Monday, July 28, 2014

Music Monday ~ "Let There Be Rock" (Drive-By Truckers)

I love the fact my son often shares music with me that he thinks I'll like. It's like having my own, private music curator. Drive-By Truckers is his latest pick.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Soul ~ "Streets of Gold" (Robin and Linda Williams)

On my way home from church today I was listening to Prairie Home Companion on NPR as I often do. Robin and Linda Williams were guests on the show today and they sang this which Linda referred to as "the closest thing to a gospel song" they have ever written. I love the lyrics which I'll post below.

Streets of Gold
Robin & Linda Williams 
(The New Music Times/Southern Melody Pub. Co., BMI)

We all hope to acquire a little blessedness
We all aspire to the land of bliss
Trusting all answers to lie
Way out beyond the sky
Never thinking that you or I
Could ever have or hold
The keys that unlock the gates
To the streets of gold

Let love lead
Let your mercies unfold
Let your good deeds
Be your stronghold
Follow your heart
And listen to your soul
Then you will walk
Down the streets of gold

And as we strive to do what’s right
To bring our lives into the light
It’s the family of friends
On which we all depend
Those who trust and those who give
Will know the pleasures untold
You will find when you live
On the streets of gold


Friday, July 4, 2014

Land that I love...

Today is Independence Day here in the United States, or as it's more often referred to, the 4th of July. We celebrate with cookouts, fireworks and parades. Flags are flown on front porches, up and down Main Streets, in front of businesses. Facebook and Twitter feeds feature patriotic quotes and pictures. It's a day for Americans to remember our origins, count our blessings and show pride in our nation.

But something has been bothering me lately. In recent years I've been hearing a lot of comments like these:
"Liberals hate America."
"Liberals aren't real Americans."
"Only conservatives can be true patriots."
"Take America back from the liberals."
Today on Twitter I've seen conservatives implying or outright claiming that they are the only ones who love America. In a way, they've co-opted the holiday - and patriotism - for themselves. Or tried to, anyway. Sadly, our nation has become one of division, misunderstandings, judgements and strife. Neighbors, friends and, most sadly, family members have become caught up in a war of words. Words like "patriotic" and "freedom" are bandied about in ways which serve to divide rather than unite.

I make no apologies for my liberal/progressive political views. I was raised in a very conservative home and voted Republican for over 20 years. My husband and I served as co-chairs of our county Republican party and were delegates to our state convention several times. My current ideology is the result of long and serious study, as well as much soul-searching. I'm sure many of my conservative friends would say the same regarding their political views. I would like to think everyone puts a lot of thought into something so important.

So let me just say this - I resent the very notion that patriotism and love of country belong solely to conservatives. It angers me that many of the far right, "don't tread on me" folks have attempted to co-opt patriotism and even our flag for themselves. I'm not one to wear clothing festooned with the American flag but if I were I wouldn't feel I could do so without wondering if I were portraying an ideology to which I do not subscribe. And that's not fair.

My great-great-great grandfather came to America as a young teenager. He had stowed away on a clipper ship sailing from England. He eventually ended up in Oklahoma, or actually, Indian Territory as it wasn't a state yet and married a Choctaw woman. I'm proud of my heritage and love my country.

I understand that conservatives have a different vision of America and what makes her great. That's perfectly fine but my vision is valid, too. That freedom they talk about so much belongs, in equal measure, to those of us whose hierarchy of values doesn't always line up with theirs. I sometimes wonder if, despite reverence for our founding fathers, some have forgotten that those men didn't agree on everything, either. There were some bitter battles waged over what form our baby nation's government would take. Even a cursory reading of some of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers will make that obvious. And yet we consider those men...all of them...worthy of great respect.

Respect. That's really what it all boils down to, doesn't it? We may disagree about, well, almost everything about how to run a country but we should be able to do so without name-calling (I swear, if one more person refers to me a Libtard I'm going to lose my sh*t). But please, can we just agree that the party listed on our voter registration card has nothing to do with how much we love our country?

In our own ways we are all just looking for America...

*Adorable photo at the top of this post was taken by my friend, Johnna Compton. Many thanks for permission to use it. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Soul ~ "Finlandia/Be Still, My Soul" (Nightwish)

At church this morning we sang the hymn, "Be Still, My Soul" which is sung to the tune, "Finlandia". It's a gorgeous melody. Listen to the metal band, Nightwish perform it: