Category Archives: freedom

A Letter to Leaders

Dear leaders,
Everyday there are opportunities for principled compromise and proximate justice in your service. Some questions to guide your actions:
Do you care about the poor or your power?

Do you want hospitable, legal and secure immigration or talking points?
Can you critique ideas and policies without exaggeration and insult?
Will your secure our financial future with a balanced budget, or just pretend that it does not matter?
Will you look for partnerships or do you prefer polemics and “gotchas’?
Will you fashion reparations as access, equity, and opportunity or another way to stoke resentment?
Will you affirm freedom of conscience and religion and allow people to bring their best selves to the public square, or will you despise the very traditions that offer your current liberties?
Are you willing to normalize your pensions and retirements, saving buckets of money, and serve the public without thought to your gain?
In short, will you be adults, reflecting before reacting, negotiating instead of just negating, and offering vision for the future?


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.

Civility and Freedom

The first freedom of a civil society is liberty of conscience/religion. Living with civility and debating world views is critical for ordered freedom. Allowing for changes in perspective, policy and religious conviction and being thankful for redemption is also part of a civil society. 
People change. They may move in directions I differ with, but I want to offer ears of openness instead of suspicion, and a heart of humility instead of ideological rigidity. 

I am sad that there so few Democrats that are pro-life, unlike the 1980s. I am sad that too many Republicans do not see the structural barriers to equity for many Americans. I am gladdened by the efforts of local leaders of all parties that work together for neighborhood renewal. 

And I remain convinced that the Gospel-centered local church as a community of holy love, is the key catalyst of personal and community transformation. 

Dear political leaders and pundits: please evaluate current ideas and actions and do not judge women and men of either party too quickly based on 20, 30 and 40-year-old statements.
To all thoughtful friends: please pause and reflect before public reaction. You will keep friends and your ideas will be better-informed.