Category Archives: justice

Working toward Peace as We Live with Our Differences

Critical thinking is not a critical spirit.
Evaluating ideas is not judging people. Please, let’s grow up and think as adults. Agree or disagree with ideas and policies instead of lapsing into labeling and libeling.

To all defenders and haters of Presidents Obama and Trump:
I challenge you to make friends that differ and really evaluate what is said and done.
I was not a fan of the previous President and have serious concerns about our current leadership. I am praying, learning and above all working for genuine peace, justice and reconciliation.

I affirm for all others the rights I desire for myself. This includes self-critique, efforts to reform institutions I serve and the necessity of evaluating other applications of various faiths and philosophies.

Let’s stop trying to silence our philosophical opponents and have dialogue.
I challenge every public college administration to stop capitulating to political correctness and let all (peaceful) sides of issues be heard.

I challenge conservatives to confront historical and institutional injustice as well as individual iniquity.

I challenge progressives to assess honestly the issues of economics and liberty of conscience and stop defending perpetrators of evil as victims.

To all women and men of conscience I offer the hope that while we debate our deepest differences we can go and do good for the world together.

Shalom.

Some Wisdom Amidst the Noise, Part 3

Not all opinions are equal. Just because we feel something does not make it right. May we humbly (re)discover critical thinking and tender hearts, without fear of where our learning may take us.

We need more beauty in our lives, from a child’s smile to magnificent sunsets. Please pause and never lose the wonder.

Lord, help us to enter the mystery of your holy love and humility, seeking ways to bless those that curse us and do good for those that desire our demise.

Lord, help us become active contemplatives and contemplative activists, seeking your glory and the good of others, worshiping in our gathered communities and our scattered domains of work.

Lord, help us navigate between fear and foolishness, learning courage bathed in love and wisdom.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Amen.

One test of (all) leadership is principled compromise leading to proximate justice.

At the heart of being human are the deepest desires for God and meaningful work.

Be countercultural tonight: invite friends over for a potluck…with food all of you have cooked from scratch.

Boys can dance and girls can hunt…and they are still different.
How did three such different people come from the same parents?
God delights in uniqueness.

Some Wisdom Amidst the Noise, Part 2

As we face personal and community challenges, there is “wisdom from above” that is pure and peaceable and unites love and justice, compassion and empowerment. Here are some more reflections as I listen to God – and that listening is mediated through wise people in my life.

Confusion leads to anarchy and ultimately external control. Clarity leads to accountable liberty and greater personal responsibility. On most issues, ethical/moral clarity is not difficult – it is just demanding.

Reflecting and responding beats reacting and resenting every day.

Instead of castigating former and present leaders, how about constructing new friendships?

Current reactions in our civil conversation are morphing from legitimate dissent to hysterical accusations and perceptions. Instead of anger and violence and quashing voices, how about concrete actions of love and service and policy proposals that have a chance to work? I challenge all parties and groups to think of the common good of all – Black and White, rich and poor, religious and secular.

Grateful for the global church of all ages today: Jewish and Gentile, African and Asian, Near Eastern and Western, in soaring cathedrals and hidden catacombs…from Mt. Sinai to Monte Cassino, from Armenian chapels to American campuses, from bells and incense to freeform dance and song…may their testimonies inspire our fidelity and service.

Choosing contemplation over cynicism, helpfulness over hatred and vision over venom. Such responses are harder than reactions, but so much better for the soul and society.