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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This changes everything for me (and you)

My fellow planet-travelers, we've messed up. I've messed up.

Instead of the classic approach of calmly considering all sides of a question and discussing the wisest alternative, I/we have drifted and succumbed to culture wars.

I/we (on both sides) have gone so far as to refuse to acknowledge common ground or good ideas from the other side.

I have a new passion: to conduct an experiment offered by author Os Guinness: to promote civility in the crucial issues of our time. Guinness says this:

How we live with our deepest differences is a question that lies at the heart of American freedom, and soon it may be a matter of survival for the planet. Americans have both high ideals and a wealth of experience to share with the wider world.

This is huge, brother-sister. I'll falter at times, but my goal is to share (I hope) daily excerpts from Guinness' brilliant proposal.

As such, I must make some bold and courageous changes in myself.

Recalling two revered personal friends who have found truths in both the "left" and the "right" - Dr. Roy Swanstrom and Gene Swensen, among others, including my vanpool driver - I will make three changes:

1. Consider me politically an independent.

2. Regard me not as by any religious label such as fundamentalist (misused and changed, as Guinness explains), but as interdenominational - a follower of Christ who agrees with Guinness that religious freedom protects Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists and secularists in the public square.

3. As my friend Jack Kennedy suggests, it is not left or right; it is either wise or unwise.

Yours for a more civil discussion - more in (nearly) daily excerpts. If you do nothing more this year, stay with this. Read the book. Be changed. Be transformed.

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