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Is it just me, or is the skill of basic human conversation severely lacking lately? I mean, you just cannot have a civil conversation with another person, without it getting political, hostile, or turning into a monologue.

Over the past few years, I have noticed that people on various sides of the spectrum (religious v not religious, democrat v republican, working mom v stay at home mom, etc.) are just plain asshats. It is their way or the highway, and god forbid you do not agree with them. What has happened?

When I thought about it more, I realized it all comes down to that old phrase “Do not discuss religion or politics in polite society.” When we make it taboo to discuss a certain topic, it makes for trouble when it does come up. Add in social media and the 24/7 news cycle, and it is extremely easy to now discuss difficult topics, but only if it fits your narrative. How difficult is it to find a group of people online that feel the same as you on a certain subject? Yeah, not too hard anymore.

If you are surrounded by those of a like mind, and hidden behind a screen and a keyboard, you can easily become a troll. As a result, when you try to talk to someone about something as simple as whether the sky is blue or grey today, you cannot do it. The person who believes the sky is blue because when he looks out his window, he sees a blue sky, and the grey sky person is the same. Meanwhile, I’m over here, looking out one window, and then the other, and realize that yes, the sky is blue over there, but to the south, there’s a storm coming, so it’s grey and overcast.

Why is it so difficult to have an open mind or see things through another’s eyes? I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had someone say, “We need to have a discussion” about whatever topic they come up with, and instead of a discussion, I end up being talked at. Heaven forbid that person be the type who always has to have the last word or always be right; there is no moving forward.

What can you do? Try to reason, and it just doesn’t make a dent; people cannot see reason, and they cannot “agree to disagree” or even just find some type of common ground. Well, you can prepare yourself for the feedback you will get, positive or negative. Make sure you have all of your talking points, and any relevant sources (some people need sources, but they have to be from an approved media outlet, you can’t just cite Fox News or MSNBC, etc.). Realize that for some people, you will just never be correct, and they will never value your opinion; these are the toxic people, and the ones you want to distance yourself from.

What are you doing to facilitate conversations? Have you run into these issues? I know I certainly have, and it is becoming quite the common occurrence.

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1 Comment

  1. Here’s the thing. Reason is racist. No, I am not trying to be inflammatory here. But some folks who are truly into the philosophy surrounding much of our inability to speak these days truly believe that–they wholeheartedly believe that rational argument is a part and parcel of the white, cis-gendered, male hegemony. Some of these people are dear friends of mine. They believe that simply by stating a reasoned argument you are participating in that. If you can find a few hours to listen (they are on YouTube, but you really only need to listen) check out the lectures by Dr. Voddie Baucham. The one on Cultural Marxism, though a bit dry, gives a good grad level explanation in normal people language of the thinking behind all of this in terms of a Christian perspective. I could probably also add to it from a thoroughly secular perspective, but I think you might prefer this even if it is slanted to the Calvinist side of things.

    Other folks are following the lead of those who espouse that philosophy. They don’t understand how that decision was reached, but they’ve been told by all the “respected people” the “right” people that this is true. In the end it is all very sad.

    Do have a listen! Please! I promise, there won’t be a bluebook exam at the end of the semester 🙂

    Racial Reconciliation – Ephesians 2:10-11 | Dr. Voddie Baucham
    Defining Social Justice | Dr. Voddie Baucham
    Cultural Marxism
    Ethnic Gnosticism | Dr. Voddie Baucham.


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