An open letter to Vice President Pence to heal our land
Dear Vice President Pence,
As you were our Congressman for twelve years, then our Governor for four, we know and trust you. You are a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order, which I treasure and respect. Having known you personally since 1990, I know you are gracious, very level-headed, and even-keel.
As Vice President, you walked a very difficult tightrope of loyalty. Despite immense pressure, you instead chose to follow the Constitution, and handled yourself very professionally (even inspirationally) while presiding over the counting of electoral votes. You spent the past four years serving a modern-day version of King Xerxes, but like Queen Esther, you are in this position “for such a time as this.”
January 6’s breach of the US Capitol was not only by die-hard Trump loyalists, but also by “professional protesters” and agents provocateurs from both sides, ranging from the shirtless guy in the Viking helmet to a female US Air Force veteran who was shot and killed. But it is not just Americans who witnessed this tragic event. The world is watching. The USA got a black eye on January 6, for which our enemies will take full advantage and attempt to divide us further. Markets will be shaken. Our credit rating may even be affected. But politics simply must stop at the water’s edge. We must return to our rightful role as the exemplar of democracy to other countries. Aside from the Washington Post’s bias, there is something to be said for its motto, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
Now is your time. In your remaining days as Vice President, our nation will turn to you and your leadership. You have the weight of the world on your shoulders but can be our unifier. Like Ronald Reagan, you can restore our reputation as the shining city on the hill, both at home and abroad.
As you are a real Republican, effective January 20 you will become the natural leader of the party. You are the only one who can unite fiscal conservatives and social conservatives, internationalists and isolationists, traditional Republicans and Trump Republicans. Please return to your original moorings in free, though fair, trade. Please return to your moorings to restore NATO’s confidence in our leadership of the alliance. Please return home to Indiana; you can lead from here. We are mid-America, far away from the ravages of “Potomac fever.” After all, as your Marine Corps officer son can tell you, even if a ship’s port and starboard sides list, the center holds.
Similar to John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage, or more recently John McCain’s Why Courage Matters, someday a future leader will write about the courage and independence you demonstrated on January 6. But in the meantime, with the Lord’s help, you can help to heal our land. Therefore, in closing, I want to offer the chorus from Michael Card’s, “Heal Our Land,” which is a paraphrase of II Chronicles 7:14:
“If My people will humbly pray and seek My face and turn away from all their wicked ways, then I will hear them and move My hand, and freely then will I forgive and I will heal their land.”
Nate LaMar, Henry County
Taking a stance on racism
On the 170th Anniversary of their founding January 6, 2021, the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana, promulgated the following Corporate Stance on Racism.
Recognizing the wondrous diversity, culture and color among all God’s beloved peoples, we, the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana forcefully condemn the sin of racism that is the root of so much historical and current injustice.
In our congregation, we confess that we have not been aware of the privilege/the advantages we’ve experienced because of the color of our skin. Today racism is inherent in systems of healthcare, education, employment, housing, land ownership, judicial/criminal justice, the environment, immigration and voting rights. We open ourselves to a growing awareness of these disparities and seek ways to be allies with people of color.
We strongly condemn white supremacy in all its configurations of violence and hatred. We affirm the dignity of all; every person is created in the image of a loving God. For our sins of negligence and complicity we ask forgiveness.
Walking in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, we strive to become actively anti-racist in every aspect of our individual and congregational lives, including through our investments. Through encounter – relationships – listening to the pain still experienced, we are challenged to be courageous and prophetic. Truth, repair, reconciliation are all integral to this ongoing process of healing.
Therefore, we will work to enter more deeply into our Franciscan vocation of conversion – praying and taking action to transform all institutions, including the Church. Our sisters and brothers demand this of us as we honor “who and Whose [they] are.”
Sister Noella Poinsette, Director of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg