Category Archives: Courage

A Letter to Congress

Dear Republican and Democratic leaders,
While the public is distracted by kneeling, standing and tweeting, you are failing in your public service. Only courage will stop the polarizing forces tearing us apart.

Republicans, you were elected so we can have better stewardship of policy and public funds…and you cannot seem to pass any bills of note.

Democrats, you keep drifting to radical extremes while most of America wants a principled middle…can’t some of you propose bills for negotiation and eventual passage? Lock-step voting is a tired excuse for serious labor.

To both parties: Please stop the grandstanding and self-righteousness and start doing your job.

The president is not a king or a savior…and the courts are not legislatures (despite some of both branches antics over the past half-century). Instead of hand-wringing and blame-shifting, start working. I want to believe you have the best interests of our citizens in mind.

Prove it.

 

Critical Minds, Tender Hearts and a Prayer

A critical mind is not a judgmental heart.
May we (re)learn the art of evaluating arguments and evidence, without castigation or hypocrisy. Disagreeing with another’s perspective – even on moral and political issues – does not mean hatred or intolerance.
Living peaceably with our deepest differences while we find common principles of ordered liberty requires humility and courage.

A Joyful Lament:
Lord, hear my praises and receive my tears:
Rejoicing in the goodness, love and power of Christ.
Lamenting the immature and polarizing words of people in power, from the President to celebrities.
Rejoicing in all the good work done by millions no one hears about.
Lamenting the sufferings of so many and praying for comfort in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, Mexico City and scores of other locales.
Rejoicing in the progress of many dialogues, community outreaches and on-the-ground renewing of communities.
Lamenting the inability of so many to live with diverse views and honor one another.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Holy Spirit, come anew with purifying and transforming grace.
Amen.

Courage and Grace: The Morning After 2014

Once again, midterm elections humble an incumbent President. Since 1938, almost all midterms bring favorable gains to the party outside the White House. Apart from an idiotic editorial in the New York Times calling for the elimination of midterm elections, what does this mean for America during the next two years…and beyond?

The drubbing of the Democrats in the House and Senate means little if the Republicans cannot articulate a fresh vision for America’s future that is inclusive and inspiring, passionate and principled. In my next essay on this sight, I will present one of my most important posts ever: “Vision 2016.” It is vital that clear and courageous directions are offered with sincere attempts at bipartisan cooperation. The “ether/or” polarization of the past six years must yield to integrity and statesmanship as we forge a preferred future.

Moral courage and political grace is needed, with Republicans adopting a principled and practical agenda that will benefit America for generations, not just secure the next election. There are four things that I hope ‘the morning after’ will bring:

First, a willingness to bring all legislation to the floors of both houses of Congress. The more the people know about the debates over pending bills the better for our democratic ethos. Harry Reid’s refusal to bring bills forward must change. Oh, and by the way, the lawmakers should actually read the bills before debate and passage!

Second, The House must give leadership to fiscal stewardship of public monies, reversing the last 50 years of White House control of the budget. It is time for federal financial matters to originate from their Constitutional source while challenging the Senate and White House to real negotiations over how our money is spent.

Third, President Obama’s judicial nominees deserve thorough scrutiny for both their ideology and legal records. When it comes to lifetime appointments, our nation needs better appointees.

Fourth, the spirit and tone of Republican communication must be civil and compassionate, firm on principles and flexible on some details. Republicans must learn the art of winning hearts as well as minds, garnering emotional support as well as being “right.” People of all classes and cultures want a better future for the next generation.

The next two years are the greatest test for the American Experiment in virtue-based liberty since the era of the Civil War. Will we reaffirm our first principles and articulate a fresh vision that inspires our nation/ Or will we continue on our present trajectories of anarchy, dysfunction and polarization? May we choose courage and grace and forge a better tomorrow for generations yes unborn.