Good Ideas

I should hope I made it pretty clear last week that I don’t think Critical Race Theory is a positive, constructive way of dealing with racial issues – or anything else, for that matter.

But CRT is certainly not the only poisonous ideology blowing around on the breeze these days in America.

To be fair, there are some extremely toxic systems of thought lurking on the far right side of the political spectrum, and even in this supposedly enlightened age, there are still people who gather and organize around racial bigotry. And, far too often, they use worthy concepts like patriotism and traditional American values to serve as camouflage for their own brand of toxic brain garbage.

But all this begs some questions. What are good, positive, constructive solutions for the many problems plaguing our society? And how do we differentiate between good, healthy ways of thinking and those that will lead us down dark roads or dead-end alleys?

Maybe I’m just being selfish here, but I would certainly prefer solutions that don’t involve either a Marxist revolution or a Fascist takeover – or (God forbid) a second civil war.

I love freedom. And, though it sometimes gets me in trouble, I can be stubbornly independent in my thinking. Perhaps I’m still being selfish, but I’m rather fond of being able to speak my mind and stand up for what I think is right without the government or angry cancel culture mobs or anyone else trying to shut down those freedoms.

And while I know there are not any quick and easy solutions to all our societal problems, I do believe we can address them and preserve our freedoms at the same time – and I’ve got some ideas about where we could start.

I know this might sound like a radical proposition, but we might consider the possibility that things that have always been good and right and true are still good and right and true – and that acknowledging, promoting, and acting on these things tends to bring about positive results.

Treating all people with dignity and respect is a good thing. It always has been.

Recognizing the value of all human life is also good – regardless of race, sex, age, health, mental capacity, or even if that life is still in the womb.

Family is good, and raising children in a stable, nurturing, loving environment is one of the best ways to make the world a better place.

Education is good, and equipping young people with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life, as well as the encouragement they need to go after their dreams, can give us all more hope for the future.

Reaching out to help those in need is good – and, by doing so, we also help ourselves.

Safety and security are good. Peace is good (when possible). Obeying the law and encouraging others to do the same is good. Living a sober life free from addictions is good, and so is helping others to get free from the chains that bind them. Honesty and integrity are good – and things we should expect and demand of both ourselves and those we choose as our leaders.

Even prosperity and wealth can be good, especially when it is used to give back to society and provide opportunities for others to lift themselves up.

And I would venture that the concepts framed by our Founding Fathers when they started this little experiment called the United States of America – you know, inalienable rights endowed by God, equality under the law, limits to the power of government, stuff like that – those were some pretty darn good ideas and ones worth keeping.

Of course, we Americans have never fully lived up to those ideals, but we’ve been at our best as a nation when we’ve pursued a greater realization of those founding principles and unified around protecting and preserving them.

And going back even further in history, a lot of good ideas have been handed down to us through the centuries by a lot of smart and wise people.

Foremost among them, I would place the ideas put out there by a first-century, working class, Galilean Jew named Jesus. You may have heard of Him.

That we are all known and loved by the One who made us, and we can know and love Him right back; that He would have us share and show this amazing love to our fellow humans; and that in Him we can have a hope that reaches beyond human history and even death itself – those are the kind of good ideas and foundational truths that can transform hearts and lives and nations and the whole world.

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