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Sunday, June 28 worship service “Civility in an age of spin-controlled acrimony”

3d human give a lecture behind a podium

This Sunday, we welcome back Steve Tripoli to our pulpit, kicking off our 2015 summer season of lay-led services. This week Steve’s topic is “Civility in an age of spin-controlled acrimony.” He writes, “From Sudbury’s local online chat rooms to the salons of Washington and the global village, sharp opinions about our shared future have sparked difficult debate that often leads to hurt feelings, hard feelings, and growing mutual suspicion that makes solutions difficult to reach.

Is there a better way? And equally important, does the reach and power of the internet age’s caustic slash-and-burn commentary point to the limits of “turn-the-other cheek” civility?

This will be a tour of the modern civility landscape, with an examples and emphasis focusing on Sudbury’s sharp political divisions, which have drawn outside mediation efforts.”

In his 35 years as a journalist, Steve Tripoli has probably been best known as a reporter covering economic affairs for public radio’s nationwide programs “Marketplace,” “Morning Edition,” and “All Things Considered.” Steve became a journalist in large part because he believes in the power, and necessity, of factually-informed decision- making in a democratic society. So it’s been especially dismaying, in recent decades, to see more and more public debate stray from fact-based reasoning, and with that trend into the kind of suspicion and name-calling that leads to our discussion of civility in public discourse today.