Practicing Civility with Freedom of Speech

In the last six months, people have shut down the freedom of speech of others simply because they disagreed with it. They protest, riot, destroy property, shout others down, and attack people who hold opposing views. The most recent example occurred this weekend at Notre Dame. Vice President Pence spoke at the commencement. Supposedly, he holds the same values as the students of the Catholic university. Yet, dozens of students rudely walked out, disrupting his speech.

As writers, we thrive on the freedom of speech. It fuels our writing. It enables to do what we do. So, what can we write to protect the freedom of speech?

Opinions are Everywhere

How can we encourage our readers to respect the opinions of others, even if they disagree with them? How can we show them how to be respectful when they express their own opinions? How can we help them “agree to disagree”?

If you’re a conservative, you probably won’t write for Mother Jones. If you’re an atheist, you won’t submit your work to Christianity Today. However, the readers of all publications span a wide array of opinions. What can you write about civility? What opinion do you want to share? How can you do it in love? How can you treat your readers with respect while you practice your free speech?

Conflict at the Core of Fiction

Conflict drives fiction. What conflicts can you include in your fiction? How can you show your characters resolve it civilly? What personal opinions do you want to convey through your fiction? How can you gently persuade your readers to come to your side?

Turn to the Bible

What does the Bible say about loving one another? How can we love one another even when we disagree? How do we prevent anger and disagreements from destroying relationships? What kind of devotion can you write? What Bible verses can you use?

We can lead the way to civility. We can encourage our readers to listen to each other instead of shutting down opposing opinions.

© Deborah Christensen

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Posted on May 22, 2017, in anger, fiction, inspiration, love, nonfiction, poetry, writer's life, writing, writing ideas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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