Tag Archives: freedom

Finding Peace in the Midst of Racism and Identity Politics

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

There is hope, even in these turbulent times. The spirit of the world is divisive, angry, hateful and racist. Those forces can deeply affect how we view ourselves and those around us. But looking to Jesus brings us clarity, charity and peace.

Increasing racial tensions can quickly resurrect old wounds and cause them to burn with a vengeance. We can find bitterness an easy path to take, but it is one which wounds us even more deeply.

In our broken world, we are all wounded, often deeply, by the differences that divide us. Racism – and other divisive beliefs and attitudes – permeate this world, wounding and dividing us. But we can be at peace – and be peacemakers – in the midst of this turmoil.

Jesus rejected racism and identity politics. In Him, we “are all one” – transcending all racial, class and gender distinctions. Jesus prayed to our Father: “ I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity” (John 17:22-23).

How is that possible? Because we have Christ incarnate in us. The glory Jesus gave us is Himself.

We are a new creation in Jesus Christ, who reconciled us to God and “gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

Now, we can have healing in our hearts and in our relationships through Jesus Christ. Jesus can – and will – heal our deepest wounds and soften the hardness of our own hearts.

At the cross, we see other people by the value of His blood. We see people of infinite worth in God’s eyes. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

We all need transformed hearts that are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

It is especially at troubled times like these that we must listen to and talk with one another. In so doing – in extending the grace, love and forgiveness of God to others – we minister to them and bring reconciliation.

Let us not get caught up in the superficial, the outward appearance, but rather look to one another as equals – brothers and sisters of Christ who are all equal at the foot of the cross.

Let us love one another, as God loves us.

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Liberty Died in Cleveland: America’s Establishment Coup

Liberty died in Cleveland on Tuesday.[1]

Liberty Died in Cleveland

The coronation of Donald Trump as the GOP nominee in 2016 further consolidated the power of establishment elites in Washington, DC. During this election cycle, establishment elites in both the Republican and Democrat parties have seized greater power while crushing their grassroots rivals.

Sanders supporters seem to grasp that establishment Democrats rigged their nominating process to coalesce behind Hillary Clinton.

Trump supporters, however, are blind to the reality that they are backing a purported anti-establishment nominee who has always been part of the establishment.

To do so, they obstructed the campaign of the only truly anti-establishment candidate in this race:[2] Ted Cruz. Indeed, at the convention, they cheered when the Republican establishment squashed efforts to allow delegates to vote their conscience and they booed when Ted Cruz urged American citizens to vote their conscience.

When did heeding your conscience become a bad thing?

Barack Obama ruthlessly wields his pen and phone to circumvent the Constitution[3] and thwart the will of the People. Hillary Clinton[4] is self-evidently a statist averse to the rule of law and wants to further transform America in even more fundamental ways.[5]

Donald Trump, also a statist, is an authoritarian[6] bully[7] to boot, and he has proven his propensity to use his boots to stamp on human faces forever,[8] as so vividly pictured by George Orwell.

That more people hate their respective party’s candidates than like them shows the extent to which the establishment opposes the will of the People to pursue their own ends. Both Hillary and Trump are anathema to lovers of Liberty and America.[9]

Even though the establishment Left & Right have seized control and consolidated their power, the fight must go on for Liberty.[10] The American spirit can only succeed when it is committed and engaged in the fight.

Let us fight for Liberty!

Endnotes:

[1]               See “The End of the American Experiment?” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-eZ.

[2]               See “BrotherWatch Endorses Ted Cruz” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-dw.

[3]               See “CPAC: Death by a 1,000 Pens” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-eV.

[4]               See “HRC: A Caricature of the Left” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-94.

[5]               See “Flags Depict Obama’s Fundamental Transformation of America and the World” at http://t.co/xjupplSWD1.

[6]               See “Why Brad Thor is #NeverTrump! Litmus test is liberty!” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-fb.

[7]               See “How to Talk to a Bully (if you must)” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-cY.

[8]               See “Will Ann Coulter Apologize to Michelle Fields?” at http://wp.me/p4jHFp-di.

[9]               See “Stop Insisting I Vote!” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-f5.

[10]             See “CPAC: Brits Seek Independence (and so should we)” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-eT.

