The tradition I grew up in was that you spent the early morning reading the Sunday paper, the Des Moines Register and Tribune, pouring over the Funnies while Dad read the news, society, and sports pages… along with Parade magazine. And we would eventually trade, me releasing the Funnies to Dad in return for the sports page. Then he would give in to the nagging of my sisters and let them read the Funnies before him while he reread Parade magazine.
Of course, our moral training would follow (the parts that didn’t come from the Funnies, I mean.) Then we would go to the Methodist Church for an hour of Sunday School followed by a service and sermon from the Methodist minister.
That’s what Sunday thinking was all about. Somebody else would tell us what to think about morality, religion, and events in the world. And as I got older, and sometimes skipped going to church, there would also be Meet the Press and NFL Today. Always somebody who was not me telling me what to think.
It is always easier to let someone else do the thinking for you.
This Sunday I let Anand Giridharadas do the thinking for me. For those of you who don’t know the man with too many syllables in his name, Anand is an Indian-American born in Shaker Heights, Ohio who rose to fame as a columnist for the New York Times and is currently a political pundit who writes incisive criticisms of the current Capitalism-obsessed world.
He was a guest on Jon Favreau’s Sunday program Offline.
They were talking about how Republican extremists are not waving the American flag as much after the January 6th Insurrection. And he made the point that the more peaceful side, those of us who are more progressive and want to heal the country without resorting to violence, need to take ownership of being flag-flying patriots more.
After all, he said, we are doing something in this country that no other democracy in the world is trying to do. Germany, France, England, even Sweden are primarily white-race-dominated democracies trying to provide peaceful, prosperous life for all citizens, while we in America will soon be a minority-dominated democracy. If we succeed in ruling the ultimate melting-pot society peacefully, we will be exceptional because no one else is doing that.
That is an incredible thought. I am glad he did that thinking for me.
We all need to be saying, “Black Lives Matter,” not because white lives don’t matter anymore, but because, “All Lives Matter, Including Black Lives, Because We Are All Brothers and Sisters Together.“
Sometimes the most important thoughts come about because, on a lazy Sunday, I let somebody else think for me.