Saturday, September 20, 2008


Small town values

I just attended the memorial service of a close relative in a town with a population of 1,500. A large number of neighbors and townsfolk attended, in addition to family members. After the service, we all moved to the nearby town hall, for a meal of homemade lasagna, salad and brownies.

Although the families were Christian, they weren't "Christian." There was a brief prayer and a mention or two of God, but no officiating religious figure, no religious doctrine, and no murmuring about the lack of any of that.

No one advocated censoring books in the local library, or breaking down the constitutional separation of church and state.

The man whose life we were celebrating was a WWII vet; there were American flags, including a veteran's flag folded into a triangle, but there was not a buzz about "my country right or wrong," or supporting the Iraq war. There was talk of peace.

There were deer-hunters in the assembly, but also vegans.

My sense is that there was a diversity of opinion on such matters as choice and shotgun weddings for teenage children. There were even Obama supporters among the attendees.

My impression of small town American values was of a place where people could vote their conscience, agree to disagree, and come together at a memorial service without shoving their beliefs in your face.

To the GOP handlers of Sarah Palin who wish to portray small town America as a monolith of intolerant, super-religious, right-wing, wildlife-killing, book-burning opinion -- you can kiss my a**.

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