Thanks to Richard Rohr, an invitation to follow his example …

Years ago, I was in conversation with one of the most well-known leaders in the white Evangelical Christian community. He had earned my respect and earned even more that night.

A small group of Evangelicals had gathered in private to address a difficult topic. I won’t say what it was, but only that it was one of the big five by which Evangelicals then defined themselves (and sadly, by and large still do):

  • that abortion should be made a crime
  • that homosexuality should be considered an intolerable abomination
  • that the state of Israel should be supported unconditionally and without qualification
  • that government should be small and that business/profit/capitalism/markets should be given free reign
  • that climate change is a myth

I was so impressed that night when that Evangelical leader said, “I haven’t gained all this spiritual and social capital to play it safe. I’m going to use my platform to speak out on this issue.”

Well, over a decade has passed and he hasn’t yet done so. Maybe he still will.

Meanwhile, Richard Rohr has.


If you value his daily emails (as hundreds of thousands of us do), you’ve watched him speak out in recent weeks. He has courageously and directly addressed issues of race, economics, the environment, war, violence, and the dignity of all people. He has done so firmly, graciously, gently, and clearly.

He has a platform and he uses it wisely. (Thanks, Richard!)

I’m sure that he has received some negative feedback. I’m sure he’s had some people hit “unsubscribe.” But I’m also sure that he has challenged some harmful assumptions and misconceptions … and he has used his platform to encourage people to move in the right, wise, loving, needed direction.

Please, if you have a platform and you’re worried about risking it to speak out, please, follow Richard’s example. These times demand courage. And candor. And, yes, risk.