Sunday, January 18, 2009

Born Again Americans

I've always appreciated Norman Lear. His creation of "All in the Family" brought Archie Bunker into every American home at a time when we needed to come to grips with the divisions that plagued our nation.

In the early days of my marriage, my father-in-law referred to me as "meat head." I wore the tag with pride!

Lear's latest interest has him encouraging the creation and growth of a new brand of patriotism. You can view and experience the website of Lear's Born Again American here. Be sure and pay attention to the words of Keith Carradine's moving song.

The focus is not new. It is a restoration movement actually--a call backward to the Constitution with a vision forward to working out the implications of those values in our new day in the United States.

The theme song that you'll hear and see performed when you visit the site is moving lyrically and visually. It is a call to each of us to work hard to restore justice, to ensure equity and fairness and to promote authentic opportunity in the beloved community that can be America. I find a healthy balance here of moral challenge and hope. I know in the communities where I word, the message and the movement is needed. Staying involved in the national political and policy process is a must for all of us.

This has been an emotional weekend for me.

I watched and listened all day yesterday as President-Elect Obama and his family took the same journey as President Lincoln down the railway line from Philadelphia to Washington, DC in preparation for the historic events awaiting them and us all on Tuesday.

What moments.

Tomorrow we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

How fitting that our new President will be sworn in the following day.

We stand on the brink of a new era as a nation. The challenges will be incredibly difficult. Never before have the values of community been more important, never more essential.

The notion of being a "born again American" may sound strange to you. But at a time like this time, nothing will be more important to us as a people than a recovery of the hopes, visions and values of our constitutional democracy. Standing together--diverse, strong, determined, welcoming and committed to freedom--we will continue to overcome.



Anonymous said...

This sounds a lot like what we heard when Jimmy Carter took office.

And we all know how that turned out.

For the record, I couldn't disagree with you more concerning Comrade Norman Lear.

mundiejc said...

Love All In The Family, though, being 24, watching it in reruns doesn't quite do justice the social commentary that was going on there.

However, I gotta say, don't like the terminology of "born again American". Its like two qualifiers that I don't want in front of my name. I'd prefer people to say of me that maybe I'm not a very good American citizen, but that I'm a good citizen of the Kingdom of God. Nationalism and patriotism have no place in the Kingdom in which we reside. That applies when Bush is president, as well as Obama.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:24, it is incredible to me how you can make a comment like this. First of all, there are no "comrades" in the sense you intend. Second, Lear's work challenged racial hatred in a way that made everyone laugh and talk about our national sins. Third, and most important for this conversation, Lear is calling everyone back to the Constitution and to real involvement in the American process. Sorry, but I think you need to take a long look at your point of view.

Chris said...

From the London Daily Mail:

Obama's Victory?

A victory for the hysterical Oprah Winfrey, the mad racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the mainstream media who abandoned any sense of objectivity long ago, Europeans who despise America largely because they depend on her, comics who claim to be dangerous and fearless but would not dare attack genuinely powerful special interest groups. A victory for Obama for Obama worshippers everywhere. A victory for the cult of the cult. A man who has done little with his life but has written about his achievements as if he had found a cure for cancer in between running a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth. Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble-raising over reality.

A victory for Hollywood, the most dysfunctional community in the world. Victory for Streisand, Spielberg, Sores and Sarandon. Victory for those who prefer welfare to will and interference to independence. For those who settle for group think and herd mentality rather than those who fight for individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meager political fashion.

Victory for a man who is no friend of freedom. He and his people have already stated that media has to be controlled so as to be balanced, without realizing the extraordinary irony within that statement. Like most liberal zealots, the Obama worshippers constantly speak of Fox and Limbaugh, when the vast bulk of television stations and newspapers are drastically liberal and anti-conservative. Senior Democrat Chuck Schumer said that just as pornography should be censored, so should talk radio. In other words, one of the few free and open means of popular expression may well be cornered and beaten by bullies who even in triumph cannot tolerate any criticism and opposition.

A victory for those who believe the state is better qualified to raise children than the family, for those who prefer teachers' unions to teaching and for those who are naively convinced that if the West is sufficiently weak towards its enemies, war and terror will dissolve as quickly as tears on the face of a leftist celebrity.

A victory for social democracy even after most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes, and economic stagnation. A victory for intrusive lawyers, banal sentimentalists, social extremists and urban snobs.

