Faith in the Public Square
Dr. Robert Cornwall
March 11, 2007
It's been about 15 months since I began writing regularly for the Lompoc Record, and it's been a privilege to share my ideas about religion and its place in the public square with the readers of this paper. There's a lot of interest in both subjects - religion and public life - especially at the points where these two intersect for good or ill. My intention in writing this column is to stimulate the conversation and to argue that it's possible to be religious and responsibly share the public square.
Last fall, a Faith in the Public Square forum at the Lompoc Public Library elicited considerable interest in having more public conversations about religion and its place in American society. With that in mind, I'd like to issue an invitation to the community and the readers of this column to join me in marking Faith in the Public Square's anniversary with another forum (though this is a bit late, as far as anniversary celebrations go).
The next Faith in the Public Square Forum will occur at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the sanctuary of First Christian Church, 1517 West College Ave., across from Clarence Ruth Elementary School. There will be ample opportunity to share ideas and concerns about the community, the nation and the world. I hope, of course, to get some ideas for future columns. And, of course, there will be cookies, coffee, tea and maybe some “Kool Aid!”
As for the topic of conversation that evening, I thought that with a presidential race heating up (even though the first primaries and caucuses are almost a year away) and with the ongoing but divisive war in the Middle East, it would be good to talk about civility.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that with all that's going on in the world today, the level of uncivil rhetoric is rising. You can hear it from right and from left, and it's almost a badge of honor, if you're a radio or TV talk show host, to be rude, inconsiderate, and uncivil. The AM radio dial is especially full of commentators spewing angry and bitter messages that poison the national conversation. (To continue reading click here).