I'm No George Will, That's For Sure

Category: By Christian
This year I have had the opportunity to be a guest columnist for The Kansas City Star. As part of their Midwest Voices panel, I got to write five op-ed pieces this year as well as blog on their op-ed site. My final column dropped on Saturday, and the bulk of my responsibilities are now over.

All in all, I'm glad I did it. I went into the experience with the goal of communicating aspects of my faith that form my ethical paradigms, and I think I did that well. It wasn't easy, though. You can't just write for a newspaper and start preaching. For people to listen, you have to weave your ideas in under the radar and do it concisely. Do you know how hard it is to limit your take on something you are passionate about to 650 words? Way harder than I could have guessed. But for a verbose individual like myself, it was a helpful exercise.

When I look back on my five articles, I think they do a good job summarizing how I try to live out my faith. I started out writing about the boys I work with. I wrote about a coffee shop that my local YWCA runs in an effort to achieve its goal of "eliminating racism and empowering women". I wrote about adopting Elli. I wrote about my city's new recycling program. I finished by writing about the boys. Am I a pro-life environmentalist who strives for racial reconciliation and shalom for the disenfranchised? Yeppers.

An ancillary benefit of my experience this year has been a deeper appreciate for columnists who do a good job of writing thoughtfully. My main inspiration to apply for this gig was Leonard Pitts. I've never met him before, but I've always been very impressed with his ability to graciously tackle tough subjects. He's never been a shill for a single political party. He is able to recognize both sides of an issue and judge them fairly. And now I realize why there aren't more columnists like him. It's way easier to pound out 650 words about why Obama is the incarnation of Mussolini or McCain's real estate than it is to thoughtfully engage issues in a constructive manner.

I've also gained new respect for George Will and David Brooks. I really appreciate how those guys stay on message and keep their arguments above the fray. They write with a depth and nuance that has actually helped me as I go through this process of rethinking a lot of my political assumptions from the past. If the Republicans get swept tomorrow, I hope that they listen to those two guys as they rethink what they are going to be about as a party.

Renew and Restore

1 comment so far.

  1. adam paul 8:04 AM
    GrinchForPrez sure seems like a friendly chap.

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