On This Inauguration Day

On this Inauguration Day, my hope is in the principles laid down in our founding documents – the will of the majority, checked and balanced by the rights of the minority; the freedom to express our thoughts and feelings and to pursue our dreams; the equality of all people – wherever they come from, whomever they love, whatever their identity. The visions cast more than two centuries ago and repeatedly since then have not died.

Though at times, the American people – individually and collectively — have failed to live up to the vision. The founding itself was not a perfect era – colonialism, slavery and subjugation of women were as present then as the rhetoric of high principles. People have suffered and died because they have not been accepted as equal beings of inherent worth and dignity. Imperfect human beings have always implemented the vision in imperfect ways. I grieve those past imperfections and pray that we do not do any worse.

Yet, even the failures give me hope, in a peculiar way, because when I see the imperfections of the past, I know that the imperfections of the moment need not be fatal. No matter how much distress they create at the time, they may lead to unexpected ends.

On this Inauguration Day, my hope is in the American people, the people I know who want the best not only for themselves, but also for one another. They want – we want – a peaceful world for our children and grandchildren, equal opportunities for all people, justice tempered by mercy. They are – we are – a diverse, lively, compassionate people who are building the world we want to live in. Inconsistently, with many a stumble along the way, we are bending the arc of the universe towards justice.

On this Inauguration Day, I choose to look towards and conjure a vision of democracy as it ought be – spirited debate over how we achieve our dreams, tempered by an unwillingness to leave anyone behind or out of the dreams. We are not a country of winners and losers. We are a country where we strive for everyone to succeed in their particular goals and aims. Together, we are better than we are individually. We call ourselves and one another to a higher standard, to a deeper conversation, to a more loyal expression of our values.

On this Inauguration Day, I commit myself to work to achieve the vision I have and that I believe many share.

In faith and freedom,




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