Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Lost Voices

Lost Voices

I trusted the voice of my father.  He was a man of few words who never sang in church, but he could recognize the atonal notes of a lie like someone with perfect pitch and he had no time for the people who told them.  He lived by the rules of his heart, while I watched.  From him I learned that strength and honesty walk hand in hand, that humility and compassion are never signs of weakness and that a man is only as good as his word.  Daddy could say both "I love you" and "I'm sorry" without losing an ounce of his pride.  His voice was underscored by his integrity, it was consistent and unwavering and, consequently, I trusted it.  I listen to that voice even now, though it's been ten years since I heard it outside of my dreams.

Despite the cacophony of sounding brass and tinkling cymbals aloft in the air today, the silence is deafening.  So many voices have been sacrificed for political expediency and can never be trusted again.  Men who once proudly stood beneath the red, white and blue banner of "family values" now clump together in a frayed knot of self-righteousness, weakly defending their new holy policy of justification and end result.  But the curtain has been lifted.  It is now apparent that the outrage they once spewed at the slightest perceived infraction was only a theatrical act.  How long will it take them to realize that their voices have forever been muted by their own hypocrisy?

Many people of faith feel like they're living in exile because American Christianity is no longer known to champion the words of Christ.  By aligning itself with the vile and indecent its voice has reduced to a whisper.  By linking arms with the National Rifle Association (from whom we are told guns are our "god-given right"), it has muddied the truth with an ignoble cause.  It has looked away while the murdered are ignored, the survivors slandered.  We have listened for its outrage as the poor have been denigrated, both in speech and in policy, and heard nary a word.  While the immigrant is demonized in direct contradiction to the call of Scripture, it has stood by in a silence seen as tacit approval by many.  Kindness and compassion?  Decency?  Beauty?  Love?  All have been devalued by a misguided agenda that has far overshadowed the bright light of Truth.  How long will it take those aboard this off-course ship to notice no one on shore hears their voice any longer?

These are the days we never expected, the days we thought gone for good.  These are the days that can break a person, even a person of faith.  I have watched those I once admired either goosestep their way down a path I find reprehensible or choose instead to prioritize their own contentment, riveting their eyes heavenward and refusing to stand in the way of the lies currently prostituting the very faith they profess to follow, the very country they profess to love.

We Americans have always been proud of our spunk.  If we think we are right, we will go it alone if we have to, make no mistake.  For generations we have stood as a beacon of hope and justice in a fractured world.  With all of our faults, and we have them, we have generally been looked to as a people of compassion who have at least the desire for good.  This reputation is now in peril.  Yet there remain those amongst us who continue to shake their fists in the air, determined to defy the world if they must, not in defense of the good but in a defiant embrace of what they themselves would once have deemed downright ugly.  Our pride is being used against us by a man devoid of the most basic of decent human qualities, a man more than willing to break us into a million pieces for his own gain.

How many lies does it take to lose a voice?
One?  One thousand?
Two?  Two thousand?
How long will it take us to realize we're rapidly losing our own?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Dog I Need

The Dog I Need

My neglect of this blog has been appalling of late and for that I sincerely apologize.  Several of my readers have written to check on me and for that I am so touched and grateful.  The simple truth is that I have been busy finishing up a writing project that I've had going for quite awhile and after a day spent doing nothing but finding the proper word for the proper place, my brain is so flat it could slide right beneath my bedroom door.  I am left with no wit, no bite, no cohesive thought.  Add to this the one fact that will not be ignored:  I am raising a big puppy to be a well-mannered citizen of the world and that is quite a tall order indeed.  So I suppose I have indulged in a bit of puppternity leave and I hope you'll forgive me.

Andrew is growing.  You can almost sit and watch him grow, so rapidly is he doing it.  His feet are like dinner plates and neither he nor I are used to them yet.  He trips over them regularly; I trip over them only occasionally.  Apple, who began by tolerating him the way an elderly aunt might tolerate a bouncy new nephew she neither asked for nor particularly wanted, is now visibly fond of him and I often catch them napping together on the rare occasion Andrew naps.  He does sleep soundly all night long and has done so since the first week he came home, a fact for which both The Songwriter and I are extremely grateful.  However he has woke me up on too many mornings by sticking his tongue in my ear.  (Andrew, not The Songwriter.)  He was incredibly easy to housebreak, something we have been ever so thankful for.  When your puppy is roughly the size of an articulated bus, being easy to housebreak is a gift unsurpassed.  Also, he abhors vacuum cleaners and hair dryers with a passion usually reserved for the homicidal.  We are hoping he outgrows this.

