All posts by Dr. Charlie Self

“Dear Mr. President” A Response to Terrorism in Paris November 2015

Dear Mr. President,
We are afraid and angry, wounded by Paris and trying to deal with evil.
We need non-partisan, statesman like reassurance rooted in moral and political strength, not contemptuous dismissal of political opponents or declarations that concerned citizens are without compassion.

Sir,
We need to see genuine empathy for suffering Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Yazidis and other non-Jihadi dissidents. Please open our doors to these populations and use your office to demand Iranian release of prisoners and an end to Islamist persecution.

When tragedy occurs we need responsive action, not annoyance and deflection. 
I want to believe that you mean well, but your actions in the past days are cause for grave concern. 
A few drone strikes, changing language from “contained” to “on the run” and vilifying opponents is unhelpful. Strong action in concert with allies is the order of the day. Reasonable security screening and a call for Muslim states to receive refugees are reasonable ideas, not xenophobia.

Finally, Mr. President, I have historical news for you: life does not conform to ideological narratives. You and your advisors are so enamored with your anti-West, post-colonial, globalist visions that you refuse to confront the evils of radical Islam. These terrorists are not victims of the West and “frustrated” by “economic injustice.” These are followers of demonic extremism that enjoy engendering fear and they will not stop until their totalitarian vision is realized or sufficient moral and military force brings defeat.

By the way, in your “evolution” on marriage, please note that there is only one Middle East location where LGBTQIA folks are safe: Tel Aviv. 
There are enough people of conscience of all faiths or none that will unite to secure the liberties we enjoy.

So what must be done?

First, you must declare that freedom of conscience and religion is the first freedom and the foundation for all others. Your must unequivocally repudiate any attempts to impose Islamicist rule in pluralistic societies with concomitantly challenging all Muslim nations top demonstrate compassion and greater liberty for minority populations. Ironically, Gadhafi and Assad were (and are) dictators, but they allowed greater religious liberty than many of our “allies.”

Second, you must partner with European and Middle Eastern allies and even Russia to seek and destroy all IS locations and those of their allies. Yes, concern for civilians must be paramount, but not paralyzing.

Third, you must use all your power to protect non-Islamic religious communities and help them defend themselves and if needed, come to the USA. It is criminal to deport Christians and welcome a flood of infiltrated Muslims.

Fourth, use your final year in office to build broad consensus instead of fighting more ideological/political battles in the name of your legacy. History will be much kinder to you join with all political factions and build coalitions for domestic and international compassion and justice.

I hope and pray you listen to the best voices of conscience and humbly receive these and similar words of wisdom. Millions pray for you, whether they agree with your policies of principles. Will you thank us by listening?

Time to lead.

Letter to People of Influence, Part Three: Citizens and Leaders

In this installment, we challenge a generation pampered by false expectations as well as leaders promising what they cannot deliver and pay for. Enjoy, reflect and share as we try to rebuild a free and virtuous society.

Dear American millennial graduates of public (and some private) universities,
Are you going to dream and discipline or covet and agitate for redistribution?
While you process the timeworn clichés of your tenured professors (who are living off the taxes and donations of the productive)…
Ask yourselves,
“How can I create value and bring good to the world?”
You will never be completely unemployed if you ask this question.
Whether you have your dream job, volunteer or labor away at “mundane” tasks, you can help build a better world if you do your present work well.
Let’s keep working for true justice – equal access, ethical oversight, intolerance of corruption and pathways for all to prosper – and move toward our destiny with discipline.
When we graduate from feeling the world “owes” us and we choose to make the world better with our work…justice and success are not far behind.

Dear candidates, pollsters, pundits, spin doctors and sociological observers:
I am more than a demographic or a gender.
I am more than an ethnicity or national origin.
I am more than today’s identity fashions or an economic status.
I am more than my educational achievements or struggles.
I am a human being made in the image of God and called to worship and work.
I have eternal, inherent value from conception to coronation and I am the object of Christ’s affection as he endured the Cross.
THEN, I am a man or woman, single or married, dark or fair, poorer or richer.
To all in power or aspiring for authority: please remember, “the greatest among you is the servant of all.”
Yes, confidence, inspiration and oratory are part of leading – but they are the fruit of humility, moral courage and thoughtfulness.
When a leader respects the humblest follower, she or he is a gift to the community and nation.

Humility and power are rare bedfellows, but enduring moral and spiritual influence arises from blessing, not bluster, from compassion, not clichés. May God grant an awakening of hopeful realism.

Letters to People of Influence, Part Two: To Public Communicators

In this essay, I present two more letters to women and men in places of political power and service. Our great global need is trustworthy public servants. Too often, we are saddled with persons desiring prestige more than providing stewardship. May we exercise the privilege of voting with wisdom and hold our elected officials accountable.

Dear political foes:

 May we have a conversation and debate with passion and principle but without labeling and libeling?

Unregulated immigration and xenophobia are contrary to a preferred future.

A balanced budget will not starve children.

All refugees deserve compassion, including Christians.

American citizens deserve employment opportunities, college help and access to elections…citizenship should mean something.

Creation care includes wealth creation – and good ecological stewardship means a growing economy for future generations.

We need a conversation on religious liberty, from Christian clerks to Muslim flight attendants. What is reasonable employer accommodation?

Where do we start?

With our personal decisions to love wisely, work hard, care for family and neighbor and seek the good of our children’s generation more than our momentary pleasure.

Dear public intellectuals:

 There is so much cognitive dissonance and moral confusion…

The feds rebuke an employer for obeying the law and checking for citizenship.

Millions are without work while major companies only hire non-citizens.

Fatherlessness is epidemic and colleges demand young men be less masculine. (Yes, we need a biblical understanding between wild and wimp)

A clerk goes to jail but a halal bakery can say no to wedding cakes.

Iran continues to declare destruction while we “delay” nuclear bombs a bit.

Conservatives preach purity and consume porn.

St. James once said, “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways…”

Our public cultures say they want clarity and truth, but what they seem to desire most is self-gratification and moments of charity to assuage their consciences.

Kierkegaard once wrote, “Purity of heart is to will one thing.”

God grant an awakening of single-mindedness.