We are in the midst of a decisive debate on the values and vision that will determine the direction of our culture and society for years to come.
We are not in a simplistic war between good and evil, right and left, or even traditional versus modern.
We live in an age of contradictions. The Right advocates freedom while often ignoring the systemic evils of global business.
The Left speaks of tolerance while vilifying anyone who espouses long-standing moral precepts.
Minority communities continue to agitate for "justice" while excoriating internal critics who call for self-examination.
Virtue gurus call for heroism and self-reliance, yet find themselves unable to master addictions.
How do we navigate forward in an era fraught with peril and potential?
We must reassert that true freedom depends upon explicit and implicit adherence to moral principles and personal responsibility. Our culture of victimhood must yield to an ethos of mutual respect and community sacrifice.
We must learn to live with our deepest differences without being forced to affirm what is reprehensible to us. Toleration is not approval; moral and spiritual universes are different.
Let's raise the level of our debate beyond sound bites and personal posturing to a new plane of serious reflection. Only then will we have the fortitude to face the future.