Jim Wallis and Chuck Colson have a column in Christianity Today urging both conviction and civility in our public discourse. Their remarks are offered in the wake of the Tucson shootings, and I think they get it just about right. Here’s a snippet:
“We affirm the politics of conviction. Conviction is not inconsistent with civility, which is far deeper than political niceness, indifference, or weakness. We recall the example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who could never be accused of a lack of passion; yet he persisted in the non-violent treatment of his adversaries, hoping to win them over rather than to win over them.
“Where moral concerns lie beneath our political debates, we should be firm in conviction yet also open to genuine dialogue (as Dr. King always was), and be ‘quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry’ (James 1:19).”