It has been reported that 115 church leaders from around the USA, who have some very different political views, have signed a Civility Covenant. "[T]he document says that churches have too often 'reflected the political divisions of our culture rather than the unity we have in the body of Christ.'
I agree completely and I applaud this project as should all believers. Leaders with very different political views from Jim Wallis to Chuck Colson from Harry Jackson to Morna Murray have signed on. It appears that some in Congress have called on church leaders to assist in this, and I believe it is appropriate and important for us to respond. All of us know how vitriolic the political wars currently are with Christians getting involved in the shouting and yelling as well.
But I also have a suggestion. I would ask those church leaders-- Jim Wallis and Chuck Colson and others-- to ask the members of Congress to sign their own civility pledge. Members of both parties often lead the way and set the tone by their name calling, insults and gross mischaracterizations of the other side. It seems somewhat ineffectual for us outside of Washington to tone it down, while those inside Washington continue to spew their demagoguery. After all, we get to hear them each night on the news and the cable spin shows.
It's just a suggestion. I think, first and foremost, we who follow Jesus need to bear witness to the need for civility; and by demonstrating our love for one another even in the midst of the disagreements, we can bear witness to the powers that be that civil discourse is much to be preferred.
But I think this is also an opportunity for Christians to say to those in Washington, "You'd be a better empire if you didn't insult and demean each other, and mischaracterize each other's positions."
Just a thought...