All posts by Dr. Charlie Self

Letters to Leaders, Part 2

Dear President Trump,
I pray for you: for purity of heart, divine love, and the wisdom and strength to carry out the impossible duties of your office.


Three things I long for as you lead:

  1. Clear policy communication without personal insults.
  2. A balanced budget for our children’s future.
  3. More convening with people that do not agree with you so we might discover a principled middle ground.

I agree on some policies and disagree on others. Your desire to help our nation will be enhanced with humility. I do not mean apologizing for particular principles, but opening pathways of peacemaking.

OK, three more things:

  1. Call a racial reconciliation summit and listen deeply to the cries of the historically underserved.
  2. Call an immigration summit and forge a hospitable, secure and compassionate policy.
  3. Meet with leaders of all faiths and none and reaffirm the brilliance of freedom of conscience and true toleration.<


I was no fan of the prior administration, but I prayed for and still pray for those that were part of those years. While applauding some of your initiatives, I long for you to choose statesmanship. You will never win over inveterate enemies, but you may get more done in service of all.

Letters to Leaders, Part 1

Dear 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates,
I understand your frustrations with current political leaders. What I am awaiting are policies that are pro-life (from conception to coronation, caring for the vulnerable at all stages) consensus-building, doable and fiscally responsible. Rage against Trump will not balance a budget, confront our global adversaries, repair our broken cities and increase opportunity.

A candidate willing to meet in the middle and stop hating people of traditional faiths will have a shot. Imagine a courageous Democratic candidate stopped pandering to the Radical Left wing of the party and stated the following:

  • We balance our checkbooks at home; therefore, the federal budget should be balanced as well. A few government workers may lose a job, but the poor can be helped, infrastructure rebuilt, and solid military defense provided within our revenues.
  • There is a real person inside a mother’s womb. Allowing for exceptional circumstances, we should foster support structures that prevent most abortions and welcome children as gifts to our world.
  • Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and the United Nation’s continual condemnation is a travesty of historical knowledge and justice. It is time to broker a real peace agreement with the burden placed upon Palestinian leaders to acknowledge Israel’s legitimacy and security needs.
  • Immigration can be reformed to welcome the qualified, secure our borders, show compassion to true victims and offer millions a chance at citizenship.
  • Ecological stewardship is good for the world, our economies and future generations. We can care for our planet without global power structures forcibly transferring trillions in wealth.

I will cross parties and vote for this candidate.

Do we Really Desire the Truth?

“The truth shall set you free.” This quote from the Gospel of John, chapter 8 verse 32 is often quoted and rarely understood in context. Jesus is speaking about the differences between his real followers and those that profess religious adherence while avoiding obedience to love and truth.

Just before this verse, Jesus shares that his true followers obey his commands…and THEN, the fullness of liberating truth comes into view. In other words, knowledge alone does not liberate; a relationship with God is what matters most.  And, consistent with all of St. John’s writings, proof of life with God is that God’s people love one another and all around them, willingly serving those that cannot return the favor.

When God-infused, unselfish love is the foundation of our lives, we can face the truth of any matter head-on, because we know we are loved by God and care more for his glory and the good of others that our selfish wants. We can face the truth about ourselves and our need for continual transformation. We can face facts about the economic, moral and social issues of our day, knowing that our neighbors are both divine image-bearers and in need of redemption.

Knowing the truth is liberating and here are some applications to everyday issues:

  • Abortion kills a human being. In an extremely small number of cases, preserving a mother’s life may require a tragic moral choice; however, technology allows us to see a real human developing inside the womb!
  • Our southern border needs regulation with hospitality, security with compassion. Ignoring it only exacerbates human suffering and political and economic agendas of elites that have no contact with the people involved.
  • Our soaring deficits are inexcusable, with tax revenues the highest in history. Smart people can balance our federal budget in a few hours, while cowardly congressional leaders kick the can down the road of future oppression.
  • Affordable housing is a local and national crisis. Neither socialism or hyper-libertarianism can lead us to the private-public partnerships and common good solutions we need. 

If we love God and our neighbor, we will seek solutions for these and other apparently intractable problems. We can face both human misery and divine opportunity with hopeful realism. It is time for thoughtful folks to say, “Enough!” to posturing politicians and pundits and work for justice neighborhood by neighborhood.