Thursday, August 29, 2013

Unseen Angels

by Jim Rapp
A Presence Revealed by Passing Through
a Prism
(Look, I am with you always. - Jesus)

Eldila inform us of your presence Lord,
coming, as they do, in rainbow radiance,
splashing colors on ceiling, walls and floor,
urging us to offer You our affiance.

Offer it to you, we do, our unseen Lord.
You ever seek a prism that reveals
to our unseeing eyes the flaming sword
our unseen Lord, in service to us, wields.
_________________
Eldila (singular Eldil) In C.S. Lewis’
Out of the Silent Planet

My wife and I call the rainbow splashes from a crystal hanging in our eastern window Eldila. They serve as reminders of God’s presence.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wave Goodbye To The Bad Guys


Be A Part Of The Wave
of Indignation
against do-nothing politicians
 
Sign up! (Register to vote.)
Get out! (Go to the polls and vote.)
Vote out! (Ideologues, Intransigents, and Idiots.)
Vote in! (Collaborators, Compromisers, and  Cooperators.)
 
Even if "your guy or gal" is an old-timer, skilled at "bringing home the bacon" to his/her district, he/she is a traitor to effective government if he/she cannot be a constructive, cooperative, and collaborative participant even with (especially with) those of the opposition party. Throw the bums out whether they are Democrats or Republicans.
 
We need a functioning government, and we need it Now!
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why Are We Dragging Our Feet On The Affordable Care Act?

An editorial in the Eau Claire Leader Telegram today seems to be decrying the high taxes Wisconsin residents pay and blaming it on high Medicaid costs, primarily to care for the medical needs of the poor, the disabled, and elderly (in nursing homes). No doubt much of the tax burden Wisconsin residents bear is related to those costs the author cites. But in the end he offers no solutions, only the implied suggestion that we are impoverished in our state because of these mounting costs. He cites an income tax rate in Wisconsin of 11.8% or $4,999 per person, 17th highest in the nation and 4% above the national average.

Those are scary statistics for anyone who doesn’t take them apart a little bit. First, though the tax rate is 11.8% few people ever pay that amount. I think my rate would be under 5% after I’ve taken legitimate deductions. And I doubt that the figure of $4,999 per person comes from dividing the actual income tax revenue in one year by the number of Wisconsin residents. More likely it is also a hypothetical figure base on the assumption that everyone pays that 11.8% rate.

There are many ways to make ourselves look poor. It is interesting that we try very hard to impress the world of our success, by wearing the latest fashions, having the latest gadgets, living in the finest neighborhoods in the most beautiful houses, driving luxurious autos, vacationing in the most popular places, eating at the most popular restaurants, but when it comes to paying taxes we are broke, we can’t afford to pay an nickel more, a 1% increase would drive us to the poor house. Significantly, a great number of those who decry our high taxes, both rich and poor, pay no income taxes at all.

I see evidence of great wealth in this country. Just this week I toured the Big Rig display at the Chippewa Valley Technical College and saw extremely expensive rigs that were decked out for no purpose except for show. You can see the same thing at tractor pulls and, of course as you drive down the highway passing and being passed by heavy duty pickup trucks towing expensive boats and other recreational equipment. The fact that you must stand in line at any good restaurant to get a seat during noon hour or supper indicates that our citizens have money to spend. Our stadiums are filled each week with patrons paying hundreds of dollars for seats, and exorbitant prices for food and liquor. We aren't as hard up as we seem to think we are.

But we do have poverty. We just don't see it. It is hidden in the rundown areas of our town and countrysides. You can find it at the free clinic in Eau Claire any time you wish to visit it. You can find it in the emergency rooms of our hospitals. You can find it at the food kitchens and the used clothing stores (although some of them have priced themselves out of the "poor" market too). The poor are often walking or riding our city buses or struggling to keep rattletrap vehicles running. The poor send their children to school to get one good meal a day on free or subsidized lunch programs.

Why are they poor? Admittedly many are poor because of low education, drug and alcohol abuse, dysfunctional and abusive backgrounds. But there are others who are working one or two jobs to keep their families fed but still hardly break the $20,000 per year barrier. Try to prosper on that. Try to buy decent health insurance on that. Impossible.

