By Foster Friess, columnist
Just as an outrider keeps the herd on the right trail, Foster’s Outriders works to keep our country on the right path. Looking at America’s dissension and anger today, we could use a mid-course change in our spiritual direction.
How can some who have been treated terribly react with grace and forgiveness that defies understanding, such as the nine families who forgave the white supremacist who shot their relatives in the 2015 Charleston tragedy, while so many others react to injustice by lashing out in anger?
How can we have more of our country react to evil with vigils, sadness and resolve rather than riots, bricks and fires? In which culture would you rather live?
In which example can we heal America’s disunity and anger?
Foster’s Outriders is enamored with Thomas Jefferson’s view, “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”
What did Thomas Jefferson, who was not a Christian, see in those teachings that captured his appreciation? Always consider other people more important than yourself. We’ve been set free to serve. Never return evil for evil. Strive for servanthood, not power. Be an encourager, not a denigrator.
Unfortunately, secularists, in advancing their agenda of division, have turned many against these teachings. Teachings that hold the answers to healing our nation.
Forgiveness impressed Jefferson the most. As Jesus was poked, stabbed and hoisted onto His cross, he uttered, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Foster’s Outriders launches, supports and endorses numerous efforts that embody the notion that anger and hate does not drive out hatred; love drives out hate.
Rachel’s Challenge embraces the exhortation of Rachel Scott, the first Columbine victim, to create a chain reaction of kindness and works to end bullying and drug abuse.
The annual Outriders National Coffee Challenge, inspired by LGBTQ leader Donna Red Wing’s example, encourages Americans to invite someone with whom they disagree to coffee. The best examples shared on social media receive rewards.
ACE Scholarships enable low-income students to attend private schools of their parents’ choice.
Water Mission designs and builds safe water and sanitation systems in developing countries, often in conjunction with a natural disaster.
Outriders organize Harmony Meals, where black and white churches partner to host law enforcement.
These are a few of the programs the Foster’s Outriders Foundation supports to help heal America. Engaging in these programs allows us an opportunity to set an example of how we might fulfill some of God’s dreams for America. These projects welcome people of every ethnicity, political and religious persuasion. Each program provides an opportunity for us to come together in harmony to express love to our fellow man.
I would see America as one of the most harmonious, loving communities if it weren’t for those who want to exploit divisiveness for their own profitability and power. There are those in the press and “Kingdom of DC” special interests groups who benefit from dissension and make money off of it. What can we do to counter them?
Those in Charleston exhibited the teachings of forgiveness and never returned evil for evil. Teachings that created self-esteem and a realization that God has a plan for their lives. This stands in contrast to secular teachings, where self-esteem doesn’t come from a sense of God’s love for them but instead from materialism — a bigger house, more expensive car and from power.
Which route will you champion?
Let’s listen to Thomas Jefferson’s assessment of all the great concepts Jesus articulated and leave the winning of people to the Christian faith to our nation’s pastors.
We can focus on making the world a better place for all Americans, whether Christian or secularist, Republican, Democrat or Independent, black, white, yellow or bro
Join us at Foster’s Outriders. Together we’ll get there!