cry for peace. Every Christian needs to hear the voice of God in “the other”. To demonize the opposition is a straight path to losing our own right to be heard. The call of the Church is to be a strident voice for the voiceless. To remain silent in the cacophony of demeaning and hurtful remarks intended to silence other voices is to reject the scandalous gospel of Jesus Christ.