My friend Eric Teetsel is one of the best, sharpest guys I know. We/our eyes met at across the table at an Acton Institute dinner nearly three years ago and I can honestly say, he's really enjoyed knowing me. He's a regular guest on my podcast, and a regular victor in our Words With Friends games.
Eric recently left American Enterprise Institute to take a position as the Executive Director at The Manhattan Declaration. What's the Manhattan Declaration, you ask?
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.
We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are (1) the sanctity of human life, (2) the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and (3) the rights of conscience and religious liberty. Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
This week, Eric started blogging for Relevant Magazine and this is great news for thoughtful, engaged, concerned young religious conservatives everywhere. If, as many liberal Christians insist, failures in messaging and cultural perception were big parts of the overall reason so many have distanced themselves from the values articulated by the "Religious Right", having someone like Mr. Teetsel out there communicating those values in a fun and interesting is a very important thing.
Here's an excerpt of his maiden blog-post:
Economics can be a contentious topic, but nothing like the debates over abortion, marriage, and religion. Would my friends and family would be embarrassed and ashamed of such work? And what would my friends in the LGBT community think?
Ultimately, none of these questions mattered. The decision was made many years earlier when, as a 4-year-old, I gave myself to Jesus. My life is his.
Yet, I still struggle with the doubts and fears. And I haven’t figured out how to love as my faith demands when others find the truth so offensive, but I’m working on it.
I plan to use this space to argue for life, marriage, and religious freedom. I am convinced these are the most important questions for our generation. They are provocative topics, but I hope to engage you all in a substantive, respectful, and generous conversation.
Make sure to check it out! And follow Eric on Twitter at @ericteetsel!