In a recent letter to the editor by Merle Hexum we saw an example of the age old logic that says I can defeat my enemy by telling everyone what the enemy thinks and then shooting it down. Hexum tries to define the liberal or progressive position, but of course he pretends to define their views without listening to what they really are saying. For a long time I have defined myself as a progressive thinker--politically and theologically. My core values include compassion for persons regardless of their national origin, their sexual orientations, their economic status, or their gender, for instance. Love one another with unmerited grace is the ground of my world view. The Holy Scriptures are also the foundation of my values and world view. They teach me that Jesus was always including in his circle of friends persons that mainline society had cast off as "sinners." Jesus was clear that the poor must be our primary concern, and that before the rich man could receive assurance of salvation he had to sell everything and give to the poor. Jesus was always found to be in the midst of persons that today we would count as the marginalized, the undesireables.
Putting Jesus world view in a phrase I think that my goal is to always work for the COMMON GOOD. Mr Hexum, instead of trying to tell me what I think as a progressive or liberal, stick to defining how you would reach out to the poor, how you would welcome the stranger into your midst, how you would house the homeless, visit the prisoners, how you would seek justice for all. Those are the conditions that Jesus suggests are the values upon which we will be judged.
Tell us where you stand, and let me and others that are proud to claim the role as progressive thinkers define our position.
Roger Parks, Clitherall