First step to civil discourse? Drop the hateful labels


So says Washington DC’s Cardinal Wuerl in the Washington Post:

Increasingly, there is a tendency to disparage the name and reputation, the character and life, of a person because he or she holds a different position. The identifying of some people as "bigots" and "hate mongers" simply because they hold a position contrary to another's has unfortunately become all too commonplace today. Locally, we have witnessed rhetorical hyperbole that, I believe, long since crossed the line between reasoned discourse and irresponsible demagoguery.

… People and organizations should not be denounced disparagingly as "homophobic" simply because they support the traditional, worldwide, time-honored definition of marriage. The defaming words speak more about political posturing than about reasoned discourse.

Danny Carroll, chairman of the Iowa Family Policy Center speaks of a similar experience:

Carroll said supporters of the marriage amendment have no malice in their hearts.

"In fact, many of those people would be quick to offer an apology to the homosexual community for the way they have been treated over the decades, for the ridicule and at least verbal if not physical abuse that they had been subject to," Carroll said. "We reject that, Mr. Chair. Let me repeat: We reject that, just as much as we reject evangelical Christians being the brunt of name-calling, being called bigots because they simply want the chance to vote on what the definition of marriage is and has been for the last 2,000 years."