Dear Pope Francis,
I was raised by Methodist parents but today identify as a Christian. And while you’re obviously a Catholic, I’m guessing you — like I — dismiss the assertion of infallibility among men, to include your own. It’s for that reason I’m writing to you personally and candidly, rather than with subservience and/or fear.
Foremost, thank you for all the great work you’ve done with your amplified platform. I believe of all the virtues which God has afforded His children, that “Love” and “Forgiveness” are the greatest — and that for all the sin we as His children engage in, “Judgement” can often be the most destructive.
Your inclusiveness not only for those within the Church but outside of it as well has been very refreshing, as has been your own example of both charity and humility. And while I can certainly do more to personally extend charity and embrace humility, I very much share your inclusive views with respect to exercising faith.
As you visit The United States, I implore you however to reconsider so many of the politically-driven views our media has reported that you assert. Simply, respectfully and candidly…
Consider that while your platform affords you great amplification with which to share your message, Jesus’ hope for mankind did not likely include charity that is forced through easily-corruptible government compulsion which ultimately negates not only the very merit of charity and morality — but also God’s greatest gift to humanity after life itself: Individual free will.
I may at times lament excess in The United States, but I also know ours to be a nation that has afforded our citizens and in fact God’s children across the world not only charity but also, and perhaps more importantly, inspiration and hope.
Pope Francis, I do not believe that The United States’ exceptionalism — ie, that which has enabled so much charity, hope and inspiration — is a simple function of conquest or greed exercised by all nations in defense of territory and/or values, but that God shed His grace on We in tandem with our nation’s Founders having enshrined “Free Will” as a foremost principle to all the citizens of the USA. Only instead of calling it “Free Will,” our Founders called it “Liberty” and limited it with the sole exception that exercising one’s free will must not infringe on others’ equally afforded rights.
I implore you Pope Francis to reconsider using your great platform, amplification and yes Jesus’ name as well — to insist on morality and charity that is mandated by a government rather than exercised and/or evolved upon by God’s children as individuals afforded by God only the gift of individual free will. While certainly well-intended, I believe when you do this you ultimately negate not only that gift of free will, but also virtually all merit within both charity and morality.
If you are to exercise views with respect to The United States government, please consider the gravity of that reality. No other nation has placed such a high premium on affording it’s citizens inalienable rights to foremost include God’s gift of free will. Our nation is not a church nor should it aspire to be one. We are a nation of laws, rendering unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and only by our individual free will to God that which belongs to God.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Daniel Hank Rand
P.S. If you’ve not yet, please also consider the note extended to you from Joe Bastardi with respect to Climate Change. And I’d add that you consider the reality that climate change exists with infinite ubiquity and has since God created the world in 7 days of His time that translates to billions of years in ours. Moreover, our climate has changed during that time far more rapidly and drastically long before man arrived than at any time since man’s arrival. The onset of energy as we know it today has done more to mitigate poverty and create opportunity than anything else barring the Divine, and efforts by those politically-compelled people and interests you’re supporting — who seek ultimately only to control our energy rather than “save the world” as they claim — will serve only to stifle that opportunity and further exacerbate disparity.