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Presidential Candidates Given a 'Civility Challenge'

Donald Trump
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been asked to "be nice" for one day next month. (Reuters photo)

Can they do it? For one day—just one day—can the presidential candidates be civil? Or, can they take the time to say something nice?

That's the question the national steering committee for Say Something Nice Sunday has asked each of the candidates on Tuesday. The question comes in the form of a two-part challenge:

Civility Challenge One: I pledge that on June 1, 2016 and/or June 5, 2016, I will refrain from saying anything ugly, demeaning or derogatory to or about anyone especially any of the other candidates running for the presidency of the United States.

Civility Challenge Two: I pledge that on June 1, 2016 and/or June 5, 2016, I will say something nice, uplifting or encouraging to or about at least one person running for the presidency of the United States. I understand that remarks related to physical characteristics are off limits for this exercise.

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Sunday, June 5, will be the 10th annual commemoration of Say Something Nice Sunday, which grew out of a little book, Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter, written by Mitch Carnell. He started the annual celebration at First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina, and it has since gained momentum across the country.

Say Something Nice Sunday's purpose is very simple: for one day, don't say anything negative about another person or group, and if possible, say something nice. Wednesday, June 1, is the alternative Say Something Nice Day.

"It is timely for you folks to encourage this kind of cooperation among God's people since we face so many spiritual challenges in this state and our nation," the Rev. Garry Hollingsworth, executive director/treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention said.

"The decline of civility is at an epidemic level in our society and unfortunately has invaded our religious life," the Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, added. "The disrespect shown to Christians by other Christians is far from what Jesus wants for His people."

None of the campaigns have as yet responded to the challenge. The steering committee's letter asked them to respond by Friday, May 20.

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