Left Topsy-Turvy on American Revolution and Brexit

As America celebrates another birthday and the British people celebrated their Brexit vote for freedom from tyranny to a supranational bureaucracy, the heart and soul of the American Left again exposed itself as statist and globalist.

American Revolution & Brexit

Exhibit A: Steve Pincus. His recent Washington Post article attempts to paint Brexit supporters and the Republican Party as racist, anti-American xenophobes. In his introductory and subsequent paragraphs, Pincus inextricably links pro-Brexit forces with the agenda and sentiments of American conservatives and Pincus finds them wanting.

His headline asserts, “No, Brexit was not Britain’s ‘Declaration of Independence.’ It was the exact opposite.” Pincus couldn’t be more wrong.

His subheading: “The American founders would revile the pro-‘leave’ camp.” Again, his conclusion is contrary to everything we know about the Founding Fathers.

Nevertheless, Pincus contends, “But they’ve got America’s founding document exactly backward. The original American patriots would be horrified to hear their opus invoked in the service of Brexit.”

Pincus makes two striking, and strikingly wrong, claims.

Open vs. Controlled Borders

Pincus’ first strikingly wrong claim is that our Founders and the Framers of our Constitution, favored open borders. Pincus claims, “The founders called for a government that would allow for free movement of goods and peoples.”

Actually, American colonists sought control over their own borders. They vehemently opposed a power across the Atlantic Ocean determining their fate and enacting laws without their consent and contrary to their wishes.

Pincus cites the Declaration: “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.”

No “open borders” here. What did the Founders actually seek? How do we interpret that portion of the Declaration? By what the Founders did. As noted by Heritage Foundation (emphasis added):

“Congress passed the first ‘uniform Rule of Naturalization’ under the new Constitution in March 1790. It allowed ‘any alien, being a free white person’ and ‘of good character’ who had resided in the United States for two years to become a ‘citizen of the United States’ by taking an oath in court ‘to support the constitution of the United States.’”

The very first Congress actually limited and circumscribed immigration by a clear set of criteria, looking for emigres from the Northwestern European nations which had settled America.

Heritage continues (emphasis added): “Key criteria for citizenship of the Naturalization Act of 1795 remain part of American law. These include (1) five years of (lawful) residence within the United States; (2) a ‘good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States’; (3) the taking of a formal oath to support the Constitution and to renounce any foreign allegiance; and (4) the renunciation of any hereditary titles.”

In contrast to the Founders’ wishes and the law of the land, today illegal aliens celebrate their Mexican holidays while burning the American flag and promoting the overthrow of the American government. Our Founders would have put a stop to this.

Activist vs. Limited Government

Pincus’ second strikingly wrong claim is that our Founders and the Framers of our Constitution favored an activist government. (Hence the subtitle of his new book.[1])

According to Pincus, “America’s founders celebrated the creative potential of the state to promote the general welfare and happiness of the people; they wanted an activist government – one that would intervene in the economy to promote growth.”

To buttress his claim, Pincus cites the Second Continental Congress: “Government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered for the attainment of that end.”

But what did the crafters of our Republic actually mean by “welfare?” The Founders sought to promote the “general welfare and happiness of the people” by securing liberty! They understood that a free people – being secured in their liberty and able to use their God-given gifts as they deemed best – could, in today’s parlance, “maximize their potential,” strengthen their local communities, and improve the general welfare of the nation.

Our Founding Fathers fought for freedom and limited government to preserve that freedom.

Pincus clearly regards FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights” as superior to, and countermanding, our Founders’ original Bill of Rights. FDR’s progressive economic bill of rights seeks equality of outcome through government force while the Framers of our Constitution, with their political bill of rights, sought to maximize freedom and, thus, equality of opportunity.

Progressives like Pincus agree with President Obama’s assessment that America is fundamentally flawed[2] and, therefore, needs to be fundamentally transformed.[3] The Founders, Framers, and generations of Americans heartily disagree.[4] Middle America seeks to reclaim its heritage,[5] one built upon a Judeo-Christian ethos[6] which cherished liberty.

Similarly, progressives like Pincus, the Obamas, and the Clintons seek to eviscerate nationalism and elevate supranational and global institutions. In doing so, they willfully dismiss, like willing dupes,[7] the nexus between the immigration and terrorism crises.[8]

Progressives follow Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a Village (i.e., big government) when our great nation was founded on the premise that the primary duty of government is the protection of the People at home (law enforcement) and abroad (national defense) – and from government itself (Constitution).