At just five months old, Andrew weighs fifty-two pounds and shows no signs of slowing down in that progression.  I confesss to googling, "How big will my dog get?", more than once.  There are charts and the like online that profess to an accurate prediction for this, but frankly, the results were so alarming that I've decided to just wait and see.  I can tell you he is far too big to comfortably dine with his food bowl sitting flat on the floor so, whilst I search for a stand that doesn't offend my aesthetic sensibilities, he is eating off a big round hatbox, no doubt the only dog on the street to be doing so.  He is also now enrolled in a canine charm class to aid him in his journey to responsible adult.  We tried group classes but as he was both the biggest dog in the class as well as the youngest, and as he vociferously let it be known all through class that all he really wanted to do was play with his classmates, it was deemed advantageous to all involved if he was trained privately.  His legs are so long that when he responds to the command, "Down", he sticks them straight up and out before flopping on the floor with a theatrical thud much in the manner of a canine religious experience. His teacher has declared him "very intelligent" which should make me proud but at present is a niggling point of concern.  As I write this I just saw him run through the back garden with my underwear on his head.  If he learns to open doors we are in serious trouble.

He loves riding in the car and as we've enjoyed an unusually cool, almost cold, Spring, he has been coming along with me quite a lot.  Let me tell you, the sight of a huge black and white puppy hanging out the window of a little green Fiat has been the most reliable way I've yet discovered to put smiles on grumpy faces.  Stopping at traffic lights is a gregarious experience for everybody.

I promise to do a better job on the blog particularly as Andrew continues skipping to adulthood.  He is very funny, very sweet and quite the snuggler.  He is also very different from Edward, as I'm sure you can tell from this writing.  A friend told me when Andrew moved in, "God gives you the dog you need", and I think she's right.  There is a look in Andrew's eyes that reminds me of the soulful gaze of Edward but just when I see it and start to dip down into grief at that terrible loss, Andrew will do something hilarious and I burst out laughing.  He is the dog I need.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Magical Thinking

Magical Thinking

Be it skepticism, hubris, or a gray-green combination of both, for some reason I have always avoided the self-help section of the bookstore.   I’ve never quite been able to stomach being told that “men are from Mars”; never bought the promise that I could “think and grow rich”; never spent one second worrying about “who moved my cheese”.  And frankly, I rather resent being told how much better my life would be if I just “tidied up” my room.  

That said, I do turn to writers I respect when life lands me on rocky pathways they themselves have trod.  I hunger to know how they handled those jarring switchbacks life can throw; how they managed to put one foot in front of the other on those days when all you want to do is stop and sit down.

So when Edward suddenly died last August, I turned to C.S. Lewis and Joan Didion.  From Mr. Lewis I was comforted to know I wasn’t alone in the realization that grief felt so much like fear.   When Ms. Didion shared the magical thinking that haunted her during the year following the sudden loss of her husband, I knew without doubt I was experiencing similar feelings.

I knew all autumn that getting another dog would be a good idea for Apple.  She missed her roommate.  But, like Ms. Didion, a nagging thought clung tight to my soul:  If I allow another dog into my house, into my heart, then that will mean Edward is really and truly not coming back.  I knew, as Joan Didion knew, that this thought was nonsensical.  But I can tell you it was as real as daylight.  Oh, I looked at dog rescue sites on the internet.  But every face I saw seemed like an intruder on my grief.  I still wanted Edward back.  I still do.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, from a rescue in Missouri, I saw a face I couldn’t ignore.  There was something in the eyes.  Something in the soul.  I contacted the rescuers and filled out an application, knowing our chances were slim as we lived so far away.  But for some reason, even with loads of applications coming in for him, we were chosen.

So last Friday, very early in the morning, The Songwriter and I set out to get our new family member,
 feeling every bit as nervous as blind dates.
It was love at first sight.
For both of us.

