I have a birth certificate that says I was born in Indianapolis Indiana but many times in my life I have had the feeling that I just don’t belong here. With all the doubt about President Obama’s place of birth I have been doubting my own. Maybe my birth certificate is a phony?
As a kid I watched all the cowboys and Indians shows on TV. I even had my own Hopalong Cassidy lunch book. But I just never got comfortable with the idea of violence. When I was six years old I got into an argument with Johnny my best friend. The argument, whatever it was about, resulted in my giving him a black eye! I was totally devastated by this event for more than a week. How could I have done such a violent thing? Right then and there I said I would never use violence against anyone else. I have kept that promise for sixty some years now.
I was in college at the height of the Vietnam conflict. With the draft still in effect I dreaded the day I would graduate and then face the draft board. I knew in my heart and soul that I just could not take up a gun against another person no matter how evil my government thought they were. About a month or so before my graduation I received the notice to appear for a draft physical. I deeply contemplated going to Canada instead of facing being drafted into the military. My father, who I learned had an absolutely horrid experience in WW II, said he would support my efforts to become a conscientious objector and if that failed then to leave the country. Fortunately my hearing even at that early stage of my life was not good so I flunked the physical. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find that I was hearing impaired.
There have been many other experiences throughout my life where I just didn’t fit the typical American mold. I really didn’t care for John Wayne and all his macho movies about killing the bad guys. The NRA to me is simply insanity. When I finally turned to Christ in my mid-life I learned from his words that violence only begets violence and to blessed are the peacemakers. And most recently, while I did not mourn the death of Bin Ladin I also could not celebrate it as so many of my fellow Americans seemed to be doing. When anyone is killed I think God sheds a tear. What a way to waste a precious life he gave!
All these things have gotten me to thinking; I hate guns, bravado, and swagger how can I be American? I have always known that our brothers to our north are seen as being more kind-hearted than we were. I also know that Will Rogers who is one of my heroes always spoke kindly of them. For that reason I have always felt a special kinship to them. I will be going up to Canada for an extended vacation soon. Maybe I am really going home for a visit?
I wonder if I sent my birth certificate to Donald Trump maybe he would check it out for me. He seems to be the expert in this area now.
But what do I know…