Nationalism vs. Supra-nationalism

At heart, America as a Nation and a People matters little to these progressives who prefer to use American power and ideals against her in pursuit of their own globalist utopian goals.

Pincus equates “English First” pro-Brexit voters with the resurgence of contemporary America Firsters inspired by Donald Trump. To some degree he is correct, yet he regards that as a bad thing.

The heart and core of the Brexit Vote was to liberate the British people from the bureaucratic behemoth of the European Union’s usurpation of national sovereignty[9] and abrogation of the will of the People. Similarly, Middle America seeks its own independence from a draconian federal government[10] which serves its own needs and purposes while thwarting those whom they purportedly serve.

But Pincus again twists the historical record, asserting that late 18th-century Britons wanted the American colonists (legal settlers all) to pay their “fair share,” likening them to illegal aliens in America, today.

In reality, the American colonists – who were all self-supporting and obviously did not rely on a non-existent welfare state for survival – disagreed with the Mother Country and insisted upon, “No taxation without representation.” Our forefathers, like us, preferred a free market system without undue taxation and regulation, the very things Pincus and his lot pursue.

In his tract (and presumably in his forthcoming book as well), Pincus skirts this crucial reality: the majority of the colonists came from Britain and shared legal, linguistic, political, social, cultural, and spiritual similarities with the British realm.

Those brave men and women who gave birth to this great nation were brothers and sisters by blood who forged a new nation by creed. That creed – “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights” – is central to our identity as Americans.

Individual rights, not collective rights; equality of opportunity, not of outcome; reverence for God, not for the State.

As Americans, we should celebrate the greatness of America as achieved by the Providence of God through the wisdom of the Founders and we should strive to return to our roots, to restore that vision of “government of the People, by the People, and for the People,” eschewing the liberty-denying statism of the Progressive vision.

Let us reinvigorate the American experiment that it may not perish from the earth.

God bless America!

Endnotes:

[1]              Pincus’ historical revisionism is apparent in the title to his forthcoming book, Heart of the Declaration: The Founders’ Case for an Activist Government.

[2]              See “Obama’s America – Fundamentally Flawed” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-1h.

[3]              See “Flags Depict Obama’s Fundamental Transformation of America and the World” at http://t.co/xjupplSWD1.

[4]              See “American Exceptionalism is in the Eye of the Beholder” at http://t.co/UDFIbFm5hr.

[5]              See “Reclaiming America!” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-9V.

[6]              See “CPAC: America’s Christian Heritage Denied” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-8E.

[7]              See “Willful Blindness to Reality” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-c9.

[8]              See “Member of European Parliament Links Terrorism with Immigration Crisis” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-e8.

[9]              See “CPAC: Brits Seek Independence (and so should we)” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-eT.

[10]            See “CPAC: Death by a 1,000 Pens” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-eV.

The Conservative Declaration

Please join BrotherWatch in support of Heritage Foundation’s “The Conservative Declaration.”

As of this writing, 112,817 have signed “The Conservative Declaration.”

Conservative Declaration

Heritage Foundation urges American citizens to:

Stand with your fellow patriots for freedom, religious liberty, and free enterprise. Stand up for your belief that these unalienable rights serve as the cornerstone of our great nation.

PREAMBLE

More than two centuries ago, one declaration changed the world

  • A group of brave individuals declared that all people are fundamentally equal—equally born with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  • They declared that government exists for one reason — to secure these God-given rights, deriving its powers from the consent of the people it governs.

The result? The founding of the United States of America.

But now America is under siege by radicals whose mission is to slowly and deliberately dismantle the principles of that original declaration. With over-reaching regulation, out-of-control spending, high deficits, and a weakened national defense, the government is the master. The consent of the people is ignored. America is looking less and less like the America of our Founding Fathers.

This must be stopped.

Conservatives must come together to stand for the principles on which our nation was founded and proclaim in unison our commitment to the ideals that our Founders proclaimed more than two centuries ago. The time has come for a new declaration to change the world.