So are there solutions? I don't know about solutions but there are things we could do that too many in our society are unwilling to do, are actually fighting against doing. Our Governor's decision to snub "Obamacare" is just one of the ways we are voting to keep our local (state) costs higher than they need to be. His, and his legislative partners' blind and stubborn resistance to anything tainted with "Obamaism" makes it impossible to move beyond the disastrous scenario I've painted above.

What we have needed for many years is what some call a "single payer" health system. Every person over 65 in this country already has that in Medicare and most of them would kill to keep it. Veterans all over our country have access to a medical system that is wholly government run and they, too, would kill to keep it. Both systems deliver health care at costs dramatically lower than the private system all other citizens have - if they can afford to have anything at all.

In our present political climate we will never have a single payer plan for all Americans. Its opponents have successfully poisoned that well beyond the point of recovery. But we can get behind the Affordable Care Act and make it work for all of us. It is a crime that we are not doing so.

With only a couple of months left until citizens can begin signing up for low cost health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, newspapers like the Leader Telegram need to be running public service pieces informing people about the plan and how they can get signed up for the services available to them. But it seems that they are cowed by the pressure of the conservative right, or perhaps are in agreement with it, and won't even explain to the American public a law passed by its national legislature intended to benefit all citizens. Shame on the media for its poor record in this regard.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rich Little Poor Kids

We were poorer than I knew as a child. Part of the reason for that ignorance was that we lived in a poor neighborhood where all the other families were poor. My father pieced our house together using scrap lumber salvaged from the railroad box car repair shop, hauling the varying sized pieces of lumber home on his two-wheeled push cart, dumping it out for the three boys to sort, remove the nails, and pile in neat stacks. The house came together over a period of years, primarily in two 12 ft. by 36 ft. sections, not unlike the smaller mobile homes of our day. Eventually the two halves were brought together forming a six-room house consisting of three bedrooms, a living room, dining room, and kitchen, each roughly 12 ft. by 12 ft. The final touch was a basement, laboriously dug by hand after the upper structure was in place. The persistent wetness of the heavy clay soil around the house rendered the basement too damp for habitation but not unsuitable for storing things that would gradually succumb to the humid environment and the concomitant mold and mildew.

It was only when I began to attend Jr. High School, and then later High School that I became aware of our poverty. Up until that time those who attended our neighborhood school were in the same economic class as our family. We dressed alike, lived in cobbled together houses or houses that the years had rendered obsolete in style and run down in appearance, walked to school or rode bicycles pieced together from the parts of several discarded bikes, rode in family cars that were a decade or more behind the times. Most of our families had been on welfare; some still were. Our fathers had worked for the WPA. Nearly everyone raised a garden so we ate regular meals but they were short on animal protein, long on beans and cornbread. We were poor but we hardly knew it.

But we were rich, too. The neighborhood in which I grew up was on the edge of town. That meant that fields that were less than a block from our house were “owned” by us. In winter when snow covered the bent over corn stalks, left from the previous year’s crop, we could hunt rabbits  that had burrowed into those corn stalk tents, or build snow forts and wage massive day-long battles. In springtime we could fly our kites over the fields without fear of entangling the strings in electrical wires. Before the crops were put in and after they were harvested in the fall, we tramped out base paths for a ball diamond and played from morning to night.

A quarter of a mile to the west, along the railroad track a small stream provided hours of wet fun, catching crawdads, seining small fish, building dams to divert the stream, and exploring the hobo camps along the stream and the railroad tracks.

The street on which we lived was not, for many years, paved with anything; every rainstorm turned it into a mire of slippery clay. Unwary drivers who attempted to turn the corner north of our house would invariably be knocking on our door seeking the assistance of my Dad and his three strong boys to push them out of the ditch. I don’t recall us every refusing to pull on our boots and assist the unfortunate (or repeatedly foolish) driver.

But the unpaved street provided the perfect venue for our weekly “Road Bowl” football games. At first our “football” consisted of an old bicycle tire, folded back and forth into as small a bundle as we could achieve and then tied with bailing twine. Of course it was a very unsuitable “ball”, dangerous to catch, even more dangerous if it found you looking the other way and hit you in the head. We were delighted when our oldest brother, who had just begun to work at part-time jobs, purchased a genuine football. Playing with a real ball sacrificed some of the grit and glory of the Road Bowl games, but it probably also accounts for the fact that all of us survived into adulthood.

