Skip to main content

I’m Right and You’re an Idiot

 Dear Friends,    I’m Right and You’re an Idiot    7/20/17
  The political left and right are saying and thinking this about each other these days. Thus we find ourselves paralyzed stuck in gridlock not talking to each other.  There’s a wall between us.

 James Haggan’s book by this name seeks to face this dilemma head on as he draws on the ideas of 22 others one in each chapter.  He interviews most of them.
Each is very deeply concerned for our life together. They include Pope Francis, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dali Lama, Karen Armstrong, and Noam Chomsky.

Some of the wisdom Haggan reaped from them is things like “rather than highlighting our differences, we   should be working toward finding common ground.”  “We need to speak the truth but not to punish the other.” “We need to have respect for the other and always keeping in mind that the other might be right and we might be wrong, be open.”  “Self-righteous attitudes get in the way of good dialogue.” “To be persuasive we must appeal to people’s values and speak from a moral and an emotional position, rather than more data and statistics.”  “Focus on what really matters to people.” “Conversation should be to encourage participation not to crush the opposition.” “We need to regain the conviction we need each other.” “Speaking from the heart, with frankness, ethical conviction and reasonableness, allows people to connect.”

 I think both left and right need to incorporate these ideas into their thinking and conversation.  Coming from the progressive left I know the left needs them. Tearing down the wall is of utmost importance for us all.

 Pray I can work these ideas into my dialogs at the Bureau County Fair 8/23-8/27.
 Shalom, to you,


Popular posts from this blog

2010 Annual Report April 10, 2010 Off to Colombia

-->Off to Colombia: 2010 Annual Report April 10, 2010 Dear friends, I fly to Bogotá on April 20th for two months where I will set up interviews for Paul Alexander for his book on Christians that are working for peace and justice. I will also be sharing with Mennonite Brethren congregations in Colombia to encourage them in their peacemaking in the midst of the war. This year I began sharing on a subway platform. I give out 20 - 30 pieces of literature an hour. I encourage people to pray and let their government representatives know their concerns about war. I tell them how we’ve reduced suffering in Colombia by reducing U.S. military aid. With youth, I share important questions to think about before they enlist in the military. I plan to continue this sharing when I’m home in Chicago. See my live video subway sharing at: on my website.
-->‘‘That Jim is able to make a commitment to witnessing in the subway for peace an…

Revenge or Forgiveness

-->Dear Friends Revenge or ForgivenessMay 19,2010
“If a man came walking down the street outside my business here and was about to beat me up or kill me, and I had a gun, I'd shoot him. As a human, that's natural and I couldn't do anything else. What would you do?” a good friend challenged me.

I don't know what I'd do for sure. But I hope I'd respond in a nonviolent way. I would hope I would just start to pray to Jesus. For me, it is important to keep up my regular quiet time of praying and reading the Bible. Let me read from Zachariah 8:12-13 from The Message:

"You've gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, you people of Judah and Israel, but I'm coming to save you. From now on, you're the good-news people. Don't be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I'm doing."

Notice all the words that refer to God. It's not that we're going to straighten things out, but this is what God is doing. When we read or wat…
Tidbits12/6/2019 Dear Friends: The New Testament book of Revelation gives us one of the moststunning, creative and beautiful pictures of Jesus and his kingdom in the entire Bible.  “Revelation” is written specially for Christians living as citizens in a superpower. Thegospel of Jesus in “Revelation” is more political than anyone imagines, and in a way no one guesses. John of Patmos‘s Revelation is intended somewhat to comfort but  mostly to warn the Christians who were too cozy with the Roman Empire…..don’t get comfortable with Empire! Remember it’s a beast!  “Revelation” is a prophetic interpretation of those tumultuous and significant happenings that Jesus, not Julius Cesar or any President is the world’s true emperor and Savior.  “Revelation” is a creative picture of the clash between the beastly empire of Rome and the peaceable reign of the Lamb of God. It shows the world finally conquered by a little Lamb they killed who lives again. “Revelation” isn’t about the violent end of the world…