So what is it about America that makes us simultaneously insist on our prim, snowy white Christianity while meanwhile worshipping thugs like Jesse James, John Dillinger or Colton Harris-Moore? What the heck is wrong with us? Is there any other country that more painfully feels the tug of rich versus poor, education versus proud ignorance, and fierce independence versus "we're all in this together" camaraderie? Probably not.

America is a study in opposites. What can possibly bring us together? I suggest prayer — not necessarily to a Christian God, but to whatever higher power each wildly disparate individual believes in. Maybe understanding and commonality are things we ought to embrace ... instead of miscreants and labels that never did fit.

Politics as Usual

Everybody's mad these days.
Even tea parties are no longer genteel.
I can't stand the shouting.
So I turn to You
for answers, oracles.
From all I know of You,
You are all about love.
It is time for You
to step in.
Please let love
re-animate the body politic.
Teach Your children to use
their "indoor" voices
to reason, not accuse.
Tutor us in civility,
for without it,
there is no dialogue.
Open ears
on both sides of the aisle,
so that we
may go forward
as one.

-Lori Strawn

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