MCC Condemns Incivility Aimed at Collins and Staff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: Maine Council of Churches
Contact: Rev. Jane Field, Executive Director
jfield@mainecouncilofchurches.org

As an organization that has been committed to promoting civil discourse for nearly a decade, the Maine Council of Churches is appalled at the horrific vulgarity and threats of violence being directed at Senator Susan Collins and her staff. We condemn in no uncertain terms such offensive and dangerous incivility, and we extend our compassion and concern for the Senator and her staff.
All of the world’s great faith traditions teach that we should treat other people as we would want to be treated, making no exceptions for behavior in public debate. Rooted in Hebrew and Christian scripture, the faith tradition shared by members of our Council calls us to “speak the truth in love” and demands that all our actions are “done with gentleness born of wisdom” even (and especially) when we feel righteous anger at injustice.
A flourishing democracy requires rigorous public debate that includes freedom of expression for all points of view, but for such debate to serve the ends of democracy and the common good, it must be rooted in an environment of mutual respect, honesty and civility.
During these difficult days, we call on people of faith and people of good conscience to abide by the principles outlined in our Civil Discourse Covenant, including: to act respectfully toward others including those with whom we disagree or whom we oppose, to seek to understand others’ points of view, and to refrain from personal attacks even while maintaining the right to vigorously disagree. To download a copy of the covenant, go to:
mainecouncilofchurches.org/mcc-programs-2/covenant-for-civil-discourse/civil-discourse-covenant-2014-noncandidate/