The Art of Controversy


“Once there were lost islands, but most of them have been found; once there were lost causes, but many of them have been retrieved; but there is one lost art that has not been definitely recovered, and without which no civilization can long survive, and that is the art of controversy.”

So wrote Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in the first half of the 20th century. Ne’er have truer words been spoken.

Have you ever tried to argue with an angry person who, upon discovering that you have a differing opinion, instantly resorts to the most crude and baseless name-calling? With many of these angry fellows, it is simply impossible to have an intelligible debate about anything. All they know is passion and anger, and their hate is absolutely blinding.

A small glimpse into the mind of Satan for sure.

With these poor souls, only kindness will do. Logic and reason are of no value to the man ruled by his passions, so only the strongest passion of love has any chance at winning him over to the truth.

Unfortunately, these poor angry souls are spreading their venom in the most vicious, virulent, and vile manners possible. Technology enables the smallest of voices to reach the largest of crowds.

Sadly, the angry voices are the loudest.

Perhaps the time has come for those with love in their hearts to raise their own voices.

Archbishop Sheen again: “The quality of any civilization depends upon the nature of the thoughts its great minds bequeath to it.”  

Of what quality are the thoughts being bequeathed to our posterity?


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