Isn't it interesting that the calls for "civility" (and here) in our discourse about controverted issues always come only after our group finds itself on the losing side of an historic cultural battle? Then, all of a sudden, we're interested in seeing an issue like including gay human beings in church and society and treating them as fully human discussed with "civility."
But during the long, long years in which people like Rev. Pat Robertson are blaming disastrous hurricanes on gay folks, or people like Rev. Bryan Fischer are attributing the Holocaust to gays, or, closer to home, people like our fellow Catholic William F. Buckley call for those with HIV to be tattooed, or our fellow Catholic Maggie Gallagher and her organization NOM produce videos spreading ugly lies about gay people and claiming that same-sex marriage will harm children, or fellow Catholic William Donohue blames the abuse crisis in the Catholic church on the gays:
For all those long years, we're totally silent.
Not a peep from us about "civility" and "civil discourse."
Never a word about the incivility of the lies, the slurs, the attacks on the humanity of a group of fellow human beings or fellow Catholics.
But let us start to sense that we may have lost control of the conversation and that no one is listening to us any longer as we place gay folks in second-class categories in church and society, and we suddenly become keenly interested in "civil" discourse.
Funny, isn't it?