Perhaps the greatest goods our poor neighborhood bestowed upon us was darkness and night-time stillness. Not only had paved roads not arrived in our area of town, neither had public lighting. But we had lights by the thousands. Fireflies filled our summer evenings and filled the fruit jars in which we held them captive until the following morning. Even more, the night sky, undimmed by earthly lights, shown down on our part of town with a brightness not even imagined in the “richer” parts of town, totally unknown in most places today. I recall evenings spent lying in a wheelbarrow, with my feet resting on the handles of the barrow, gazing at the glory above me. The singing of insects seemed to be an appropriate accompaniment to the majesty of the skies. And though an occasional train rumbled and tooted its way past our neighborhood, or an automobile broke the silence, much of the evening was quiet enough to hear the cornstalks snapping as they grew on hot summer nights. There were mosquitoes but you could hear them coming and be prepared to eradicate them.

It is hard to decide if we were poor little rich kids or rich little poor kids. I think I like the latter. There is no doubt in my mind that growing up poor has imprinted itself upon my adult life in ways that have kept me from achieving all that I might have done. But likewise, the poverty of my early life has enriched just about everything I’ve done since, either by making me grateful for the good things I now enjoy or by giving me insights and empathy for those who live in poverty today.

I don’t want to romanticize poverty. Not all poverty is as benign as that in which I grew up. Much of the poverty in the world today resists all attempts at eradicating or ameliorating it. Too many children, raised in the poverty of our large cities, in our rusted out mining towns, or our perpetually poor rural areas, both north and south, live in fear of their lives and wonder where their next meal will come from or where they will spend the next night. There are no Sunday “Road Bowl” games to enjoy, no fire fly filled fields to roam over, no beautiful night sky visible to them.  They are poor little poor kids.

There is little that the average American can do to assist those enduring such poverty. We know they exist but we lack access to them, expertise in providing for them what they need, and resources adequate to the task of lifting them from poverty. Long ago, in the late 1930s and 1940s, our nation made a decision that we had an obligation to provide paths to success for all of our citizens. An array of government programs were initiated to meet those needs. While they were not perfect, and while they did not eradicate all inequality and poverty, they nonetheless lifted millions of our nation’s poor through good employment opportunities, granting employees the right to form unions and bargain for their rights, improving wages by regularly increasing the minimum wage employers are required to pay, and by providing educational opportunities on a scale never before known in human history.

Sadly, a large portion of our population has lost faith in these government programs that have helped so many. Without offering anything in their place other than the cruelly inadequate suggestion that “anybody can succeed who gets a job and stays with it,” they attempt to dismantle the “safety nets” that have served us so well for the last three-quarters of a century. They obstruct our President’s attempts to provide basic healthcare to all our citizens, rich or poor. They draw their purses to their breasts and say, “No new taxes!” In fact they insist on reducing taxes and thus reducing the aid available for the poor.

It is important for those who still remember the poverty they endured to have empathy for those still living in such conditions. It is important for those who never experienced poverty to find it within themselves to help their fellow human beings. We can’t light the night skies for those living in the poverty of our large cities, and we have poisoned the habitat of the firefly in many of our rural communities, but we must not extinguish the only hope that those living in poverty have, the hope that their fellow human beings will not forget that they exist; will not callously refuse the aid they so desperately need, aid that can best be provided by the tried and true programs instituted in the New Deal and the years that have followed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lash Yourself To the Mast - Political Promise Keepers

One sure way to end up in some place you didn’t intend to go to is to chain yourself to the mast. Once you’ve set the rudder, lock it in position – you know your calculations are right – and chain yourself to the mast so you will never be tempted to change course regardless of the amount of evidence presented to show that you are not on course to your desired destination.

