week after Groundhog’s Day and in remembrance of the Bill Murray comedy
of reliving the same day over and over again, it is right to reflect on
some enduring challenges:
We have miles to go in our pursuit of justice for women and men of all classes and cultures.
We can celebrate Christian contributions to social progress, and we must deeply lament historic ecclesial complicity with oppression.
We can criticize Israeli policies, but most of the responsibility for lasting peace rests with Arab leaders acknowledging Israel’s right to exist as the national home of the Jewish people. Israel is not a western colonial imposition, but the historic home of an ancient people. The new plan presented by President Trump (and quietly endorsed by some Sunni Arab states in the region) is an opportunity that the current Palestinian Leadership is willfully ignoring.
Billions have been lifted out of poverty in my lifetime due to global trade, with access to new markets. We still have too many food, banking, and job deserts in our own American cities.
Our national debt and deficit spending reveal cowardice and a lack of concern for generations yet unborn. Both parties are guilty, and it will take both parties cooperation to find solutions.
UN officials admit that their proposals for climate change amelioration are of little practical use, except for the transfer of trillions in wealth. Unless China, India, and Russia sign on, little progress can be made. Every proponent of free trade and/or climate change skeptic must also care more deeply for the ecological life of our planet. Good environmental stewardship means a good economy for our grandchildren.
Let’s find a new way to fund education of all kinds without a lifetime of debt on graduates and ever-increasing tuition prices.
A rebirth of civility begins with an affirmation of the dignity and worth of each person we meet. We must end caricature, insults, and stereotyping of those different from us.
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:
- Clear policy communication without personal insults.
- A balanced budget for our children’s future.
- 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:
- Call a racial reconciliation summit and listen deeply to the cries of the historically underserved.
- Call an immigration summit and forge a hospitable, secure and compassionate policy.
- Meet with leaders of all faiths and none and reaffirm the brilliance of freedom of conscience and true toleration.<
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.
Dear 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates,
understand your frustrations with current political leaders. What I am
awaiting are policies that are pro-life (from conception to coronation,
caring for the vulnerable at all stages) consensus-building, doable and
fiscally responsible. Rage against Trump will not balance a budget,
confront our global adversaries, repair our broken cities and increase
candidate willing to meet in the middle and stop hating people of
traditional faiths will have a shot. Imagine a courageous Democratic
candidate stopped pandering to the Radical Left wing of the party and
stated the following:
balance our checkbooks at home; therefore, the federal budget should be
balanced as well. A few government workers may lose a job, but the poor
can be helped, infrastructure rebuilt, and solid military defense
provided within our revenues.
is a real person inside a mother’s womb. Allowing for exceptional
circumstances, we should foster support structures that prevent most
abortions and welcome children as gifts to our world.
is the only democracy in the Middle East and the United Nation’s
continual condemnation is a travesty of historical knowledge and
justice. It is time to broker a real peace agreement with the burden
placed upon Palestinian leaders to acknowledge Israel’s legitimacy and
can be reformed to welcome the qualified, secure our borders, show
compassion to true victims and offer millions a chance at citizenship.
stewardship is good for the world, our economies and future
generations. We can care for our planet without global power structures
forcibly transferring trillions in wealth.
I will cross parties and vote for this candidate.
Every day we are besieged with information. Some is
useful…much is mere advertising. Our internet world often confuses data
with knowledge and knowledge with wisdom. Soundbites and click-throughs
are replacing research and reflection. On the American scene we already
have nearly 20 presidential candidates vying for attention. Here are
some observations from the last several weeks that I hope will prompt
correctness and cynicism are two sides of the same coin of fear. The
first aims not to offend at the expense of humility and reality. The
second avoids debate with caustic declarations that only widen
Let’s choose critical thinking with mutual respect –
our civil institutions depend on people of character looking at reality
and finding wisdom, not parroting talking points or practicing stand-up
reflecting on the powerful movie, “Unplanned” that Kathy and I saw
together. Without hyperbole, this may unveil for abortion what
Schindler’s List did for the Shoah. I recommend parents and teens pray
and see it together. Not for children or the unprepared. There is divine
grace for all ensnared in this tragic issue.
someone today. Everyone needs one person saying, “You can!” In a world
of flattery and insults, genuine, positive encouragement is a gift. Our
word in season may be just what someone needs in the midst of life’s
challenge all aspiring Presidential candidates to offer doable
solutions, not irresponsible speculation. Balance a budget (tax revenues
are at an all-time high), secure a hospitable border, continue
improving private/public healthcare and work on infrastructure and
economic opportunity. President Trump is easy to criticize – but can
opponents offer viable policies that have all Americans in mind?
must start negotiating on important issues such as immigration reform, a
balanced budget, infrastructure, improving access for economic
opportunity, fixing student debt, and many more. Interpretations of the
Mueller Report and investigations will never end…meanwhile,
constituents deserve attention to solvable issues that promote human
flourishing. Will we choose posturing or productivity; positioning for
2020 or practical help in 2019?
My first directly political comments this year:
Dear Congress, I am praying for you tonight. Please do your job and pass legislation.
Republicans, reach across the aisle with principled compromise and proximate justice.
Democrats, please do not let hatred for President Trump keep you from your stewardship. Stop posturing and start serving. It is possible that:
Healthcare can be refined without millions losing coverage.
Our military can be strengthened without the poor marginalized.
Our veterans deserve better.
The EPA can protect our lands without overreaching militancy.
All aspects of government can improve efficiency.
You do not need to wait for all your cues from the White House or the media. Show some courage and make some friends across the aisle.
Lord, bless all public servants with an unselfish disposition and a vision for the common good that yields fruitful work and public trust.