THE CONSERVATIVE DECLARATION

We believe in the spirit of our Founding Fathers and come together from across the nation to sign the following Declaration,, reaffirming our belief in the principles on which our nation was founded. We sign as individual citizens, united in our belief that our nation was established as a constitutional republic in which the power of government is limited under the rule of law, securing liberty and justice for all.

1. CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS

We believe this nation is uniquely dedicated to the universal principles of human liberty: that all are fundamentally equal and equally endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Americans are necessarily equal and self-governing citizens, and the U.S. government is established to secure those fundamental rights. With a limited government, we have the liberty and opportunity to live our lives, control our fates, and pursue our own happiness.

2. PRIVATE PROPERTY

We believe in the right to the rewards of our own labor—the promise that we Americans can keep what we earn and that this makes possible a society in which every member can work hard, pursue opportunity, and advance in life based on individual talent and ability. In this America, success comes from hard work and personal merit rather than from entitlement or aristocracy.

3. FREE ENTERPRISE

We believe that the primary duties of the federal government in regard to the economy are to guarantee the equal rights of the individual, destroy barriers to opportunity, and uphold the rule of law. Because economic opportunity will be available to everyone, the people will have great incentive to earn more, save more, and invest in more opportunities for the future. This means more enterprise and more economic activity.

Rather than acting to guarantee economic outcomes, government should provide the sturdy framework for opportunity, economic growth, and human flourishing. It should remove unfair obstacles to economic markets, break down the artificial government structures that prevent competition, and otherwise keep tax rates low, reduce government spending, and prevent the over-regulation of private enterprise.

4. COMMON DEFENSE

We believe it is the constitutional duty of the federal government to secure the country’s international borders, preserve and protect its territorial integrity, and strengthen and preserve its constitutional government. This promotes the long-term prosperity and well-being of the American people. This means that the United States must be able, willing, and prepared at all times to defend itself, its people, and its institutions from conventional and unconventional threats to its vital interests, both at home and abroad.

But liberty does not belong only to this country. The United States must also continue to recognize its special responsibility to support the cause of liberty in the world.

5. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

We understand and support the unique and important role of religious freedom as the cornerstone of our constitutional freedoms. The ability to freely worship and to act in accordance with a particular faith without fear of government reprisal is essential to civil society. Religious freedom protects our ability to live according to our deepest beliefs. It means we don’t have to hide who we are and what we stand for. It’s a freedom recognized as essential by the Founding Fathers and defended by policymakers, citizens, and religious leaders alike.

However, over-reaching government and a growing disregard for the role of faith in public life have led to increasing erosions of religious liberty. Together we stand in defiance of any edict that compels our institutions to participate in any act that impedes our ability to freely worship or to act in accordance with a particular faith without fear of government reprisal.

6. LIMITED GOVERNMENT

We emphatically reject today’s welfare and regulatory state. “We the people” demand less of our federal government rather than more. We commit ourselves as a nation to the principles and policies of a limited federal government and to the recovery of our Founders’ vision of a government that secures our rights. We insist that for government to play its proper role, it must be properly limited in its role.

Government must perform its proper responsibilities effectively through the three distinct branches of federal government, through all 50 states and through thousands of counties and local municipalities. We demand that the government recognize the clear constitutional limits to its powers.

[Signatories agree with the preceding.]

As individuals, we sign our names in full support of the above principles.

Together, we represent a unified front to support America’s foundational ideals. We reject the progressive efforts to dismantle our nation’s foundations and will work tirelessly for the restoration of our constitutional republic.

In search of Big Brother – Part 1

In search of Big Brother (to restore sanity to an insane world)

Part 1 – Trends to Tyranny

In October 1996, I wrote, “The world is going crazy, and we can’t stop it or get off. Instead, many seek a Superman to set it right. But will our Clark Kent save us, or enslave us?”

Since then, things have gotten far, far worse.

BB01

Nearly two decades ago, I wrote, “We are living in the midst of an age of transformation unlike that of any other, an age of incredible opportunities and growth coupled with unimaginable horror. Global changes are occurring before our very eyes, life-transforming changes which impact everyone who reads this. What does the future hold in store for us? There are many visions of the future. Not being a prognosticator, I cannot tell you what will happen. But I can point out some ominous trends.”

9/11 changed the world as we knew it and the Obama presidency has fundamentally transformed America. Orwellian trends which began more than 50 years ago have reached critical mass and We, the People, seem helpless to stop it.

