Fikre on Faith: Free Will and Love as Guiding Principles of Governance

Over the past couple of days, I have been contemplating how much I should discuss my faith as part of my campaign. To be sure, I had deep reservations because, regrettably, one of the main sources of division in our world is religion. But I eventually settled on talking about my spiritual walk and the influence the Bible has on my understanding of morality, justice and inclusion for one central reason:  withholding that information would be akin to hiding a big part of my life.

Moreover, if people are going to vote for me, I want them to know that my faith in a Higher Creator and my acceptance of Christ played an integral part in my decision to run for office and will inform my decision on the ways I plan to vote on bills and will guide how I address the pressing issues that confound our country and humanity if I am entrusted by my fellow Virginians in the 8th Congressional District to represent them in DC.  

This does not mean that I will legislate morality nor does it mean I will be enforcing my views like too many partisans on both sides of the aisles do in our nation’s capital. To the contrary, I honor a God who gives all of us free will; consequently, a core part of my campaign is freedom and unchaining Americans from the overreach of a Goliathan government that keeps growing daily and imposing new restrictions on our rights.

I believe in maximum liberty, as long as your decisions don’t infringe on the freedoms of others and as long as your life choices don’t endanger society, you have every right to live out your life according to your desires. My family and I fled my native land Ethiopia and arrived in America as immigrants in 1982 because a tyrannical regime made it their mission to foist their ideology upon Ethiopians, restrict our rights and butcher anyone who spoke up for freedom.

It breaks my heart to witness America taking incremental steps towards the same abyss that led to the deaths of 500,000 Ethiopians a few years after I was born. I love America precisely because of the liberties she stands for and the rights of her people that are enshrined in the Constitution. Every day, these freedoms too many of us take for granted are being chipped away by politicians, pundits and technocrats who view our inalienable rights as optional privileges that can be snatched away using security as a means of nullifying our liberties.

This is nothing new, Pharisees during biblical times used to oppress the masses by weaponizing laws to benefit themselves and impoverish the people. This leads to the second aspect of how my faith informs my views of governance. People ask all the time “what would Jesus do”, the answer is simple, seek goodness over evil, speak up against consolidated power and give voice to “the least among us”. In other words, He chose love as his moral compass and I am going to do the same if I am elected.

One politician after another uses God’s name in vain and thumps the Bible piously only to head to DC and enact laws that hurt humanity and benefit themselves and their corporate owners. They “nullify the word of God” by their traditions that exceed the love of money and have transmuted into the exaltation of cash. Our country is slowly turning into France right before Parisians turned to violent means to exact vengeance for the way the aristocracy led extravagant lives while millions were mired in extreme poverty. Before we head towards that same path of destruction, it behooves all of us, from plutocrats to paupers and all in between, to restore fairness and equality of opportunities for all in America.

Free will for all Americans and laws that are rooted in love are the two pillars on which my campaign is built and how I plan on legislating if I am elected to Congress by my fellow Virginians. #Fikre4VA

If I am sent to DC to represent my district in Virginia, voters can rest assured that I will honor the gospels of kindness, empathy and unselfishness and will speak up vehemently against any law that is not rooted in love. That means voting against bills that lavish riches upon special interests while cratering communities across America. It also means I will be fighting for “the least among us” because the only way we can lift all boats is by elevating hulls instead of raising masts and falsely believing that dispensation will trickle down to the rest of us.

Free will and love, that is how we heal America together because greed and selfishness are toxic and have been discredited given the way our nation is breaking under the weight of social inequalities. As I noted in the video above that I recorded yesterday at Calvary Pentecostal Church in Ashland, Virginia, I am far from a perfect man; I’ve made mistakes in my life and will likely make more to come. My value proposition is not flawlessness but the fact that I am a common man with an uncommon desire to affect change in ways that lead America away from rancor and guide us towards a common purpose.

What I recognize above all is that the only way we can truly change the dangerous trajectory we are on as a country and humanity writ large is to take the advice of Martin Luther King Jr. and turn to love to drive out the darkness of avarice, antipathy and indifference that have enveloped the world. I’ve spent years railing against the status quo and being anti-establishment, I now have gained the wisdom to know that the only way to overcome iniquity is to be for something and to be a source of light in a world hobbled by the shadows of rank opportunism and unabated egos. My name is Teddy Fikre and I’m running for Congress with free will and abiding love that transcends our differences as my North Star.

“Where there is love there is life.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi