I find myself feeling patriotic on this July 4th as I’m writing this — patriotic in that I deeply care for this country and for all of the people in it. Patriotism involves how we treat all of the people in our country.

We have to recognize that most of the people in our country, the people who wrote the Declaration of Independence as a matter of fact, came from other lands. We must value Native Americans and we must also value those of us who are not.

This brings me to the letter that my 93-year-old father, who served in World War II, emailed to his children recently:

“I lay awake last night still in outrage over those American lawyers defending the horrible treatment that infant and young South American migrant children are receiving at U.S. border concentration camps. I recall reading an article by a former ICE agent who quit because he couldn’t stomach what was happening there and couldn’t bear the white-nationalist, biker-bully attitudes of his fellow border patrol agents.

“Hannah Arendt, a German-Jewish writer about the Holocaust, once described it as “the banality of evil.” And that’s what we have here! American political elected — yes, other Americans put them in office! — officials, lawyers, ICE agents, and a whole host of other back-up supporters, not only condoning but actually enforcing such despicable, malevolent, absolutely horrible, abusive treatment of innocent children in the name of “making America great again.” That kind of evil makes us great?!!! Ugh.

“And then, all of the above makes me wonder where are all of the religious establishment leaders speaking out against what’s going on? I get a lot of religious periodicals and haven’t read a word in them about this situation. Disgusting! I’m an old man and there’s not much I can do, but I can continue to speak out as long as I’m awake and my fingers can use a keyboard. I hope you all do, too. Maybe, if enough voices of decency are raised, something positive will happen. Love, Dad/Gran’pa/Uncle John/John”

My father is a minister, and I believe that speaking out to expose this lack of humanity is a loving sermon.

Let’s speak up,


86 Chesham Road