We’ve all seen this scenario played out at one time or another. A father destroys his family by bull-headedly insisting on a course of action that bankrupts them. Parents who will refuse life-saving medical treatment and watch a child die because they are convinced that their faith is sufficient to save the child in the end. A businessman is so certain of the rightness of his business plan that he will not change anything even as he watches the enterprise go up in smoke. The prophet knows that he has heard from God and leads his flock of true believers to a hilltop to await the fulfillment of his prophecy, made in ignorance (or defiance) of the very source he claims as his authority.

And now, we are very close to running the affairs of our nation – we are actually attempting to run the affairs of many of our states, Wisconsin included – with the leaders lashed to the mast.

Just before the 2012 elections 95% of all Republican members of Congress, and all but one of the Republican candidates for President had signed Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”. The pledged committed those who signed it to never vote for a tax increase of any kind. So the Republican Party had essentially lashed itself to the masthead saying, “It matters not what the facts may show at some point in the future, regarding the wisdom or the need for a tax increase, I will watch the ship go down before I will vote for one.”

Who is Grover Norquist, you ask? It is enough to say that he has never held an elective office, nor even an appointed office. But he has always been close to the centers of Conservative power in Washington and now wields tremendous power and influence over governmental policy by virtue of all the Republican leaders he has lashed to his Anti-tax Pledge. If any dare to disentangle themselves and disavow his policies they will be targeted for defeat in their next election and Norquist can pull the strings to be sure that happens, directing massive amounts of money to be spent in negative advertising  portraying the renegade official as a traitor to the cause of ever lower taxes.

And now we hear that the Koch Brothers have learned to play the game. In recent articles the Wisconsin Capital Times and The New Yorker described a No Climate Tax Pledge sponsored by the Koch Brother’s Americans for Prosperity Political Action Committee. The 411 signers of the pledge are lashing themselves to the Koch Brother’s mast, agreeing that they will never support any climate protection legislation, the cost of which is not offset by tax cuts elsewhere in the budget, effectively saying that they will never vote for any climate protection legislation.

Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, along with Senator Ron Johnson, and three members of the Wisconsin House of Representative delegation, four members of the Wisconsin Senate and four members of the Wisconsin Assembly, have signed the pledge. All are Republicans. The entire leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives (all Republicans) and one fourth of the Republican members of the U.S. Senate are signers of the pledge.

Again we have to ask, “Who are the Koch brothers?” They are billionaire businessmen, head of the world’s second largest corporation by some estimates. But neither of them has ever held a public office or stood for election to one. Still they command enough loyalty that our political leaders – the Republican ones, at least – will lash themselves to the mast at their command, saying in essence, “It doesn’t matter what evidence is presented now or in the future that might make it wise to enact protections for the environment, even if it resulted in a tax increase. I will not change my mind. I’ve signed the pledge. My hands are tied.”

There are those who would like us to believe that we live in a democracy in which those elected to serve the nation make their decisions based on the will of those who elected them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, we do hold elections. We get to choose those who will go to Washington, D.C., or Madison, WI and sit in the halls of the legislature or the White House or the Governor’s mansion.

But a significant number of those elected have pledged, even before they are elected, to represent, not the will of those who sent them, but the narrow agenda of Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers.

We can legitimately debate the best course for our nation regarding taxation, which is what Norquist and the Koch brothers are interested in keeping low, but we are a nation of fools if we allow three men to determine that course for us without the consent of the majority of the nation’s citizens.

And we are fools, times seven, if we continue to elect those who, even before they take office have lashed themselves to any preconceived notion of what the future will require of them.

Governor Walker and the Republican members of the Wisconsin Legislature who have signed both pledges are not OUR representatives. They have made a compact with the devil; they have sold their soul to those who can bring in, or contribute, the millions of dollars that will allow them to defeat anyone who opposes them.

They are Promise Keepers but the promises they are keeping are not the ones they made to those who elected them.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Holding Jesus At Arm’s Length

I’ve been reading correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. I’m not sure why letters are so interesting to me. Well, perhaps I do know why they are. Part of the reason may be that my siblings and I were taught very strictly not to read the mail of others; not even a post card. Prohibitions of that kind usually serve only to increase curiosity. But the greater reason that correspondences are interesting is that they often catch the writers expressing their honest opinions assuming, as they have a right to do, that what they write will not be divulged to others – in their lifetime at least.