Meet Andrew.
He’s eleven weeks old and those paws tell us he’ll be a big boy.  He’s cheerful, curious, and he’s settled into The House of Edward like he’s lived here before.  From the looks of things, he’s mostly Landseer Newfoundland, with perhaps a wee bit of Border Collie throw in for good measure.  He will be like unwrapping a present each month; we have no idea what he’ll turn out to be. 

This will always be The House of Edward. 
 When the next book of essays comes out later this year,
 it will be Edward’s face on the cover.
But I’ll share Andrew’s life with you all on occasion.  
How could I not?
Just look at that face!

C.S. Lewis

Joan Didion

For those of you from Instagram 
who are looking for my essay on the Spacious website,
 you can find it HERE.  
Spacious is a "movement of folks who want to create ways to bring people together to banish loneliness and foster deeper connections and community". 
Do pay them a visit. 
I'm honored to be featured.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Dream Comes True, With Books

A Dream Comes True, With Books

Some experiences, even - or perhaps most especially - ones long-awaited and anticipated, fail to live up to expectation.  For instance, I once had a friend whose parents, like a lot of older people it seems, longed to see the Grand Canyon before, as they put it, “it got too late”.  New York Italians, they were demonstrative in their enthusiasm for this trip, renting a large motor home for the journey westward and setting out with maps on their laps.
I myself have never traveled cross county by car, much less by motor home, but I have a sneaking suspicion that after the third or fourth roadside food establishment, or perhaps after the first or second night without a hot bath, the charm of the road might just become a bit frayed around the edges for me.  Perhaps that’s what happened to my friend’s mother for when they finally pulled up beside all the grandeur that is indeed the Grand Canyon, her husband hopped out and stood before it, entranced and amazed, only to find she’d remained in the motor home.  
“Come see, Sophia!”, he cried.
“I can see it from here,  Joe”, she snapped.
She didn’t get out of the car.  

I learned to read early,  along about the time I learned to appreciate the magic that is Christmas.  The first books I read were British.  Mary Poppins, Wind in the Willows, Peter Rabbit.  Soon came A Christmas Carol and in my heart Christmas became forever intertwined with London and snow, books and stories.  Christmas shopping in London was a fantasy I often indulged.  Making my way beneath the twinkling lights of tiny circuitous streets with the fragrance of hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts hanging in the air, snow collecting on the hood of my coat.  I could hear the old bells hanging on the door of each bookshop I entered, see the Christmas trees and wreaths glimmering amongst the brightly colored spines of all the books lining the shelves.  I could imagine myself having my selections wrapped up in brown paper and tied with ribbons.  Oh it was a delicious fantasy, far more potent for me than any trip to the Grand Canyon, grand though that may be. 

Well, in December, on rather the spur of the moment, The Songwriter and I decided to see if that fantasy could be realized.  Edward was always the one who pined for me whenever I went away; I could never leave him at Christmas.  However, Apple is happy as a clam with her friend who moves in whenever we move out, so this was the year to go.  And I am delighted to say that sometimes long-held fantasies can indeed become realities, even in a pretty messed-up world.

It was cold in London, the kind of cold one expects at Christmas, the kind of cold that promises snow.  There were Christmas trees everywhere, on every corner, in every window.  The air smelled like fir.  A mile of magnificent angels flew above Regent Street, resplendent creatures of light that made me stop in the sea of shoppers to stare up, utterly transfixed.  Every pub was warm and welcoming, every face wore a smile.  And yes, of course, it snowed.  Great fat flakes fell all the day we wandered the old city, icing a cake of pure joy.  We slept with smiles on our faces each night we were there. 

But of course, the best shops were the bookshops and I’m happy to say I went to as many as I could.  John Sandoe, Hatchard’s.  Heywood Hill, Daunt.  It was sublime.  Sometimes fantasy pales in the face of reality.  I can empirically say that London at Christmas, for me, far exceeded every dream I'd ever had.

Because I know my readers love books at least as much as I do, here are the ones I gathered up in London, as well as a couple of Christmas presents I received, and a few of the ones I’ve found since returning.  As always, click on the covers to find out more. 
 I do hope you enjoy browsing around.

(Also, on a side note…. I have been receiving notes and letters about my recent lack of postings.  I have the kindest readers in the world, by the way.  It’s true, I have been struggling a bit without Edward.  Losing him so suddenly, and in the midst of one of the most distressing periods in our history here, has been more difficult that I could have imagined.  But I’m learning that if you can’t “get over it”, you can at least get on with it.  I am writing.  I am hoping.  I am hoping for more hope.  And I am thankful for you all.)

