Tag 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.

Telling the Truth About Islam, Part 3: The Powerful Weapon…of Humility

In the previous essays, the Islamist ethos of conquest was exposed. We must honestly face this threat to human liberty.

Confronting totalitarian ideology requires military and political courage and wisdom. The policies since 9-11-2001 have been haphazard at best and utter failures at worst.

But there is one more resource needed in the battle for liberty: humility about the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of the West. The battle against fanaticism will never be won without integrity at the core of the fight. At first this sounds counter intuitive. Often folks say that if our opponents fight dirty, so must we. While there may be moments of compromise and subversion in any war, at the heart of success must be an unflinching faith in the values and vision for the civilization we are defending.

One of the Islamists’ most destructive and divisive tactics is their blistering critique of Western decadence, including our materialism, narcissism and racism. Each of these self-centered characteristics creates fertile ground for the poison of ideological extremism.

History loudly exposes the darker side of the West.All of these events embolden radicals with long memories:
• 15th-19th century conquest and exploitation of the Americas;
• 19th and 20th century European “mandates” in Africa and the Middle East;
• The conquest of the North American continent at the expense of indigenous rights;
• And the 20th century American domination of her empire acquired in war.

For the past six decades, the West has struggled to atone for prior evils and bring aid to the world, with mixed results. One thing does ring true, in spite of all the mistakes made:

Everywhere there is freedom of conscience and economic opportunity in the world, there has been some form of Christian and Western influence encouraging values that lead to human flourishing. And Islam has never produced a truly egalitarian democracy. These values include more than “freedom.” Religious faith, personal responsibility, access to markets, property rights and the rule of law are all part of this liberating ethos.

Time for Truth

Courage and humility, joined with reverence for the Almighty and respect for all persons, provide the moral and spiritual core strength for the long battle we must face with the global jihadists. If we continue to waste our energies in amoral and immoral entertainment and cultural distractions, there will not be the energy and focus needed for wise confrontation and defeat of determined enemies.