We have a new season in front of us politically. There is a clearly stated choice in how we conduct ourselves as a nation as an influential member of a global community. This is clear: any direction the U.S. leans in terms of economics, the environment, human rights, and especially war and peace is where the world at large will lean. How we treat the poor, the disenfranchised, and the disadvantaged in our national community sets the tone for what the world will accept and strive for. Like it or not we are that shining city on the hill. Therefore isolating ourselves from each other and the world is not only imprudent, it is impossible.
In the arc of history we can clearly point to this moment as one where we as a people are called to come together to define what is and is not acceptable in our national identity and community. If we are a nation of limited privilege, access, and opportunity than we profoundly limit our collective growth and development. If we instead seek to form a more inclusive, mutually supportive, and more tightly integrated culture we must engage with each other in terms that are just and equitable. We can not continue to tolerate divisiveness for the sole purpose of scoring points. We must accept and demand compromise not only in our elected leaders, but in our personal interactions as well. Yet, we must never compromise our respect for human dignity and life itself.
There will be many opportunities ahead to shape the future. We will be asked to support, tolerate, and even to expect certain injustices. When these injustices threaten us, we must not let down our guard nor our resolve. When they advantage us at the sake of others – especially the poor – we must resist the temptation to ride along. Injustice for any is an insult to us all.
In this season of giving please join me in supporting the organizations that have been built on supporting those that are persecuted. A short list: Amnesty International, The American Civil Liberties Union, and the Anti Defamation League. Their work may not always be popular, but it is always right and just.
In Peace, CB