to say first and foremost that I believe my inspiration in life is based on a
profound relationship with God. The same kind of relationship available to everyone.
You will never find me compromising, diluting, denying or minimizing the
importance of this in my life.
ways, I could honestly say that I am not a religious person. Although primarily
brought up in the Southern Baptist Church, and loving it, it would be more accurate to say
that I have experienced to some degree or another a variety of religions and methods of
worship. And I've loved every one of them.
I know that
by expressing this, many people will be happy, others will be concerned. I will
state briefly that I am absolutely committed to the separation of church and state.
There will be times when my ideas and opinions will be based on those Christian values,
and I will point it out when they are.
It would be
inaccurate to state that everything I think or express is religion-based. However, we are
all affected by our upbringings, educational and religious trainings, life experiences and
choices about ourselves in regard to who we desire to be as people. It would be
accurate to state that my value system is based on a Christian discipline.
And I have
to state that under normal circumstances, I would not have included a statement declaring
my faith in this way. But I believe that our religions and moral disciplines are
being used to divide us as a people, to polarize us politically, and I believe that
practice is wrong and harmful. Wrong and harmful to what it means to be a person of faith.
Wrong and harmful in how even faith and religion are being exploited in order to garner
I wanted to
make a bit of a statement. I believe that no one has the right to make a moral
judgement on the religious interpretations or practices of another faith. People,
for whatever reasons, are attracted to various faiths and religions for a wide array of
reasons. Calling them right or wrong or good or bad does not empower the very values
we share and are at the core of our communities and our nation. Finally, that no political
party has a corner on religious faith or values.
require or even ask that people have religious or moral disciplines. I ask that we
look at whatever our individual values are, and conduct ourselves accordingly.
religions are great because they establish cultural rules and icons and symbols, all those
great Jungian symbols and things that remind us to be the people we say we are.
They provide examples and role models and leadership of many forms. And all of those
things are essential in the fabric of society. They greatly influence our lives and
that all moral religions/.disciplines are valid, and that we all ultimately worship the
same God. I believe in original creationism and evolution. And I believe it is time
for us all to re-examine our lives, and see where our ideals and actions in life are not
congruent, and then take the steps to resolve the discrepancy. I'll keep repeating
myself on this point, but I think it is the single most important thing that needs to
occur, and the sooner the better.
myself a fundamentalist, but I have a different interpretation of the meaning of the word
fundamentalist. So, I think it's important that I explain what I mean by it.
I say I have
a profound relationship with God. That is not my religion, that is my belief and an
expression of my faith, as well as a commitment to its values. That relationship is a
private, personal one, and between God and me.
When I read
my Bible or Koran or Tora or other books, I ask God to guide me to the right page, open it
up, and, as the Doobie Brothers sang "Tell Me What You Want and I'll Give You What
You Need". Or the Stones "You don't always get what you want, but if you
try sometimes, you just might find, you'll get what you need." I love
religion is the dogma, ritual, training, guidance and leadership provided by people who
are committed to other people. And it has its place.
I like to
meditate. Some people get triggered by that word. Meditation is nothing more
than an exercise that relaxes and refreshes, or is a purposeful, silent, introverted
inquiry into existence or personal principles and values. I don't sit in any
particlar position... but if someone shows me a benefit of doing that, I might.
anything else, I have always conceptually believed that the only law there really need be
is the golden rule.
others as you would have them do unto you
did that, we truly would be walking in the path of God. There would be no need for
But, that is
part of my discipline. I do not require others to do the same. I believe in and
honor the concept of free will.
I am every
bit as human as any other person. I do not claim perfection or righteousness at all.
I have had my times when I have done things I knew I shouldn't do. That's
just being human. I mention that because I believe we all need to acknowledge the
same thing about ourselves in order to prepare us for the conversations we need to have
with each other in resolving the cultural divides of this nation.
discipline is in the learning from the lesson. Not punishing one's self for past mistakes.
Atonement is about identifying the lessons, and then making a commitment to use that
information to guide you. It should be seen as a joyous thing of learning and being
a better, more loving person. Being who you really are, and who you want to be, as a
in this world, that willingness to be open and honest is often lost because of
"pressures". Pressures that cause us to do things to "survive" or fit
in instead of doing what we feel in our "gut" is right, fair or just.
And so, that
is part of the discipline as well. To always get what there is to be gotten,
communicate undelivered communications and resolve relationships which may have become
damaged, integrate the lessons into your life, forgive yourself, acknowledge yourself for
what you learned and accomplished regardless of the final outcome, reaffirm your intent to
do well regardless of the outcome, and then commit yourself to that intent in the future.
I have a
personal mantra that I have lived by since I was very young.. the exact wording changes a
little, but it goes like this:
I am not
perfect, and I will never be, but I try to be. With every breath and every step, I attempt
to be more perfect in walking in the path of God.
And I fail.
I laugh a little as I write that. Part of what I wanted to do in all of the writing I've
been doing is setting an example, living as the kind of person that I would suggest, as a
citizen, that others do. And giving people permission to forgive themselves of whatever
guilt suppresses them that keeps them from being fully engaged in persuing whatever it is
they feel compelled to do to make a difference in the world. It has nothing to do
with letting anyone else, or myself, off the hook.
I set isn't about being a perfect person. It's an example of someone choosing to
take a path in life, and then all the transformations that have to occur to be the person
you need to be to accomplish the goals you've set out to do. And, in the end, only time
will tell if writing this book and doing the work I see ahead of us will provide a
I wanted people to know that I acknowledge things I've done that probably won't be the
most pleasant things for people to hear about me. I wanted to be sure that my life
was transparent, so that I would not be forced to say or do or avoid anything and
compromise the message I believe I have to offer, and the objectivity required to truly
represent all of the citizens in a non-partisan way. Doing the right thing, no
a thing called "Corruption and Me" that discusses these things. Certainly, it
focuses on the bad things that have happened in my life... not to gain sympathy but to
give you an idea of the impact corruption has had on my life... all kinds of corruption...
things that you've experienced and been affected by to some degree or another over the
years. I'll bet you'll be able to relate to a great deal of it, at least
conceptually. More than anything else, I want to share with you the context of the lessons
and experiences behind what I will be talking about throughout my campaign.
I want to
point out, I look at that part of my life as over, and as I always view others, I judge
them based on what they bring to the table today... and the day after that and the day
after that. I wrote none of it to garner approval, but simply to offer my
experiences. I assure you, I've been privileged to have had some incredibly great
and fun experiences in my life. Have I got some stories for you. And I'm willing to
candidly answer questions about any part of my life, so long as I am speaking to people
who are actually listening to understand.
comprises a great deal of my religion in my life... my discipline. A discipline to
live by the golden rule, regardless of but in respect of laws of the land, with a belief
in dissent as a necessary part of life and government of the people... to me that is a
very spiritual thing... to empower other people, to see them excel and flourish, and to do
it in such a way that when it's all done and they're doing well, they walk away feeling
confident and good about themselves, because they did it themselves.
So, part of
the discipline in being satisfied is to be a silent partner, to be a helper that rarely
receives credit but can truly get the satisfaction and honor and grace that resides in
knowing that you have caused something good in the world. And because of my love of being
the silent partner, part of the fun challenges I must deal with is being a public person.
I'm also a ham, so it won't really be all that difficult. :}
To me, life
is alot like growing flowers, and I love growing flowers. With so little effort,
preparing the soil and planting the seeds and watering the seeds... so much beauty grows.
And the beauty is worth more than any award could reward.
And that is
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(C) 2002,2003-2009 Charles Rehn Jr IV All rights