Category Archives: borders

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.

For our Political Leaders

Our political impasses are solvable…except the lust for power blurs vision for the common good. We can balance a budget, secure our borders, offer equity and opportunity, provide for our defense and rebuild infrastructure with skilled people ready to help. But too many leaders would rather agitate than build. It is easier to promise the unachievable than call for integrity.

I have three questions as you propose legislation:
First, who benefits? Are we aiming for the common good or lining the pockets of a few?

Second, what are the principles behind the laws? The ideas and virtues underneath do matter.

Third, how will we pay for this? Are we moving toward fiscal stability or deficit-spending our way to power?
Stewarding the public trust requires courage, moral clarity and wisdom.

Positive Politics, Part 2

Dear Republicans:
Will you make history or miss another moment and pass the problems forward?
Courage, humility and unselfish love compels action. Please begin negotiating and passing bipartisan legislation that benefits the most people possible.

You may never get the extreme Left to join you, but there are persons of conscience and common good that want to refine healthcare, improve infrastructure, secure our borders and transform immigration.

Please create budgets that move us toward debt reduction. If you care about efficiency and ethics, please transform systems so resources get to the people that need them. You were elected to create a new environment in Washington, D.C. Simplify tax laws, stop currying favor with lobbyists and making side deals.

We just endured 8 years of opaque contempt for dialogue. Please do not make the same mistakes. Forge friendships across every aisle.

Regardless of your distaste or support for the President, you have a moral obligation to bring legislation for signature. “Open covenants openly arrive at…” should be the norm, including laws the average person can read and understand. President Reagan and Speaker O/Neill negotiated. President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich were not friends, but came the closest to a balanced budget since 1967.

It just takes courage, humility and love for the American people.