I live in a suburb. I am a white woman. I don’t want anyone to assume they know how or what I think. I am an individual. I’ve been called a member of the Me Generation and a Baby Boomer, often in pejorative ways. I acknowledge my own lifelong privilege because of the circumstances of my birth. I am not a perfect person by any means, and I make mistakes.
I want you to know who I am, today, August 30, 2020.
I believe in God, the God who gave us Her son Jesus. I believe we should follow Jesus’ example as outlined in the four Gospels. I believe that my Hindu, Muslim, and Jewish brothers and sisters were also created by God, though we all reach Her on different paths. Had I been born a Hindu child in India, instead of a Lutheran child in Indiana, would God be less God to me? Of course not.
I believe in Mother Nature. We were given this beautiful blue orb and we’ve not taken good care of it. It is our responsibility — whether we are sowers of seed or consumers — to stop harming our planet.
I believe that Black Lives Matter. And I believe we have to say Black Lives Matter Every. Single. Day. until people understand why it is important. White people have not experienced the deadly consequences of the systemic racism caused by our ancestors that still happens today. This has to stop, and I believe those who ignite the fires of racism today must be stopped.
I believe that it is every American’s right and privilege to use their franchise. Those who don’t bother to vote need to shut up and not complain about our government. And there are not always perfect choices. Should we eliminate the good because it is not perfect? No, or nothing ever changes. I believe in a peaceful transition to power after an election. I’ve watched every inauguration since I was a child no matter what political party takes power. This ceremony, on the steps of the United States Capitol, sets us apart in the world as we all celebrate the new president, whether we voted for him or not.
I believe in a strong and educated police force. I believe police who commit crimes against other citizens should be accountable for their actions.
I believe in the right of protest as outlined by our United States constitution. I do not support those who would incite violence, loot, or carry illegal weapons to a peaceful protest. I do not believe guns should be carried at a peaceful protest. I support the second amendment, and I believe that automatic weapons are weapons of war, and unnecessary for sport or home protection.
I believe in science. Science is based on facts. Science can co-exist with faith, because “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV. Many scientists admit there are some questions that cannot be answered. But for those questions that can be answered, we turn to science.
I believe that all children deserve to be raised by a parent or parents. I believe we have harmed many immigrant children by separating them from their parents or guardians. Our country was founded by immigrants. My family came from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Germany. Very few of us are full-blooded native Americans. How can we look at immigrants any differently that our own ancestors?
I believe in capitalism, but not today’s capitalism where a small percent of our country’s overall wealth is held by the top one percent. Several generations ago, Americans lived by the maxim, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Strong unions protected the middle class. Real income adjusted for inflation has not increased for the middle and lower classes in half a century as it has for the rich. This chart from Advisor Perspectives shows that middle income since 1970 has increased by under 40% while the top tier has increased by 140% Supply-side economics didn’t offer the great trickle-down it promised.
I believe that a society is judged by how it cares for its most marginalized citizens, whether they be poor immigrants needing asylum to escape gangs, or individuals with disabilities who cannot work, or our senior citizens.
I believe in a free and active press. Unfortunately, social media and 24/7 cable news has upped the profit game for media. Media owners need a profit to stay in business, but I’m afraid the price is a toxic media environment where the lines between news and opinion have been blurred.
I believe that love is love. Why am I more entitled, as a heterosexual, to marry as I wish? I’m not. Thankfully, the law has been changed and members of the LGBTQ community may marry as they wish.
I believe that love is the most powerful force on earth. Great things have been done in the name of love, or as Mother Teresa suggested, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” I fall short on this item every day, but I’m working to be kinder and more compassionate to others. In a world filled with hate, it is a challenge for me but I try to remember the example of those who came before me.
On November 3, we will vote for President of the United States. I hope you will look deep inside yourself, and consider what you believe. What are your basic beliefs and how will you implement them by your vote? What is important to you?
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I wish you all peace and comfort. And if you aren’t a frontline worker, you can support them or others. Send a note, send an email, call an old friend, and donate to your local food bank.