Disagreement doesn’t justify distortion.
Just because we disagree with someone, politically, ideologically, or theologically, doesn’t mean it’s OK to knowingly twist their words, carelessly misquote them, deliberately ignore context, maliciously assume intention, or purposefully misinterpret their meaning. We should give the benefit of the doubt, refuse to assume the worst, and address their statement at face value. If we can’t do that, maybe we shouldn’t be responding at all and thus contributing to the continually-widening civility gap in our society.
Presenting an opponent or their message differently than they intended, is nothing less than blatant dishonesty. They may be wrong in content, but I am wrong in intent, and that might be worse. Those who profess to believe in truth and The Truth seriously undermine the credibility of those claims when they act untruthfully.
A concerned American brother
P.S. And, “they do it too,” while true, is not a valid rationalization.