So it is with Adams and Jefferson. Adams appears much more willing to open up with his friend, Jefferson, from the very start of their correspondence. Jefferson, initially, was holding back some if my reading of the sense of his letters is correct. Both men were eager, in their old age (they were writing in the last decade and a half of their lives, from 1812 forward) to cement their place in the history of the founding of the United States. Adams apparently felt that the way to do that was to explain himself; Jefferson, to keep his counsel. But gradually Adams drew Jefferson out into a more frank and open discussion.

The particular letters I’m reading is a collection of exchanges, primarily on the subject of religion and its effect upon the ethical, moral, and political behaviors of mankind. Both men believed that all of the major religions of the world, “Christianism” not excepted, were badly corrupted, no longer representing the pure, simple, and useful teachings of their founders. Pertaining to Christianity, both Adams and Jefferson were anti-Papist (anti-Catholic) but concluded that Protestantism, in all its varied forms, was little behind the Catholics in the corruptions added to the pure religion of Jesus.

And they did profess a belief in the “pure religion of Jesus,” uncorrupted by accretions which they claimed occurred long after Jesus was on earth.

Adams argued that none of the Gospels or the Epistles or the Revelation were products of the first century a.d. and consequently they represented a badly flawed record of the true life and teaching of Jesus.

Jefferson strenuously resisted any suggestion of the supernatural in the life of Jesus. He believed, as many before him and many after him have believed, that by eliminating those elements of the Gospels that offend the intellect of modern man, a picture of the “real Jesus” would appear. In pursuit of that goal he had literally cut from the Gospel’s all the elements that he considered fanciful and untrue, leaving him with a pasted up Gospel of fewer than 50 pages.

There is so much to appreciate in John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. They are two among the many who put their lives on the line in order to establish the nation we now live in. Curiously, they differed with each other about many of the basic concepts that should underlie our nation but they were able, in the early years of their friendship, and again in the last decade of their lives, to put aside those differences in pursuit of “a more perfect union.” Sadly, many who followed them – even in our day – lack the wisdom, or unselfishness to do the same.

But Adams and Jefferson (and others of the “founding fathers”) varied greatly in the wisdom they applied to those areas of their lives not associated with the Revolution or the establishment of the nation. Their opinions on religion are just one example. Both Jefferson and Adam held opinions on science and medicine that would be laughable if proposed today. And likewise their opinions on religion reveal, in some cases, excusable ignorance of facts. They show, as well, prejudices that would ignite a fire storm of criticism in today’s world. But mostly their correspondence reveals a na├»ve belief that they could emasculate the “book” that purports to be the revelation of God in Jesus and still be Christians.

Both men were jealous of their reputations as “founders” of the nation. Both men had some reason to believe that they were living in the shadow of George Washington, and that others like James Madison, and James Monroe were competitors in the race to be remembered as most influential in those early formative years of the nation.

Jefferson had the misfortune to be off in France, serving as an Ambassador, when the Constitution was being written and ratified. Though he was known as the author of the Declaration of Independence, that document, for all the glory that it has retained over the years, had – and still has – no legal standing. No one can claim, in court – even before the Supreme Court – that any of their rights, granted under the Declaration of Independence, were violated. We have no rights granted by the Declaration of Independence. So Jefferson’s brilliant efforts in writing that document were ultimately overshadowed by the founding document of the nation, The Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

Adams too suffered a misfortune, becoming the first President to serve only one term, thanks to Jefferson who defeated him in his bid for a second term in a campaign that would rival the last two that we have seen in our day for the calumny practiced.

So both men were working hard in their last years to set the record straight and show that they were on a par with Washington, Hamilton, Madison, and Monroe. And in that struggle it was as essential then, as it is now, to appear to be Christian. Thus, though neither man could honestly profess to believe the Biblical record of Jesus’ life, they clung to a Jesus of their own making. Or more accurately, they held the orthodox Jesus at arm’s length, unwilling to be contaminated by what they saw as intellectually unworthy claims about his divinity and his miracle-laden journey on earth, still needing him, though, as a part of the resume that would gain them access to the Patriot’s Hall of Fame.

