Guiding Principles

There are some fundamental ideas that I believe are required before pluralism, and ultimately a just society, can be embraced.

Embracing the ideals of this list is a helpful way to engage with others in liberal dialogue to maximize liberty and autonomy for everyone.

  • We are radically inclusive but that doesn’t include hateful or hurtful ideologies.

  • We do not appropriate or assimilate other cultures.

  • We question everything and don’t accept easy answers.

  • We outright reject tribalism and xenophobia.

  • We value the lived experiences of others, ~even~ especially if it doesn’t make sense to us.

  • We think listening to people is better than tone-policing them but hate speech doesn’t ever deserve an audience.

  • We see the value of most worldviews and religious traditions.

  • We think it is arrogant to claim an exclusive relationship with a divine being or beings.

  • We don’t weaponize holy books.

  • We know that religion harbors evil and we think that the best people to fight that evil are people on the inside.

  • We eschew certainty and embrace ambiguity, mystery and paradox.

  • We let science trump “common sense” and religious dogma, but we also that it is excellent at explaining how and what but has a harder time with why sometimes.

  • We are advocates for free speech and expression but also recognize that not everyone is as free to speak because “free speech” trends toward the status quo.

  • We proclaim that political correctness is just basic respect for other identities and life experiences.

  • We believe that our actions follow our beliefs.

  • We support bodily autonomy and personal liberty.

  • We avoid identity politics.

  • We know that humans are played by cognitive biases and do our best to be avoid them.

  • We don’t believe that we are ever properly defined by labels but we admit that labels can be helpful as a starting point when held loosely.

  • We support a pragmatic, evidence based approach to public policy.

  • We embrace non-violence as a fundamental ideal but also acknowledge that justice is more important than order. We agree with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In Letter from a Birmingham Jail when he : “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace wich is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.