Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, was interviewed by Newsweek for their last October 22 issue, 2007. Here are some quotations:

"[the Justices on the Supreme Court] get along just fine as an institution, as friends, as colleagues --it's a wonderful place. The mere fact that people disagree doesn't carry over into how they treat each other. That is what I thought Washington was going to be when I came to town. I didn't think for a moment that because I didn't agree with somebody meant I was going to be hated.....

"...throughout the hearings, the summer, everything...I asked my wife, 'Why? I just disagree with them I don't even know if I disagree with them on specific issues.'"

"My goal is, I will never treat anybody the way I was treated in this city. I also will never do my job as poorly as people did their jobs when I was at their mercy." [referring to the Senate hearings and those in charge.]

I agree with his goal --for my blog, etc. in 2008. I will never treat any bloggers or commenters as badly as I've been treated just because people disagree with me about anything. Ad hominem attack is so uncalled for --whereby we call people haters, bigots, mentally ill, liars, etc. just because we disagree about morals, religion, and politics.

Some avoid such topics always--knowing how emotional others get about disagreement. But that is really closed-minded. It was Allan Bloom who said that today's students are so steeped in moral relativism that they think there is something wrong with being opinionated about anything. "Who am I to say?" they think --and thus avoid debates where people get emotional. A free society, however, must entertain the discussion of the pros and cons of various views. But we see where some bloggers only want their view discussed from their point of view and get livid if opposition is too effectively presented.

Another fact is that NO ONE in the world truly appreciates criticism--no matter how it is given. People in churches or businesses --any organization, in fact --resent disagreement and criticism. And most of us hate confrontation --we know it will not be received well. We don't like the emotions that rise on either side of a concern brought up. But sometimes confrontation is part of our job in leadership --or just necessary in order to make improvements, attain goals, bring healing or justice to others, etc.

We do well to be gentle in our approaches as the critics --and to be thicker-skinned in our responses when criticized.

As Jesus would say, "Let those who have ears to hear, HEAR!"

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

No comments: