So, Now You Want Civility?


That’s the card you’re pulling now, Trump supporters?
That’s where you’ve landed?
That’s your go-to play at this stage of the game?
Given your leader and your resume—
it’s a little late for you to roll that out at this point isn’t it?

After voting for a self-proclaimed genitalia-grabber.
After he suggested dissenters at his rallies should be beaten up.

After hearing him call violent nazis “fine people.”
After he bulldozed sacred Native American lands and turned frigid hoses on tribe elders.
After he ignored mass deaths in Puerto Rico and vilified their public servants.
After he began dismantling protections to our planet and shrinking our national parks.

After witnessing Flint, Michigan go without clean water.
After watching exhausted refugee families stranded at airports.
After leveraging religion to justify all manner of discrimination.
After ignoring evidence of a Russian interference that threatens our national sovereignty.

After seeing ICE raids in hospital rooms and workplaces.
After his gross, reckless fabrications about Muslims and Mexicans and immigrants.

After witnessing him work tirelessly to take healthcare from the sick and the poor.
After he vilified kneeling black athletes and badgered their employers into silencing their peaceful protest.

After his unhinged Twitter rants against private citizens and their businesses, against celebrities and political opponents and world leaders.
After terrorizing teenage shooting survivors on social media.
After allowing the radicalized Christian right and soulless NRA gun zealots to shape national policy.
After sanctioning Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka and Jeff Sessions.

After retweeting the toxic filth of Dana Loesch and Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter.
After celebrating while he’s alienated our greatest allies and aligned with malevolent dictators.
After your silence in the face of migrant children being ripped from their parent’s arms and placed in dog kennels.
After you sat silently while he embraced a Russian dictator over American Intelligence.
After digging in your heels for the past two years on every bit of it.

Now you want to pretend to be civilized?
Now want to talk about measured debate?
Now you want to wag your finger at us for being disrespectful?
Now you want to shame us for our supposed lack of manners?
Now you want to gaslight us into guilt and apology—as if we’ve lost our dignity, as if we’ve sacrificed our humanity, as if we’ve bastardized our religion, as if we’re the ones impervious to other people’s feelings.

With all due respect—to hell with your phony civility.

No, you don’t get to play that card. That request is off the table for you.
You lost that moral high ground somewhere between excusing his mocking of a disabled reporter, his celebrating migrant kids in cages, and his ridiculing of a sexual assault survivor.
Your lengthy, sickening body of work over the past two and a half years is the greatest witness of your fraudulence.

You don’t really want civility, anyway. If you did, you wouldn’t still be supporting this President. Civility is not what you’re asking for. If you were simply asking for that, we wouldn’t have an issue.

You want something else:
You want consent to your abject cruelty. You’re not going to get it.
You want our silence in the face of perversions of justice. It will not be forthcoming.

You want tacit approval for a white Evangelical theocracy. That ain’t gonna happen.
You want to us to quietly witness this President dismantling democracy. We’re simply not going to.
You want us worship your white, angry, American, gun-toting God. We won’t.
You want us to join you in your blind idolatry of a man fully lacking nobility. We won’t be.

You want the steady stream of Sarah Sanders lies, alternative Fox News facts to go unchecked. We’re not giving you that courtesy.
You want us to allow you to perpetuate dangerous false stereotypes of immigrants and young black men and Transgender people. We’re not going to.
You want us to excuse your supremacy and indulge your privilege and sanction your President’s bigotry and applaud this Administration’s legislated assaults on marginalized communities. It’s gonna be a long wait, friend.

No, we’re not doing any of that.

What we are going to do, is clearly, repeatedly, and unapologetically oppose it all with everything we have.
We’re going to push back hard against every divisive meme you produce, every incendiary Tweet he manufactures, every human rights atrocity this Administration generates, every effort you make to normalize monstrous behavior or excuse his ramblings.
We’re going to be unflinching, and we’re going to use our outside voices, and we aren’t going to mince words when it comes to the inherent worth of human beings, the affronts on our Constitution, or the hijacking of our faith traditions.

You can call that uncivilized if you’d like, but honestly we don’t give a damn.

We’re going to be profoundly pissed off whenever diversity is threatened or when human beings are treated as less-than or when religion is invoked to do harm or when America’s stability is under attack. 

In the face of the inhumane things on display in this country right now, we’ll take the cause of humanity and our volume every single time.

We’re going to be loud in the cause of love, even if that sounds like anger in your ears.

Consider this an uncivil war.


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260 thoughts on “So, Now You Want Civility?

  1. No one is looking at themselves everybody at one point in their lives made fun of someone with a disability. Look back at your lives and tell me you honestly have never done that before no one is perfect if you say you are you are a lie

    • So you want to claim that the thoughtless remarks of childhood or young adulthood are exactly equivalent to Trump standing up in front of cameras and all but calling a reporter a retarded spastic (I’m surprised he didn’t say what he was plainly thinking) because he didn’t confirm the bullshit claim of thousands of Muslims partying in the streets of the United States on 9/11/2001?

      If we follow your ‘logic’ far enough, we destroy civilization because nobody is perfect so why should we bother to behave ourselves or to protect each other? Let’s take what we want and to hell with other people and what they want. If they couldn’t keep us from harming them, too damn bad.

    • I don’t think I ever did it where the person could see or hear it. Also, I was under ten when I did it. I then grew up and gained some compassion. Mature emphatic people don’t do that kind of crap.

    • I don’t know about your mother, but mine forbade mocking people’s physicality. Never. Not once. No ethnic or racial jokes either because in my house MLK was as much a family hero as JFK, FDR, and Mother Jones. I’m sorry your mother didn’t teach you better.

    • I can’t honestly say I’ve NEVER made fun of someone with a handicap or challenge, but I can honestly say I haven’t since I was about six and my mother explained to me why we don’t do that. Ever. Trump is most certainly old enough to know better, better than to ridicule the handicapped, better than to assign insulting names to people who dare to disagree with him. better than to bully small children.

    • I disagree! I was taught not to mock people with disabilities. When I was 7 years old a little neighbor girl who was Retarded,(a name used in the later 50’s), was being teased by the neighborhood kids. They would tease her with candy, offer a piece, and then when she came near to receive it, they would throw it in a puddle. I intervened, brought Lucy to our home and drew pictures with her. Lucy lived in a group home much of the year, (and I thought that cruel, even as a 2nd grader). Lucy needed live, attention, and compassion, just like any other 7-8 year old needs. From that day, I hated the label “Retarded.” The President has no moral or ethical compass, none, zero! To mock and bully people puts him in the same category as those teasing neighborhood kids.

    • We’ve all doen stupid thigns at soem point. Doesn’t mean we cna neve rever speak aghin. Otheriwse thw rold would be silnt

  2. This is an angry rant by an unhinged bigot.

    The main point of the article is that we should end civil discourse. It states that we should do so because “the other side” does not deserve to be treated civilly. They are evil and are fit only to be ignored, yelled at or destroyed.

    People who voted for Trump because they want:
    free-market capitalism,
    merit-base immigration,
    limited government,
    low taxes,
    fair trade and
    a muscular foreign policy that recognizes the reality of a world that is constantly at war with freedom, opportunity and everything we hold dear.

    John calls these people “violent, cruel, perverse, white, bigoted, dictatorial, angry, racist, lying, unworthy idolaters.”

    Hillary summed it up for us: They are “deplorables”.

    Both of you are the worst kind of angry, ranting bigot. How un-christian can you be: dehumanizing those with whom you disagree. I’d challenge you by asking you to consider who is hijacking whose historical faith?

    I’m sure it wouldn’t take 5 minutes to find an article from the fringe right that listed Hillary’s “sins” and characterized her supporters in equally unflattering terms, but that doesn’t make your kind of evil bigotry “right”.

    John, you Pavlovian response to the word “Trump” is turning you into an advocate of violence. “War is the continuation of politics by other means” (Clausewitz).

    • Did you read the same thing that I did?

      He was chiding the Republicans for their hypocritical pearl-clutching.

      They’re acting like bullies. But not the sort you can make go away by standing firm but not rising to the bait. Not the ones who’ll get tired of yelling “Fag!” at someone who never acknowledges the word.

      The GOP is behaving like the other bullies. You know the ones: the asshats who stuffed kids into lockers; who stole and destroyed their victims’ property; publicly humiliated people for fun; pursued and beat their targets into bruised messes knowing that adults wouldn’t do a damn thing. The ones who, if a victim landed a sloppy, flailing, tap ran to the teachers or the parents and played the victim.

      Aren’t you tired of being metaphorically stuffed into the locker and finding penises drawn on your books? Aren’t you tired of being insulted and denigrated for wanting to live in a nation in which nobody starves in the midst of plenty; nobody is sick because they can’t afford a doctor; nobody worries about being murdered because of their color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identification?

      And aren’t you tired of the people victimizing you then telling you to sit down and shut up when you finally tell them what you really think of them?

      Or are you too busy being smiling and agreeable and nice so that maybe they’ll decide not to hit you today?

    • You may have voted for him for the list you mentioned, but, if you’ve continued to support him after all of the outrageous claims and continued dismantling of the ideals and values that we’ve set forth as a country. For you to mention Christianity, in defense of trump is hypocrisy of the highest level.

    • You cannot dehumanize one who has already dehumanized himself by showing a complete lack of empathy, by vilifying minorities, Gold Star families, war heroes, Muslims, victims of abuse, his opponents, his allies, immigrants , women in general, LGBTQ, Do you see where I’m going here? And one also cannot dehumanize anyone who follows blindly, in agreement, or at the very least, with sheer ignorance, as they’ve already dehumanized themselves. There comes a time when one has to stand up to their bullies, steadfastly, and stand beside those unfortunate enough to be in any of the above categories. There is a clear line between good and evil. It’s determined by how one treats others. Can you really compare the author of this article with the man in the White House and his followers? What Trump is doing is pretty much exactly how Hitler corralled his followers. Little known fact, Trump kept Hitler’s book of speeches “My New Order” on his bed stand.

    • The problem is that Donald Trump has ended civil discourse already. And nobody in his party is telling him to knock it off.

    • Pierce, obviously we see very different people screaming insanely at the press at Trump’s Nazi gatherings, and occasionally being physically violent. Talk about unhinged bigots! Your description of Trump’s followers describes Eisenhower followers of the 1950s, not the no-info homophobic, racist and misogynistic underbelly of this country that worships a fake, a coward, and a very bad man.

  3. Today we learn of the guilt, evil and sin of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. And today I remember the enthusiastic and wholehearted white evangelical support of Trump and these men who aided him. John Pavlovitz has been right all along about what has been going on. The morally defective character of white evangelicalism has never been more apparent than it is now.

  4. I have never made fun of a disabled person. Not everyone is deviod of sympathy or empathy. Your demagogue trump, is pure unadulterated evil. The unbelievable and pathetic thing is he hijacked evangelicals, fed them red meat, everything else is history. 😔😔😔😔

  5. Some of these evangelics on t.v.and radio have called Obama Satan. They are most likely all Republicans . This is why Trump will allow them to talk about who they feel their audience should vote for. This has always been against the law.

  6. It’s no secret that the two essential things that djtRump was peddling was RACISM and HATE from the moment he rode down on that escalator and announced his candidacy.

    He has been peddling in HATE and DIVISION ever since. But, it’s not as if djtRump was not a known quantity. He uses people for his own personal gain – regardless of color – but, his core belief is that of white supremacy. He believes in eugenics – that he is smarter/better by virtue of being born white. That other races, especially Black people, are beneath him. His background has always been rooted in racism and white supremacy. Review his and his family’s history on race.

    His father or grandfather was arrested at a kkklan rally. They practiced discrimination in the leasing of their rental properties.

    Donald Trump took out full page ads in local newspapers calling for the execution of the now exoneratedd (by DNA evidence) Central Park Five. He has yet to recant or apologize.

    Trump has authoritarian aspirations. He wants to become America’s first dictator. He feeds hate to his base, who themselves are racists, and love every odious morsel of the hate feast. He’s channeling their core beliefs and sentiments. They are no more moral or Christian than Lucifer himself. They cloak themselves in a thinly veiled petina of religious exaltation that can’t cover their multitude of vile, immoral, bigotry. If Jesus slapped each of them in the face, they wouldn’t know what hit them. Those people don’t know Christ at all. Nor does Trump. That much is apparent on a daily basis.

    He’s dismantling this country, and using bigotry and racism as his weapons of choice for his personal gain, and his supporters are blatant hypocrites.

  7. Thank you Pastor. Your clarity and perspective really helps to cut through the fog of chaos. Your words help us hold onto hope for the day that the light will finally break through to those who are caught fast by tRump’s twisted spell. As always I am fascinated by the thread of responses that follows your writings. The hot ire and defensiveness makes me suspect that glimmers are starting to break through small cracks in the facade. Please keep up the goodly work. Your glowing candle sometimes feels like the only flame to replenish ours in this time of wind and deep darkness.

  8. I see some of the right-wing hypocrites have showed up to project their own failings upon you. Too be expected. After all, they really have nothing of value to offer the country, just hate and division. You are the right track. Don’t give them a f***king inch, because they’ve already taken more than a mile.

  9. I see by some of the comments here that there are still plenty of people – like Trump himself – who embrace the idea that calling out racism is itself a form of racism, or that pointing out that which is odious and repulsive is a form of intolerance.

    Nice try, but no. You don’t get to cheer on a disgusting human being like Trump and then cry victim when people notice. The only reason you do so is that you can’t actually refute the substance of the argument. You can’t defend Trump as he puts his vile person on display every day. You can’t defend his petulant attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. You can’t defend his pettiness, his lack of any moral guiding principle.

    The guy is completely unfit for the office, driven as he is by his own overwhelming ego. He is obsessed with saving face, and will never understand the immense responsibilities that come with the presidency. He’s just not cut from the right cloth.

    But now, all the apologists can do is cry foul because millions of people have their eyes and their senses open, and call Trump what he is: a fraud, a bully, a braggart, an all-the-time liar, an insecure piss ant of a little bitty man who thinks he can force people to respect him.

    Fat chance. Same goes for the apologists now clutching their pearls. You made your choice, and while you can change your mind and I hope you do, as long as you continue to support Trump, you are announcing loud and clear that you don’t give a damn about decency, honesty or civility.

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