Monday, June 30, 2014

A Dignified First Lady

Last night at the patriotic service for America's Freedom Festival in Provo, Utah, former First Lady Laura Bush gave a wonderful keynote address.  She described what it was like to be the matriarch in the White House, and how best to respond to inescapable public ridicule.  In fact, she was unexpectedly granted the opportunity to exemplify what she had learned in the White House when a heckler in the crowd, claiming to exercise his right to "freedom of speech," began hurling insults at both her and her husband.  To her credit, and as evidence of her gracious character, the former First Lady maintained her dignity and composure while the police promptly escorted the heckler out of the building.  After the applause, Mrs. Bush explained why she and her husband had been able to endure such unpleasantries: "For one thing, I know who I am and I know who George is.  For another, this is America. And America hangs on the proposition of what those of us in the White House sometimes receive as a chorus of complaint (when it) is in reality a kind of sacred music, or at least the clanking of gears of democracy."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Life is a Rodeo

Certain platitudes suggest that "life is a beach" or that "life is a highway."  Some may even consider life to be "just a bowl of cherries."  There may be some comfort in these bromides, but country music artist Dustin Craig's assessment probably comes closer to the truth: "Every day is a rodeo."

As part of an initiative toward civic improvement, the city of Lehi, Utah hosts an annual celebration which includes a Round-up Rodeo (a tradition that has endured for seventy-five years).  The opening ceremonies include a tribute to the United States of America, an invocation, and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  A grand entry of the contestants and a wild horse race precede the main events.   

Impressively talented cowboys and cowgirls engage in a variety of rodeo competitions, such as steer wrestling, bareback, tie down roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.  In the intervals between competitions, other rodeo athletes thrill the audience with trick riding, freestyle motorcross and freestyle bullfighting.  A rodeo clown even provides comic relief during the rough and tumble of the events. Forget about beaches, highways or cherries... the rodeo is a much more exciting and appropriate metaphor for life.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Awake and Arise

Awake and Arise
  • 1. Awake and arise, O ye slumbering nations!
    The heavens have opened their portals again.
    The last and the greatest of all dispensations
    Has burst like a dawn o'er the children of men!
  • 2. The dream of the poet, the crown of the ages,
    The time which the prophets of Israel foretold,
    That glorious day only dreamed by the sages
    Is yours, O ye slumbering nations; behold!
  • 3. Oh, lift up your voices in song and in story.
    Let banners of peace in all lands be unfurled,
    For truth, heaven-born, in its beauty and glory
    Is marching triumphantly over the world.
  • Text: Theodore E. Curtis, 1872-1957. (c) 1984 IRI
    Music: Carolee Curtis Green, b. 1940. (c) 1984 IRI

Friday, June 6, 2014

Discussing Marriage

This looks like a very promising and productive new website to improve reasoning and civility in the developing debate about marriage.  Having read the book What is Marriage? by the same authors who are responsible for producing this website, I feel confident in recommending this website to any and all who have a stake in the marriage debate... in other words, I feel confident in recommending it to every human being.