Watch Your Mouth!

FYI: Nothing turns me off your blog, twitter or facebook page faster than the gratuitous use of profanity or name calling!

Recently I unsubscribed from a blog I was following because the author called President Obama a “f__king asshole” and his liberal base a bunch of whiners.  Honestly I think that everyone involved in the recent fight over US monetary policy, including the president have been less than perfect in recent weeks but that is no excuse to stoop to name calling!

Similarly a few months ago I got into a heated argument and ultimately lost a friend because I chose to defend a person that I felt he was unfairly attacking.

It’s not that I disagree, it’s not about that.  My position on any one political issue is irrelevant here.  But when you use name calling and foul language to get your point across, you’ve lost something far more important that the argument itself, you’ve lost your dignity and your credibility walks out the door right on its heels.

I started to think about writing this post long before I heard that Standard & Poors had downgraded the US Credit Rating.  One of the reasons cited for the downgrade was the “three ring circus” atmosphere of the political system.  Democratic politics is supposed to be about debating good ideas to find the best one.  Not creating a polarized system of us versus them where people are branded as either bleeding heart liberals or cold and calculating conservatives.  Nothing gets done in an environment like that.

In a weekly news roundup a British commentator for The Economist said that the members of the Republican Party in Congress have spent that last year shooting down every single proposal put forth by the Democrats and thus made the country “un-governable”.  Heading into a presidential election next year the strategy for the Republicans will be to point to the chaos and say that Obama and the Democrats are incompetent.

But the question isn’t about competence.  It’s about co-operation.

The American political system is based on checks and balances that prevent one branch of government from becoming too powerful and imposing its will on the country.  But when the branches refuse to work together it’s as if the two parties are standing there with guns pointed at each other, neither one willing to give an inch for fear that the other will blow their head off.  That’s not a political debate, that’s a civil war!

Funny thing about civil wars; no matter who wins, the country itself is always destroyed.

I cannot stress this enough. When you disagree with someone, don’t just automatically brand them as one of those people, write them off or call them names.   Take a second to listen, try to understand their point, maybe do a bit of reflection and then respond.  And always, I repeat always, remember they are people just like you, who have looked at the same evidence you have and come to a different conclusion.  That doesn’t make them wrong any more than it makes you right.

When you start calling people names it only proves that you’re out of answers yourself.  Maybe you just need to shut up and listen.


  1. sewiam says:

    Can you describe to me how to unsubscribe?! Thanks.

    1. laurensheil says:

      Ha Ha – Touché…

      If you are a WordPress subsriber there should be a button at the top of the paged called “Unfollow”. If you get your updates from me via email just reply to the original message and I’ll take you off the list.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more on this one, Lauren. I hope the U.S. reps listen to the message sent by the S&P, and decide to work together for the good of the country, and the world.

  3. thewiredjournal says:

    I think I like this guy that you unfollowed!!!! (always liked people that tell it the way it is, and hold nothing back)….
    I am curious though…as a christian and seasoned writer/blogger why did you bother repeating what this guy said?…
    As a representative of Christ didn’t you just do the same? in your argument for the bible and the way Christians are to act etc etc …(ya know what I mean)
    “But when you use name calling and foul language to get your point across, you’ve lost something far more important that the argument itself, you’ve lost your dignity and your credibility walks out the door right on its heels.”
    Not to mention the fact that your not even a US Citizen etc etc….(what do you care what this guy thinks about our president…???)

    1. laurensheil says:

      As a Christ Follower I am intensily interested in what people think and say about each other. We are all Image Bearers of God after all. Yes I did repeat what he said but as a quote to make my point, I didn’t reveal his name or belittle him in any way. And I am not against people telling it like it is all I ask is that you use a little discresion and respect. This has nothing to do with whether or not I care what people say about your president, my political views do not enter into this, I thought I made that clear. However I do care how people treat one another and what they say about them, regardless if they are the president or a window washer.

  4. thewiredjournal says:

    Nice title by the way….

    1. laurensheil says:

      I thought about it and decided to change the title of the post. You’re right, I don’t need to repeat the mistakes that I’m trying to warn people against.

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