Archive for September, 2009

Free Speech: America’s Second Best Idea

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

See full size image “Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Action

are meaningless without Freedom to Think.”

Bergen Evans

 

What a pleasure it has been to enjoy Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea on PBS (if you haven’t tuned in, it’s inspiring!) As I have been watching the nightly episodes, it occurred to me to consider America’s second best idea. I didn’t have to think long; the blogosphere offered a couple of controversies that confirmed my choice. If the Parks are America’s best idea (although I might suggest it could have been our consitutional democracy), then the second best idea is our First Amendment, and in particular freedom of speech. (more…)

The Art of Peace

Friday, September 18th, 2009

“Better than a thousand hollow words

is one word that brings peace.”

Buddha

Monday marks the 2009 United Nations International Day of Peace. Observed each year on September 21st, the International Day of Peace is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. In many places, it will the first time in months that a pause in fighting will allow humanitarian aid to get to people without food or medical care. In other safer locations, people committed to non-violence will gather to celebrate and learn about peacemaking. This year’s theme is WMD: We Must Disarm, a reminder that the letters “WMD” can be transformed from their poisonous connotation to a message of hope!

Here in Texas on Sunday, September 20, the eve of the International Day of Peace, I will be participating in a brand new event called the Art of Peace Festival. (more…)

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

You Lie!    

Representative Joe Wilson to President Obama

I have been thinking a lot the past few days about free speech. I have also been reeling from our abuse of it.

In 2007, long before the current controversies over the economy recovery and healthcare reform, a friend of mine, Donna Bowling, co-authored an insightful book called, Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square – 101 Rules that Work. While I have often recommended it to those I know in leadership, I must admit that in the past two weeks I have been tempted to send it out en masse. (more…)