Pragmatism—I use to think of myself as a liberal but as I got older I found myself realizing that people who call themselves liberal could be just as self-righteous and obnoxious as people who call themselves conservatives. It was all about the “I am right—you are wrong” game which is one of the worst games human beings can play. If you carry it to the extreme, it is OK to kill the people you don’t like. I don’t want to play that game. So what does that make me? A moderate? A centrist? Someone sitting on the fence? So I started to call myself a progressive. That worked for a while but soon I realized that many progressives had not thought through how their ideas would work. So I called myself a practical progressive…too many syllables.
I have come to think of myself as a spiritual and political “independent.” My faith and politics are based on values, not creeds or ideologies. I support civil liberties and oppose racism and sexism not because of politics but because I love justice. These values are respect for all people. Respect for the Earth. Respect for all religions, cultures, genders, and races. Respect for learning and knowledge including art, music, literature, philosophy, theology, science, and athletics. The love of justice and compassion and the sacredness of life.