Where To Stand

I wrote a lot this past year. It’s what I do when I’m trying to make sense of things.

Like many, during the election, I felt like much that had once felt solidly under my feet was now broken and swirling around me as if I were inside a snow globe. The values that I thought were our bedrock now seem to be blasted into gravel and flung at each other in great, stinging handfuls.

So today, as our government changes hands, I have to ask myself where I stand. Do I stand silent? Do I join the marchers protesting? Do I just accept the change and hope for the best? If this had been a normal year that would be easy enough – I’m old enough now to have been active in 8 Presidential elections. Sometimes the candidate I supported won and sometimes they did not, but never has there been an election that forced me to challenge my beliefs so strongly.

So, today, as the world changes, I have to ask myself, honestly, where I stand. With great reflection, great amounts of thought and prayer and soul-searching, I make my stand here:

I hold this truth to be self-evident: all people are created equal and bestowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All people. Male. Female. Regardless of color or race or belief or sexuality. And I will work towards lifting any barriers preventing anyone and everyone from those rights. Freedom taken from one group to satisfy another is favoritism, not freedom. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

I stand as a Christian and reaffirm what I understand to be the core of my faith. At the very heart of my faith is a deep-seated belief that the goal and the purpose of my faith is to set aside myself and allow something great and mysterious to work in me and through me for a greater good. Just as He came to serve and not be served I must do the same, doing so with as much faith as I can muster. So far, my experience in life is that this works and I have no intention of changing that path now. I believe in faith, hope and love, with the greatest being love. I believe in loving my neighbor. I believe in trying my best to be a good Samaritan and helping others I encounter on my path, whether they look or think or believe as I do.

I stand as an Army Veteran and affirm the oath of enlistment that I first took 30 years ago, to support and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I expect, no – demand, that our new President and Congress do the same. I demand, as a citizen, a full, honest, bipartisan committee to investigate the level of Russian interference in the election. I will not accept casual dismissals of something this serious and will hold accountable any elected official that tries to sweep this under the rug.

I stand, again, as an independent voter, loyal to neither right nor left, liberal nor conservative, Democrat nor Republican and call for both to recognize the destructiveness of their behaviors. A house divided cannot stand and neither can a house with all the weight placed on one side or the other. Put down your angry rhetoric, learn to forgive and learn to reach out again. Our future is at stake.

This is where I stand. This is where my family will be and where we will work, planting seeds for the future. Planting seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control.

I hope you’ll join us. There’s plenty of room and apparently plenty of steer manure available for fertilizer.

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