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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On Judging My Father

Allow yourself to brag by completing this sentence comparing you with your father:  "My father did ______ a little; I will do that same thing much more" (often, bigger or better).  How do you account for the difference?  (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 538).

The only thing that I would offer as criticism regarding my father was that he shared in the polite censorship of the mid 20th century.  This is understandable for it was pervasive at the time. For example, even the phrase "I don't give a damn!" was a shocker in Gone with the Wind.  Of course some now would argue that we have gone too far in the other direction and that our profuse macho profanity covers up much more weakness, fear, and anxiety than did the censorship of the last century.  The polite censorship of mid-1900's tended to cover profound and troubling truths, such as racial Jim Crow laws and sexual paranoia.  Today if I were to judge my father harshly for a tendency to accept verbal rectitude as a substitute for justice and righteousness,  I would have to deal with the fact that we too avoid social justice and righteousness, now cloaking it in the insufferable self-righteousness of blanket obscenities.

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