We are at a pivotal point in history where civilization itself seems in jeopardy and what each one of us does (or does not do) will determine the outcome.

As the year 1984 approached, Orwell’s 1984 became in vogue. Interest in Orwellian themes reemerged during the Clinton administration. At that time, I wrote a series of essays which are even more relevant today, given the massive expansion of the federal government and the powers of the Executive Branch under the Obama administration. (One reader recently called them prescient.)

Four Trends to Tyranny

I addressed four cultural and political trends, each of which has been magnified with 1) the advent of astonishing technological advances which have revolutionized life around the globe, 2) the reemergence of belligerent tyrannical and terrorist regimes in hot spots around the globe, and 3) the unbridled assault of political correctness advancing a socialist agenda in America.

Whether we are dealing with the massive growth of terrorism and government, mass immigration and refugee crises, or the war on climate change and on the free market, those trends inevitably lead to tyranny. (If we let them!)

Those four trends are balkanization, globalization, technophilia (progress) and technophobia (regress or primitivism). These trends have been visible for more than half-a-century and they are accelerating at a tremendous pace. Singly, they pose perplexing problems, but combined, they may prove themselves beyond our ability to deal with.

Back in the mid-1990s, Samuel Huntington envisioned a clash between Eight Civilizations; Joel Garreau dissected North America into Nine “Nations.” U.S. News & World Report described Seven Tribes in the United States and also pictured the Two Nations of America. Matthew Connelly and Paul Kennedy prophetically predicted an invasion of the West by the Rest, while Peter Brimelow documented that invasion in Alien Nation. Clearly peace on earth has not become reality.

The world is falling apart, nations are disintegrating, cultures are fragmenting, peoples are torn asunder, and many question whether Humpty Dumpty can ever get a face lift let alone be repaired. The centrifugal forces in society are creating sub-groups within sub-groups, cults within cults, enclaves within enclaves, in a relentless process of fragmentation – all culminating in a drive for a strong hand (e.g., strong centralized government) to bring it all back together again.

American Identity

Over the past three decades, American identity, American values, and American purpose have all undergone enormous transformation. The nature and value of citizenship itself is in peril. Who we are as a People is under attack by usurpers who would redefine our very being. The forces arrayed against Americans are unyielding.

We, like Winston Churchill, must never surrender!

President Obama contends that America is fundamentally flawed[1] and that, under his leadership, she has never been stronger.[2] His evidence refutes his contention.[3]

Fortunately, most Americans still cherish American exceptionalism[4] and reject the values foisted upon our nation and her people.[5]

Now, as we are encircled by a multitude of genuine crises (and distracted by a host of hysterical hoaxes), we must combat the agenda of Obama and the far Left and renew the vision and pursue the dream bequeathed to us by the Founders. Let us reclaim the America that became great because she was good.[6]

Our vision must be clear and our purpose focused. We must not be distracted or confused by Orwellian rhetoric from the Left.[7] To that end this essay series is dedicated.

Please join me in this journey of introspection as this series of essays explores the depths of the dangers facing us in the world, in our nation, and in our local communities. Let us, together, discern what went wrong, identify the enemy forces confronting us, and take action to restore the American Dream.

Endnotes:

[1]               See “Obama’s America – Fundamentally Flawed” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-1h.

[2]               See “Obama: America is Stronger Than Ever” at http://t.co/3dxkSeF8fj.

[3]               See “Flags Depict Obama’s Fundamental Transformation of America and the World” at http://t.co/xjupplSWD1.

[4]               See “American Exceptionalism is in the Eye of the Beholder” at http://t.co/UDFIbFm5hr.

[5]               See “America – Lost in a Fog of Immorality and Tyranny” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-aL.

[6]               See “Reclaiming America!” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-9V.

[7]               See “’Hope & Change,’ and Other Orwellian Clichés” at http://t.co/v6fgItffhm.

Living a Worry-Free Life

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus admonishes each of us not to worry, yet … we worry. Why? And how can we stop worrying?

The solution to worry, though simple, is not easy.

LifeLifter07

Jesus began His discourse on worry after declaring “You cannot serve God and mammon.” Jesus made the simple point that we should be more concerned with the things of God than the things of this world.

