Gold Star Posts

The Danger of Nationalism & the Complexities of Grace

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I’ve been working through the topic of forgiveness all year. It is the theme of the upcoming book – Christian Bend (Fall 2017, Mercer University Press). It’s one of those God poetry things. I knew when I began writing this Appalachian tale that takes place in Tennessee and France that the last book would address the topic of forgiveness and redemption.

What I didn’t know when I began writing the first of the three books in 2005 was just how much personal & national forgiveness I would wrestle with as I concluded the books in 2016.  There are things going on in all of our lives, deeply wounding things, about which we don’t speak. We gather during the holidays, or other times throughout the year and put those hurts aside in the interest of everybody just getting along. I’ve done it. I’m sure you have done it, too. There are many in this nation who are suggesting, some even demanding, that we do that now. For the sake of the country. Because we are all Americans. Or so the admonitions go.

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GET OUT THE VOTE

Dad

 

Vote. People died fighting for that right. Don’t waste their bloodshed. Quit your whining & Vote.  This isn’t a popularity contest. You don’t have to “Like” the people you elect. You have to elect people who can run the country, who won’t heedlessly send our soldiers into war.

dads-casketVote. It’s not just your right – it’s your obligation. Vote.

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Book Karen

Not the Most Important Election of My Lifetime

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I voted today. Checked all the boxes. Signed the outside of the secret ballot. Put a 4th of July stamp on it with fireworks exploding and drove it over to the Post Office and even went inside to mail it, just to be sure that there was no voter fraud taking place. I want my vote to count.

I hope you vote, too.

Everyone keeps saying this is the most important election of our lives. I’ve said it myself. But in reality, at least for me, this is probably not the most important election of my life. The most important election of my life took place in 1963 when Lyndon B. Johnson was elected. Johnson promised voters he would not be sending any “American boys” to wage war on behalf of South Vietnam.

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That God and Gay Thingy

Orlando

 

Maybe it’s the Orlando shooting.

Maybe it’s the access to military-style weapons.

Maybe it’s 13 months of temperatures rising.

Maybe it’s Donald Trump.

I’ve been torn from pillar to post over one thing over another lately. I find myself discombobulated much of the time. You feeling that way, too? Maybe we need a collective day at the spa, or a night around the campfire roasting marshmallows?

Years ago, when I wrote that memoir about my father, I encountered many Gold Star families. Sometimes, albeit infrequently, I would hear stories of estrangement. Death does that to families, causes sore feelings over one thing or another. Sometimes these are major offenses. Sometimes these are offenses that seem major because of the rawness that comes with death. Whatever the cause, it usually resulted in one thing – children being used as a bartering chip.

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A Closeted Hippie’s Take on Memorial Day

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In spite of growing up on the tailwind of the Hippie-era, I’m a traditionalist at heart. I like the Book of Common Prayer, the Our Father, Rosary beads, and the way Episcopalians always say, “And also with you”.  I love the formality of a processional, a church choir that still wears choir robes, and the high church sound of an organ well-played. The whole world looks more magical to me through the lens of stained glass windows, even those portraying the most profound of all betrayals.

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