The following description of how I pray discourse unfolds here is drawn from Parker Palmer’s Book Healing the Heart of Democracy. I invite you into conversation that draws upon these instincts and capacities. If your comments routinely disregard these tenets and blatantly use such language as to cause pain in others then I will ask you to prayerfully reflect on your contributions. If after a gentle reminder and request to alter your behavior you continue in such a capacity that is contrary to the ethos of this community I will ask you to excuse yourself from the conversation at Coming Out Christian. If you persist in behavior that falls outside those listed below I will delete all of your comments and ensure you have no further access to this space.
Friends, if you find me lacking in these capacities I hope you will, with tenderness, point out my transgressions so that I might live into the hope for healing that I so ardently carry.
When we choose to engage, not evade, the tension of our differences, we will become better equipped to participate…as we expand some of our key civic capacities:
- To listen to each other openly and without fear, learning how much we have in common despite our differences
- To deepen our empathy for the alien “other” as we enter imaginatively into the experiences of people whose lives are radically unlike our own.
- To hold what we believe and know with conviction and be willing to listen openly to other viewpoints, changing our minds if needed
- To seek out alternative facts and explanations whenever we find reason to doubt our own truth claims or the claims of others, this becoming better informed
- TO probe, question, explore and engage in dialogue, developing a fuller, more three-dimensional view of reality in the process
- To enter the conflicted areas…, able to hold the dynamics of that complex force field in ways that unite the civic community and empower us to hold … [one another accountable]
- To welcome opportunities to participate in collective problem solving and decision making, generating better solutions and making better decisions as we work with competing ideas
- To feel more at home on the face of the earth amid differences of many sorts, better able to enjoy the fruits of diversity~Parker Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy, 2011. 14-15