Monday, May 28, 2007

Decoration Day

I spent the morning in the small town where my family is from and they take Memorial Day VERY seriously. It's a traditional town - rural - full of orchards and farmhouses that hold fourth and fifth generations. It's a lovely escape from all the asphalt and industry I live with daily, but I think my love of the town is anchored firmly in my love of green growing things and personal sentiment.

Last night the town was all birdsong and frog chorus - the occasional sound of a piano being played. But today it was marching bands and gun salutes and orations about God and Country.

God and Country(!) ~ the speaker was on about how divided the country became after WWII and how worrisome it must be to the troops that there is such division in the nation... and then he held up the Declaration of Independence and the Bible and urged us all remember how the former was created with explicit connection to the latter... and some tangent that included a reference to the 2nd amendment... followed by a story of a teacher taking a cross away from child... and how we, as a nation, need to focus on the Bible to better live the Declaration and unite once more as in the time of "The Great War"...

It was a messy and illogical speech, and lazy, because it simply focused on inflammatory touchstones that appeared to center on a theme of: diversity of thought = degradation of a nation.

... and I thought we were there to honor our dead.

Look, I don't want to get all head up about politics here, this site is about artifacts and memories... but I suppose this constitutes a memory newly created and an old perception dashed to bits... but I just keep thinking about his logic and call to arms... that we, as a secular nation, should unite through Christianity.



One specific brand of religion...?

Is there nothing more divisive, inflammatory, personal and private that we could try to unite through?

Ok. Fine - let's all gather 'round the old spinet and sing old timey hymns in four-part harmony... and THAT will keep the men and women of our military safe, lower gas prices, abolish terrorism, cure cancer and reverse global warming.

Let me know how that works out for you.

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