Civility matters

One of the best articles I’ve read which relates to the recent shooting in America is “I am Adam Lanza’ mother.” It’s a very personal and thoughtful call for better mental health care for children — especially boys — who are afflicted with violent tempers and psychotic episodes. Like any article, it contains claims which others can dispute, and conclusions which require scrutiny and debate. And like any article online, it has attracted ferocious attack from trolls who show astounding insensitivity and hatefulness. In contrast to this, three of my favourite bloggers have reviewed their online tone in light of the tragedy in Connecticut. Max Lindeman: The great mass of my Facebook cronies and I managed to do something that just a little earlier would have seemed almost as miraculous. For a few hours, we canned our opinions, clamped off our snark glands, and went out of our way to be gentle to one another. Kat Fernandez: In a more recent example of times when I should have been the better person and just left well enough alone, I called an atheist blogger hateful for exploiting the Sandy Hook tragedy to advanced his agenda against Christians. He used one tweet, out of the hundreds of thousands in support of the victims and their families, to paint all Christians as vengeful religious fundies . . . . . The incident forced...

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