Monday, March 03, 2008

Lovin' this Country

This weekend I went to a wedding reception where the groom was Hindu and the bride was Muslim (the happy couple are both American born, their parents are immigrants). Why was I there? The groom’s sister married my brother (Anglo Christian) four years ago. For more cross-religious romance, I can look to my wife’s side where her Roman Catholic uncle married a Jewish woman (he later converted).

I don’t have to say all of this happened in America. You know it happened in America because where else does this happen regularly and with no fanfare? Not only do these kinds of marriages occur every weekend, they occur without so much as the thought they might lead to violence. Sure, not every family is as warmly welcoming as those involved in my ever-growing list of relations, but our culture supports this blending of peoples and traditions like no other. Being American is not about ethnicity or religion or country of birth -- it's a moral and intellectual ideal to which anyone can subscribe.

At our best, we are a wonderful people with a magnanimous culture. It doesn’t and it shouldn’t take grand events to make us proud of who we are and where we live. Sometimes, just a few cocktails with new relations is enough to make you thankful to be American.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully put. And so, so true.

It's the side of America that the rest of the world tends to see a lot more clearly than the people here at home. I guess familiarity makes it easier to focus on the problems, rather than on the enormous successes.

wj

5:17 PM  
Blogger Dyre42 said...

All you need now is for all of your wife's in laws to walk into a bar and remember what the bartender says to them.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Where else? Canada, for sure. Australia, New Zealand, almost certainly. In most of Western Europe it would probably go down pretty well...

11:12 AM  
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