I now have a fairly substantial number of regular readers here on Crosswalk, a fact for which I'm eminently grateful. It also makes me feel as if I should say something about the fact that today is the Fourth of July. If I can ask people to read about my wife and I getting attacked by killer squirrels, I can sure as heck say something about one of our nation's primary holidays.

The problem is that there are right now only two kinds of things to say about the Fourth of July: Predictable stuff about how great our country is (and it is!), and stuff I think I'm not supposed to say at all.

For at least six months now I've been reading the writings of my fellow bloggers here on Crosswalk. Unless I missed something somewhere, none of them ever mentions the war in Iraq. Homosexuality, they mention. Transgender pastors, they mention. The raging "cultural war," they mention--a lot. But the raging actual war, not so much.

I love being a Crosswalk writer. I want to keep being a Crosswalk writer. But if no one else here is ever going to mention a whole war our country's in, who am I to begin? What do I know? I'm the newest writer here. I just stepped into this party. If everyone sitting around at a function I just arrived at is sipping tea and speaking in low tones, I am soooooo not the guy who goes over to the stereo, cranks up the music, and starts pulling people up to dance.

No way, man. I'm the guy who goes, "Cool. I love tea! Mind if I sit here?"

The point is: It's the Fourth of July. And that means thinking about our country. Which I love to do. I don't think I've ever not shed a tear on the Fourth of July over how much I love this country. But I don't know how anyone can think about our country just now, and not think about the war it's in. Flag; patriotism; soldiers; war. It's not the only Patriotic Thought Chain, of course--but it's ... a biggy. 

And I have to stop after the second of those links. Because, as I say, I just got here, and am still (fairly) keen on doing The Communal Thing. But more than that: The Iraq war is controversial. And, frankly, I don't like mixing the purity of my feelings about America with anything that compromises those feelings. The war is, after all, a temporal concern. Not to in any way denigrate what the people who are fighting this war and their loved ones are going through--but ultimately, this conflict, too, shall pass.

Bottom line: Happy Fourth of July. May God infuse our minds and souls with the intellectual and spiritual essences upon which this phenomenal country was founded. And may God also be with and protect our sons and daughters who are right now giving their all because of how deeply they hold and believe in those exact same values.

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