Imagine that the United States of America was a person. It shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Culture is sort of like personality and habit. Politics is like an individual’s worldview or perspective on things. Both a nation and a person can become demoralized by internal and external forces. And, just as a person has a soul, a nation seems to have a deeper core that defines and guides it. It means something to be an American; it means something to be America.
So you have this image in your head of America, the person. I would be curious to know what you see. What is America wearing, if anything, and what posture does he or she have? Let me tell you what I see.
I see a man who can’t stop looking side to side. He goes from left to right, and each time he turns his head it puts more strain on his neck as he turns it a little more. At the same time his eyes are looking down at the ground. For a brief moment, every now and then, he peeks up at the heavens, but it is only for a moment. His clothes are very stylish, and very expensive, but in his breast pocket is a notice saying that all of his possessions will soon be repossessed if he doesn’t pay his creditors. His heart is experiencing palpitations due to the stress of a serious identity crisis. He was raised a Christian, but has started to doubt its significance now that he is more mature and well off. His daughter wants to have an abortion and he’s equally torn by his love for her freedom to choose and his love for her unborn child. His son is gay, and he doesn’t know whether to kick him out of the house or celebrate with a parade. He carries a small document in his hand that begs him not to forget where he comes from and who he is, but his hand is so clenched around it that he hasn’t read it in years. This man has seen better days. But not all hope is lost.
Inside the man is an indomitable spirit. Despite his identity crisis and crippling debt and all forms of adversity, he carries within him a tested spirit. A spirit that has passed through many fires. A spirit that burns brightest when the world seems darkest. This man has suffered many hardships and come out stronger in the end, and for that reason, for the spirit within that transcends the baggage and the vitriol and the pettiness, he has real hope for a better life ahead. But as long as he carries the pride of his own self-importance, and refuses to acknowledge the Creator that made him in word and deed, he will continue to be a divided man with a sore neck.
I needed a change.
For those who have been following this blog from the start, you might remember that in the beginning (around March 2010) it had the heading of, Thoughts of a Post-Grad English Major. This lasted for about a year, until a friend explained to me why WordPress was better than blogger. It was also at a time when I felt that “English major” wasn’t the best label for myself a year after graduating. For those reasons I switched to WordPress and changed the heading to, Thoughts of a Post-Grad Twentysomething. This served me well for a time as I was indeed a twenty-something and I was very much adrift in the waters of post-graduate life. But now, at this stage in my life, I understand that it is appropriate to change things again.
The new heading reads, Thoughts of a Man Named Dave. Now, it isn’t as descriptive as the other two, but I think that’s just fine. It also doesn’t serve the purpose of telling people what this blog is really about in any creative way, but that’s also fine. I’m not trying to aim for a niche in the blogosphere (not now anyway) by writing about cooking or gardening (though I love gardening and will write about it). Most of the people who read this already know me, and those who don’t will hopefully come because something I write catches their eye. I have not been willing to focus on one topic, since I want to write about multiple topics. The new tagline for my blog does a good job of encapsulating my interests and some semblance of focus.
“Getting at the big picture of Life in America through faith, politics and other things you don’t talk about at the dinner table.”
I have written about gay marriage and abortion multiple times. I have also written about Bill Cosby and why Baby Boomers love Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Sometimes it is light and fluffy and other times it is heavy and serious. It can be the kind of thing you wouldn’t discuss over dinner, but I suppose that depends on who’s eating. I seem to have a keen interest in American culture in general, so it’s a safe bet that I’ll be writing about things that relate to it. I also have strong feelings and a clear position on many political matters. But the overriding thing, the deeper current that steers this ship, is my belief that Jesus Christ is who the Bible says he is. Anyone who recognizes that God is real and knowable will also understand that it affects everything about them. Think about it.
So here I am, and here is the latest incarnation of my blog.
More to follow.
P.S. For those who follow my blog or know me, you should understand why I chose this image of a man punching a gorilla. The Tiger/Gorilla Question