Jesus then declared the infinite worth of every human life and His providential care for us. He feeds the birds and clothes the lilies of the field, but we are of far greater value in His eyes. So, we should trust Him.

The pivotal point in this section is reached in verse 30: “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

According to Jesus, worry is a matter of faith, or, more accurately, worry is faithless. When we worry, we are exhibiting “little faith.”

The things we tend to worry about – food, clothing, money, possessions – are all temporary. Someday, they will perish. We worry about things that, in the grand scheme of things, are worthless.

Moreover, as Jesus points out, worry won’t change reality. Worry won’t give us even one more moment of life, though it will squander many moments from our lives.

Worry ignores the hand of God in our lives. It denies the reality that God’s sovereignty over the universe extends into our lives. Simply put, if He can keep the universe in order, then He can take care of us.

Jesus tells us that we are of more value to God than what we see around us. He names the stars, counts the hairs on our heads, and knows our names.

We can trust Him. Will we?

When we do – when we “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” – we can rest assured that He will take care of all those things we tend to worry about so needlessly.

One website offers “22 ways to living calmer and anxiety free life,” with a graphic captioned: “Take Charge of Your Worry.” Excluded from this blogger’s worry-free program: God. Not one word about the One who frees us from worry. Indeed, the graphic itself should be emblazoned: “Give Your Worry to God.”

We don’t take charge of our worry. Rather, we yield our lives to our Creator and trust in Him.

Our Father in heaven will be faithful in His provision for us.

CPAC: Living Without Fear

For me, the best and most important five minutes by a CPAC speaker was not from one of the many outstanding presidential candidates or other nationally-prominent conservatives, but rather took place at an obscure breakout session heard by perhaps two dozen people.

During the panel, “The Politics of Cool: How Important Ideas Get Trivialized,” Ian Walters, CPAC Communications Director, exhorted his listeners to live without fear.

CPAC2015-04

Framed in the context of political correctness, campus speech codes, and unparalleled media bias, Ian spoke about the perils of speaking the truth in today’s culture and of how fear of ridicule can deter even the most intrepid truth-teller.

But Ian’s professionalism as a musician gave him deep insights into his political expression and led to his quest for freedom from fear.

Ian revealed, “I aspire to live a life without fear.”

As a focused and passionate musician, Ian understands that genuineness is essential to a good performance. Performing from the heart, and being true to oneself, leads to both excellence in achievement and liberty of one’s soul.

So, too, in politics (and religion).

We are all plagued to some degree with self-doubts, insecurities, and fears. But, as Ian pointed out, we need not be.

Ian’s solution is simple, though not necessarily easy. To be successful, we need to be honest, to have integrity, and to be people of character.

As many genuine leaders observe, being an honorable person draws other people to who you are and what you say.

Ian urges us to open our hearts, to be honest, and to be people of character. In so doing, we can live without fear. And, in the process, we can impact the lives of other people, change the political climate, and even transform the terms of the debate.

As Ian put it, “The trick is to open your heart and show liberals that you don’t have horns and a tail.”

As Solomon expressed it, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Prov. 25:11). When we express our principles and values from our hearts, and do so in a right manner, we can win people to the truth.

Far too many conservatives (and Christians) fear to say what they believe. They moderate, compromise, or self-censor their views even before they start to express them. Self-censorship is inevitably followed by actual censorship from the Left.

Fear cripples. It cripples an agenda, it cripples a platform, and it cripples a soul.

Instead of being crippled, we should speak the truth from our hearts, with grace, that those fitly-spoken words might bear fruit in the lives of others.

Ian cautioned, “There is such a thing as excessive provocativity.” Being provocative for the sake of provocation undermines our message and detracts from our goal. Indeed, it should be spurned.

If we, as conservatives, speak the truth from our hearts, speaking “the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15), as the apostle Paul advises, then we will be successful.

We need have no fear, after all, if the truth is on our side.

During the panel discussion, Ian offered up an example: “We ought to be caring for one another, but not with Uncle Sam’s money.”

Even before George W. Bush, conservatives were compassionate. We need to be fearless and free to articulate our belief that private charity is better – more compassionate and more effective – than government largesse.

Living without fear is a laudable goal: personally and professionally, politically and spiritually. It requires honesty (with oneself and others) and integrity.

If we would dare to put ourselves out there, we could truly live lives without fear.