Congratulations America!

Larry James said...

mundiejc, thanks for the post. I think you have to read "born again" in context. No intention to refer to a theology. Rather, a call to engage in the American process, to hold leaders accountable, to speak out and up to achieve the promise of an American that is of, by and for the people. That's all.

Chris, I won't comment on the propaganda. I've come to expect it from you. But, I promise you this, I'll remind you of your posts in the days ahead.

Chris said...

Fine with me, Larry. In the meantime, I'm interested in how the press and Congress will react on what I perceive as problems with some of the cabinet and staff members. I feel sure it will all be fine and dandy. Is it brilliant or what that Obama wants a guy who can't do his own taxes as head of the Treasury? I think it's unfortunate he paid his back taxes just before his appointment was announced because some people might assume he was trying to clean up his dirty laundry before his confirmation hearing. Of course I wouldn't think that.

Anonymous said...

DO Democrats really want to go "back to the Constitution"? If so, 99% of what the Dems have done in the past is in contradiction.

Larry, are you saying that if I am a Republican, I need to be "born again" into the right party of America?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure what Norman Lear means (since the born again American thing isn't Larry's idea), is that we could actually consider the Constitution the serious document that it is vs. the list of charming suggestions for running the country that the previous administration considered it.

Chris said...

Obama thinks the Constitution is flawed, he wants it changed completely. Check out his 2001 interview.

Larry James said...

My intention when posting this link was to encourage conversation about how we could do better and more as a people. I didn't intend to set off another round of partisan fighting--not at all my intentio. Anon 9:17, no, I am not saying that if you are a Republican that you need to be born again into another party. I was saying that we all need to embrace the opportunity that we have in this country to do more and to do better by each other. I am saying people, regardless of party, need to come together for conversation and action to achieve the fullness of our national potential. That's all.

Chris, of course, the Constitution is flawed, all human documents are by definition. That's what amendments are for, right? The Consitution permitted the institution of slavery. That was wrong. The Constitution did not allow women to vote. That was wrong. Part of our national challenge is to work for a better nation. Surely, you agree with that!

Chris said...

Obama thinks the Constitution is flawed in that it didn't address redistribution of wealth. In other words, as it stands now, the Constitution limits the power that government can have over citizens' lives. He wants it changed so that it defines what the government MUST do on behalf of the citizens.

Anonymous said...


What Obama's victory proves is that you too can be president. If you start raising money, you can be ready in four years!

Rita said...

I will be so glad when the Immaculate Inauguration is over!

Isn't it incredible how the media has stopped being an objective reporter of news and has become an Obama groupie? (if you disagree with that, prove me wrong)

Where is the outcry over the cost of the Immaculate Inauguration? Do you remember the self-righteous hang-wringing over the cost of President Bush's inauguration in 2005?

I don't expect the liberals who frequent this site to respond to this post. I'm just putting it out there...

Rita @ P&C

Anonymous said...

This does not strike me as any more immaculate that any others. Both sides of the isle are ecstatic when they win and make the most of it. I think the same thing was true of Reagan in 1981 and Clinton in 1993. Bush's first inauguration may not have been quite so feted because of the murky circumstances under which he won, and with fewer popular votes. Otherwise, it looks par for the course to me.

Larry James said...

Rita, with all due respect, can there ever be a national celebration that transcends the partisan rhetoric? Over the past several weeks and now days we have seen this president-elect reach out to all sorts of people, including Sen McCain and others, in an attempt to set the tone for a more harmonious effort to address the nation's challenges. A move back toward "principled opposition" from both sides, that includes civil discord, honest disagreements and helpful compromise and debate would seem impossible in your worldview. I feel sorry for you. We can do much better. Today is an historic day in the nation. And it seems that folks from every party and point of view are ready for a more cooperative approach and the vast majority wish our new president well. I will pray for him (as I did for President Bush) and for all of us today. How about you?

Jeff said...

The liberal media label always leaves me gasping. NBC has a liberal bent? What about General Electric could possibly make you think they have a liberal agenda?

CBS is owned by Viacom. What possible motive could Rupert Murdoch have for a liberal bias?

Disney owns ABC. What has Disney ever done but try to raise share prices? How can you find a liberal conspiracy in these corporate behomoths?

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