1.  The Secret Life of the Owl
John Lewis-Stempel
This was a Christmas present from The Songwriter, 
squirreled away from John Sandoe Books whilst we were in London.
It’s a lovely book.

2.  Autumn
by Ali Smith
This was pushed into my hands by one
 of the knowledgeable people who work at John Sandoe's.
 It’s the first in what is to be a quartet of books.
  The latest, Winter, has just been released
 and it’s beside my bed now.

3.  Manhattan Beach
by Jennifer Egan
This is a big, engrossing tale, almost old-fashioned in scope and tone, with the most gorgeous prose you can imagine.  I was so gobsmacked by it that I immediately dove headfirst into every book by Ms. Egan that I could get my paws on.  Therefore, I can heartily recommend, in addition to Manhattan Beach, 

4.  The Diary of a Bookseller
by Shaun Bythell
The Songwriter managed to spirit this gem of a book away from Watermill Books,  a magical bookshop in Aberfeldy, Scotland that we were fortunate to visit when we were there in October.  
Really, he gives the best presents.

5.  The Crown
by Robert Lacey
This was a gift from a good friend, the same good friend who looks after Apple while we’re gone.  See why we never worry about her when we leave?  We know home watching The Crown.  
If you’re a fan of the show, and who isn’t, this is a must have.
  A bonus?  It’s chock full of marvelous photographs. 

6.  The Illustrated Letters of Virginia Woolf
Selected and Introduced by Frances Spalding
I found this on a table in the back of Hatchard’s 
on one of those above mentioned snowy days. 
My arms were laden with gifts for others, 
but this one was just for me.
Pure joy.

7.  A Note of Explanation: 
A Little Tale of Secrets and Enchantment
from Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House
by Vita Sackville-West
A previously unknown story by Sackville-West that was originally written in 1924 for the famous dollhouse of Queen Mary at Windsor Castle (which, incidentally, I visited for the first time this trip, on the very day of the Queen’s staff Christmas party no less.  Her Majesty was there, along with Harry and Meghan, but unfortunately neglected to come down and say hello.  Such is life. ) and remained there in its teeny-tiny form until last year when it was published in this beautifully illustrated volume.  I discovered it in the equally teeny-tiny splendor that is Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shoppe in Covent Garden, one of my favourite shops on the planet.  Given its provenance, this book is every bit as wonderful as it should be.

8.  Christmas Pudding
by Nancy Mitford
During the Second World War, the novelist and famous sister, Nancy Mitford, worked at Heywood Hill Books, the tiny, well-curated bookshop in the Mayfair area of London.  With its mix of old, new and antiquarian books, the shop has lost none of its unique brand of charm, the same charm that earned it the reputation as one of the best bookshops in the old city.  As one would expect, Heywood Hill has a stellar collection of Mitford Books, and I could not resist this one.  And yes, they wrapped it up in brown paper and tied it with a ribbon.
Also, if you haven’t, do read these:

Wilmont, comfortably ensconced at The Draycott, 
with my treasures.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017



Perry Como taught me Latin when I was just a child.  In case you don’t remember, or never knew of him, Mr. Como was what used to be called a “crooner”, a term for a silky-voiced singer.  I can still see the cover of his Christmas album in my mind’s eye, his friendly face encircled by a wreath of holly.  He was my parents’ favourite, and that record played continuously at our house during the festive season when I was little.  On it, he sang the Latin carol, Adeste Fidelis, and singing along at the top of my voice I learned every word flawlessly, though I hadn’t a clue what I was singing.  It was years before I knew the words were identical to the hymn, O Come All Ye Faithful.  I was startled to find out that was what I’d been singing all along, albeit in indecipherable Latin.

A lot of words have taken on new meaning for me this year.  Words that, although familiar, had never caught fire in my soul until the match of circumstance set them ablaze.  For years I knew C. S. Lewis had written, “No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.”  I had always found that to be an interesting observation, but it didn’t burn with empirical understanding until Edward left me so suddenly in August, never to return.  

As a schoolgirl I learned about the rise of fascism, reading the warnings of those who lived through the horrors of the Second World War as though reading of other worlds.  I heard the stories from my parents, whose patriotism was planted in cleaner soil than that which we walk upon today.  I read Orwell… “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”  I read Sinclair Lewis…. “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”  Those words were merely part of history class, with no contemporary meaning for me.  They might as well have been written in Latin.  Or so I thought. Today, after a weekend when my government  instructed the Centers for Disease Control to immediately cease using the words, “diversity”, “vunerable”, “science-based”, “fact-based”, etc, these quotes and passages so long ago learned are no longer merely smoldering in the pages of history, but have caught fire to block our path to any sort of normalcy.  

I have been told by those lucky enough to be in the audience that Bruce Springsteen is closing his remarkable show on Broadway with a reading of The Lord’s Prayer.  People have been somewhat astonished by their own reactions, which have often been surprisingly emotional.  Words that are so familiar they are almost quotidian, glow with new meaning and resonance as he says them.  “Give us this day our daily bread”.  “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  Like Mr. Springsteen, these days I am on an expedition of sorts, to ferret out and reclaim the words I thought I knew.  No longer do I trust others to interpret for me.  I feel, like Walt Whitman, who so sagaciously told us to, “Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul.”  In doing this, like a sculptor, I am beginning to uncover what is lasting, true and beautiful.  What is worth living for.  

Last week on a bitterly cold and snowy night, I stood outside the National Portrait Gallery in London and listened as members of the choir of St. Martin’s in the Fields across the street came out to stand on the steps and sing.  With traffic noise all around them, with throngs of bundled-up shoppers jostling for space on the crowded pavements, they sang, 
“Angels we have heard on high,
 Sweetly singing o’er the plains, 
And the mountains in reply, 
Echoing their joyful strains:
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo.

This Christmas season, it is my prayer, for myself as well as for my readers, that these words take on new meaning in our hearts even as they are illuminated by the harsh glow of what we have faced this year and what we may yet face in the coming one.  May we hold fast to the words that live.  May we reclaim the words we thought we knew and make them truly our own.  And may they give us the courage to cast off fear and complacency so that we can stand with others for whom truth, compassion and love are the only things that matter.

Happy Holidays to you All.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

This Anticipatory Time... Bits and Bobs, Books and Thoughts

This Anticipatory Time
...Bits and Bobs, Books and Thoughts...

For the past few years in my town, autumn has been a bit of a dud.  The leaves of the oaks and poplars stubbornly refused to change into their garments of fire and simply turned a dun-colored hue and let go of grey branches to fall in great uninspiring heaps in the gardens.  Even the maple trees, usually the undisputed stars of the show, sat out the festivities.  But this year has been different.  Perhaps sensing we need them this autumn more than ever, all over town the trees have risen to the challenge magnificently and dressed themselves in a brilliance usually reserved for fairytale illustrations.  Their beauty has transformed the most pedestrian of errand runs into a journey through Aladdin’s cave.  

It’s been colder, earlier.  Fires have burned in the grate for many nights already.  And on an evening last week, last week (!), I saw a Christmas tree twinkling merrily in a neighbor’s window.  Normally, I would add my voice to those tut-tutting about it being much too early to stick a toe in the festive season, but this year…. well, this year I totally get it.  If ever there was a year when we all need more than the usual dose of comfort and joy, this is it.  For myself, I’m still busy getting ready for Thanksgiving.  The menu is written; mincemeat is being made today.  But on Thanksgiving night The Songwriter will switch on the lights that encircle the tall evergreen tree that stands watch by our front porch and I’ll hang a fragrant wreath on the door. 

This year we once again look to the holiday season for warmth and light, even as the world seems colder and darker than ever before.  This is the season of hope and I intend to participate with enthusiasm, sharing as much of that hopeful light as I can.  So in that spirit, here are a few ideas and thoughts for this anticipatory time.  A few books to read, and maybe to wrap up as presents.  A new movies to see.  A few thoughts, a few ideas. Even some emerald green shoes.  Please share anything special of your own in the comments below. 
And love to you all!

1.  Books
I’ve been doing a lot of reading by the fire recently.  Also reading under layers of quilts in a warm bed while owls hoot outside my window in the dark.  Also, reading at restaurant tables and in passenger seats of cars.  I’ve never mastered the art of reading in the bathtub, but in a more concentrated effort to get to all the books I’m dying to read just now, I might give that a try soon.  Here are just a few of the books I’ve read lately, and some I’m looking forward to.

