Independence Day

July 4thI may get in trouble for this.  My conservative friends may skewer me.  But I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to let all people legally marry.  Give me a chance to explain.

First, I hear you.  “Constitutional Law” is a joke.  The 200+ year old document doesn’t address the issue.  Nine judges sitting in a room can’t divine what the Founding Fathers intended.  They are long dead and gone.  Does it even matter?

Second, the rallying cry, “America was found on Christian principles” as an anchor for pseudo religious-state beliefs is nonsense, too.  Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God’s.”   Not “no taxation without representation.”  The Bible preaches being a good citizen, not inciting a violent revolution.  These are hard lessons, no doubt.  But don’t even get me started on slavery.  “God is love.” And Jesus said, “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Treating fellow humans like cattle doesn’t resolve with this core teaching.  Are you still reading?  Am I making sense?  The argument that the United States was founded on Christian principles as justification against the recent court decision isn’t logical to a Bible loving Christian when taken as more than a slogan.  Aren’t we all too smart for this now?

Third, Christians believe that Jesus is the greatest gift God has given us.  Second best?  I’d argue free choice.  To create intelligent beings then to allow them autonomy is awesome.  It takes guts.  It takes risk.  The creation can reject the creator’s way of living in favor of his/her own path.  This is true love.  It doesn’t make is less so just because it hurts sometimes.  Every parent knows what it feels like when his/her offspring rejects good parental wisdom.  If we can agree that free choice is a God-given gift of love, then we ought to agree that taking away such freedom is dehumanizing, even if we disagree with the choices that might be made as a result of such a gift.  After all, free choice is the one Biblical principle this great country was actually founded upon.


*Husky Harlequin is the author of the new time travel novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave.  It’s more than sci/fi; it’s a political statement.  Grab a copy and visit another dimension during your lunch break.

Father’s Day: Things Will Never be the Same as the Table Turns

Father's DayI’ve crashed landed.  Again.  It’s not a trilogy or quadrology.  Probably seven volumes in this series.  It’s not all bad.  I can’t call this iteration a tragedy even though the circumstances aren’t the best.  Inspirational is perhaps more apropos.

This is the first time I’ve had an emergency landing with a family of my own.  My wife, and as of seven months ago, a son.  It’s not always easy, of course, but I feel lucky to once again become good friends with my parents.  We do nearly everything together…eat, movies, date nights.  There is no escape.  Kind of like a zombie movie.  Think Dawn of the Dead meets The Walking the Dead meets Shaun of the Dead.

Of course, the dynamics of my relationship with my Dad have changed over the years.  When I was a kid and my family was at church, we would take up our own pew.  We weren’t the Duggars–just five of us–but I had developed a reputation for being a handful.  My dad was always focused during sermon time.  He wanted to worship without distractions.  My sisters and I would jockey to see who would get to sit next to him.  A competition.  Sibling rivalry at its holiest.  With a level playing field, my kid sister would usually win.  No one could say “no” to such a cute face.  But I was born a nerd and was accustomed to experimentation.  I quickly discovered that if I pinched my little sister, she’d cry and get relocated to my father’s lap.  Higher ground, in a sense.  But I’d get my coveted seat right next to my dad.  The spanking after worship was worth it.

In my teen years, my family took a lot of road trip vacations.  My experimenting continued:  How many times do I have to tap on the window until Dad yells at me?  Seven?  Six?  If I lean forward and put my finger into dad’s ear canal, will he be startled and jerk the van into the oncoming traffic?  If I pinch my kid sister, will Dad really make good on this promise to pull the van over on the side of the highway in order to hand out some family justice?  Again, the spankings were worth it.  Even at a young age, I had an understanding that conflict is at the heart of an entertaining story.  I’m not sure Dad realizes he was always my protagonist.

This go-around, I’m not torturing the old man as much.  We have gotten on the kick of sharing our favorite books with each other.  I just finished reading Dick Francis’ Reflex.  I now understand my dad more through his love of virtuous “everyman” characters.  I’ve always seen my dad as a hero, but now I have insight into some of his inspiration.  Dad recently finished Hugh Howey’s Wool based on my recommendation.  He now understands a bit of my fierce determination to survive, and even more so after hearing his feedback on my own novel.

As I put my son to sleep at night, I can sense my son’s developing stubbornness as he fights his tiredness.  I think he enjoys seeing me upset.  In the morning, he’s in tears at the sight of me leaving for work.  His whines and wails are music in my heart.  Like father, like son.

*Husky Harlequin is the author of the new time travel novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave.  It’s more than sci/fi; it’s a political statement.  Grab a copy and visit another dimension during your lunch break.

Memorial Day/Year

Texas Family farmSometimes the war finds you.  It didn’t matter that my grandfather was a pacifist; he was drafted into the American army during World War Two.  He was the son of staunchly religious Texan farmers.  He saw that the draft was inevitable.  His parents could only see their dream where their sons took over the family acreage to form an agrarian dynasty.

When the draft came, Grandfather became a radioman in the infantry, fighting during the “Battle of the Bulge.” During this campaign, he contracted hepatitis from contaminated drinking water and had to be temporarily hospitalized.  It was during this hospitalization that Grandfather’s best friend was killed at the front.  You could say the disease saved his life.  Somehow, after Grandfather returned to action, he was able to survive the war whole.

Upon returning home to the States, he was able to secure his engineering degree by utilizing the GI Bill.  Serving in the war provided the means for Grandfather to escape the crushing gravity of the family farm and realize his own dream of a college education.  This degree lead to a job opportunity in west Texas where he ultimately met my grandmother.  It was love at first sight.  The rest is history…

“War is hell,” William T. Sherman said.  I don’t need to fight in one to know that.  My heart goes out to every soldier and their families.  I’m told my grandfather never spoke much of the war’s atrocities–it was too emotional to verbalize.  Many people do not chose war and it’s destruction, rather, they are engulfed by it and tasked with attempting to survive.   My soul cries for every non-combatant injured physically or psychologically by warfare.  I pray that I never have to experience anything resembling the horrors of the Holocaust, the death marches in Sudan, or the kidnappings in Africa.  It is often hard for me to see the good in war.  How can death be a positive thing?  While we still find our world at war, I am hopeful.  As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two this year, I am easily reminded of the good it produced, not only for the entire world, but also my inconsequential family in Texas.  Life is paradoxical.  My grandfather, the reluctant soldier, had to go to war in order to find peace.



*Husky Harlequin is the author of the new time travel novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave.  It’s more than sci/fi; it’s a political statement.  Grab a copy and have something to talk about at your next party.