You already know my views. My emails and calls have told you. And you know the views of the people in your district who disagree with me.
You also know that rancor and righteousness are paralyzing our country. Do you believe you were elected to fuel and feed on those qualities?
Do you realize that we pay you not to rant, but to govern? Can you imagine that governing means seeking the common good, together with your colleagues of all viewpoints?
If you're wondering what that looks like, read about our founders in the Continental Congress and at the Constitutional Convention. Do NOT look at the people of the USA. We're ranting and grandstanding just like you.
So - if we shut up for a while, will you use that quietness to shout louder? Or will you make the effort to discover, together with people you disagree with, a way to govern wisely, prudently, and compassionately, "with freedom and justice for all"?
I'm writing on the feast of Francis of Assisi. People have loved him for 800 years. Why? Not just because he put God first. Francis embodied kindness and goodness. He had loyal friends and a fine sense of humor. He lived with utter simplicity and no self-seeking. He wrote beautiful poetry that shares the immensity of his perspective on life and creation. He lived his principles and commitments, but he sought out other views, he listened, and he even compromised.
The new bishop of Rome, who chose the name Francis, has some of those qualities. He's telling us God is more loving than we can possibly imagine. It's pretty radical stuff, all his care-for-the-poor, delight-in-and-protect-children, stop-seeking-stuff-and-power-over-others talk. And it's not just talk; he's living it. He's washing the feet of prisoners and people that others disdain. He's exchanging ideas thoughtfully and publicly with an avowed atheist. He's working on changing church structures. It's certainly enough to challenge my own choices in some neat ways.
Like these two people named Francis - Can each of us believe that God's wisdom is bigger than my little corner of the universe?
Your voting constituent, Betty
PS - Thanks to my daughter for the best parts of this.