Magpie Murders
by Anthony Horowitz

The Christmas Chronicles
by Nigel Slater

by Mary Oliver

The Antlered Ship
by Dashka Slater
illustrated by The Fan Brothers

An Almost Perfect Christmas
by Nina Stibbe

The Way Home in the Night
by Akiko Miyakoshi

2.  Knitted Love
I finished knitting the sweater above just before I left for Scotland.  I’m in love with the stag design in the cables, as well as the colour and the fit… but the real reason it is now my favourite sweater is that when I cast it onto the needles Edward was curled up beside me on the sofa.  I’ve no doubt a bit of his fur made its way into this sweater and therefore I was wearing it on a sunny day last month when I buried a bit of that white fur on top of Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa.  A very special memory. 
If you’re not a knitter, but you’d like an authentic Scottish knit of your own, check out THIS SITE.
I also love THIS ONE for winter.
3.  Giannetti Clothing
A lot of you know the gorgeous Brooke Gannetti from her blog, Velvet and Linen.  I’m happy to say that along with her husband and son, Brooke has embarked on a new clothing line that looks utterly scrumptious.  Just take a look at that cashmere duster above.  
Find it HERE.
Oh, and be sure and take a look at this wonderful baby blanket.

4.  New Movies
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating:  I am lucky in my friends.  One of those friends, in addition to being thoughtful, beautiful, funny and creative, is a bit of an expert on England in the Second World War.   I have had the privilege of accompanying her recently to lectures on the topic and have found them illuminating as well as fascinating.  There is truly, as Ecclesiastes tells us, nothing new under the sun.  If we are determined not to heed its lessons, history will most certainly repeat itself till we do.  
In that vein, I am looking forward to these two new movies with relish.
Perhaps you are too?

5.  Holiday Shoes
When I was in London in May, I found the most perfect pair of black suede heels, the sort of heels for women like myself who refuse to slide their feet into anything painful.  The same shop now has the a charming pair of emerald green shoes, perfect for holiday dinners and parties. 
 I mean, emerald green shoes!  
Find them HERE.
7.  Scarves 
It’s no secret that I adore scarves, my sartorial style stops just short of Isadora Duncan for safety reasons only.  One of my favourites is a large honey-colored creation which features the a full-length portrait of Oscar Wilde.  Of course, when its draped and knotted around my throat it’s like a private secret; no one knows it’s Oscar, his visage is hidden in swirls of soft colour.
Photographer Mary McCartney (yes, sister of Stella, daughter of … well, you know) has just released a line of beautiful scarves, all reproductions of her photographs.  I adore the dancer above.  Like my Oscar, she would totally disappear into blues.  Love it so.
Find it HERE
8.  Holiday Tins
I do a lot of baking during the holidays and am always on the lookout for pretty new ways to package these gifts.
Being a fan of William Morris, I’m crazy about these tins.
Find them HERE.

9.  Edward Speaks at Midnight, A Christmas Story
I never really realized when I wrote Edward Speaks at Midnight what a treasure it would one day come to be for me.  Orders have already begun and books are being shipped out for Christmas.  It makes me so happy to know that once and forever Edward will be a part of so many holiday seasons.  
Order your copy HERE.

St. Conan's Kirk, Scotland
October 2017
And Finally, A Few Thoughts on Faith
As a person of faith, the past few years have been painful in the extreme.  I have watched in horror as America’s white evangelical church resolutely aligned itself with our current president despite his every word and deed being antithetical to those of the Christ they profess to follow.  With each new atrocity, I wait for that support to disappear or, at the very least, wane a bit, but am disappointed every time.  A friend recently said he has ceased calling himself “Christian” because of what that word now means to the vast majority of Americans.  I sympathize and understand. 

 In crossing so many lines of decency and truth, humanity and love, this new version of christianity has made a liar out of Christ.  Perhaps it’s past time for this question:  “When does such a stark difference in basic beliefs, values and practices actually become a different religion? For me, the answer is mighty close to ‘now.’”
  Those last two sentences are from a particularly cogent article recently written by another friend of mine.  If you’ve thought at all about this issue, as we enter this holy holiday season, you might like to give it a read.
Find it HERE.
See you soon,