For 22 years we lived in five African countries, and then visited almost 50 countries in total. We lived through four military coups and I was stranded for over a week while borders were closed in one instance. When our U.S. national elections came around, I was always so grateful and amazed that we were able to change leadership without the threat of violence. No matter the differences, there was a sense that we were first of all Americans and secondarily members of a political party. Today, it seems we have reversed that role.

Weekly I meet with a dozen men and women. Our theme or purpose is a joint journey of discussion and discovery regarding Faith and Current Events. More than any time in my lifetime, I feel it is critical to be engaged politically. I want to discuss ideas not people, although some very good people have some very bad ideas. We are not of one mind and have very different ideas on the direction of our country, it’s policies, and will likely vote very differently. However, we have something more important than our political views that hold us together. 

It is my hope that each of us refuse to be branded by a political party. I do not want a label attached to my name because I affirm a certain position, nor will I label anyone else. I want to know why you think the way you do. Mimicking what partisan political pundits and friends are posting on Facebook without doing our own homework does nothing to advance the common good.  I pray that I will think and act with wisdom and love and justice.  I do not pray that God be with me but rather that I should be where He is. Think deeply about the country you want to experience and flourish in and do vote. We have such a privilege to participate in the future of our country.