There is a great desire on the part of conservative Christians (who are, in our day, predominantly Republican in their politics) to make of our founding fathers orthodox Christian men. Some were. But most were not, and there is good reason (good evidence) to show that none of the major players held orthodox Christian beliefs, especially if orthodoxy is to be defined in terms acceptable to current Evangelical Christians. Still nearly all of them, as far as I know, believed in a Supreme Being, the creator of heaven and earth. They were, and both Jefferson and Adams called themselves, Deists. But they also coveted the designation “Christian.” It was as important to their electability and their later reputation as it is for politicians today to be known as Christian.

But our founders purposely wrote into the Constitution a clause protecting the right of any citizen to seek public office regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. In Article VI, Paragraph 3 they declared:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Bolding added to identify the pertinent section.)
 
It is impossible to know whether a candidate for public office is a Christian, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Atheist. They may make profession of such beliefs but be as Adams and Jefferson were, holding their religion with great reservations, or as may have been the case with others, simply not believing it at all.

So, my point, long in arriving, is that we need to select our public servants on their merits as best we can know them and let them be free to exercise their belief, if they have one, sincerely without prejudicing their “right” to serve their community or nation. We should not force anyone to endorse a belief, or appear to endorse one, with which their conscience is at odds; they should not have to hold Jesus, or any other religious leader, at arm’s length.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Truly Inspired Idea

St. Jerome Catholic Church in Fancy Farm, Kentucky has the right idea. For the last 133 years it has hosted a thoroughly American event. It is ostensibly a barbeque fundraiser for the church but it is far more than that. Politicians of every stripe are invited to speak at the event which, this year was attended by about a thousand people. Democrats sat on the left, Republican sat on the right. The speakers stood in front, but for no more than five minutes. If they exceeded their allotted time a bluegrass band blew them off the stage with their music.

The speakers at this event are expected to lambast their opponents, with highest marks going to the candidate who furnishes the best one liners. One of Mitch McConnell’s opponents this year suggested that “If Senator McConnell’s doctor told him he had a kidney stone, he’d refuse to pass it.” That one will work just as well for John Boehner in case anyone is interested. The only restrictions placed on the speakers were that they could not use profanity or sexual or racial slurs in their presentations. Shucks, them ain’t no restrictions. All our politicians these days – especially Republican politicians – are good Christian ladies and gents whose speech is as pure as the driven snow.

I would say the St. Jerome Catholic Church’s idea is one that should catch on in the country. I’m surprised that the event has existed in Fancy Farm, Kentucky all these years without attracting more attention. In this era when preachers and churches and para-church organizations are itching to get some skin into the political game, this offers a perfect opportunity.

Yes, they would have to sacrifice their partisanship and allow those whom they can’t stomach to be a part of their event. But they could pack the right side of the audience with their right thinking followers, wearing red to make sure that everyone knows their preference. And they could place fewer chairs on the left so that a portion of the audience on that side would be forced to stand. Republicans are practiced at putting obstacles in the path to democratic participation, voter I.D., gerrymandering, shortening voting hours, etc. One more obstacle would probably go entirely unnoticed.

And how much more delightful these events would be than the standard political rally at the American Legion Hall. The reports on the Fancy Farms gathering didn’t indicate how much money was raised for St. Jerome Catholic church but with an audience of a thousand people one would expect that they cleared two or three thousand  dollars. That is a lot better than the Ladies Aid’s average summer rummage sale, and whole lot more entertaining too.

And the IRS can eat its heart out. The church endorses neither or none of the candidates. A truly inspired idea.

Monday, August 5, 2013

An ism With a Father’s Heart

by Jim Rapp

How do we define patriotism?
Is it defined by the amount of money given
by fat cats to support their favorite “ism,”
or by the years some poor doke rots in prison?

No, it is not a matter of the pocketbook,
not the domain of shades and crooks,
not the way one spins an issue’s look,
not even ventures operated by the book.

Patriotism – take the word apart –
is an “ism” with a father’s heart,
seeking all the good that it can start,
to benefit the family in all its varied parts.

The family in all its great variety;
all races, creeds, states, and ideologies,
living, working, co-existing peacefully,
with the pater’s benediction, patriotically.
____________________
Patriot: from Greek pater, father