The strength of the American nation is its people, their energy, and the multiplicity of their ideas. From this melting pot, full of disagreement and diversity, we forge a single more perfect union.

But we know that foreign agents are actively sowing discord and casting doubt, exploiting the diversity of our people in order to splinter our American nation. Politicians, media companies, and radical groups on the fringe give aid and comfort to our enemies by sensationalizing our differences, ignoring the common ideals that we share.

Don’t let them divide us. We will always have disagreements, but that can make us stronger if we keep this fact firmly in mind: We are Americans and we are in this together.

Wolfish world

Reading Moby Dick, which is funnier than I expected, and came across this evocative passage in Chapter X.

As I sat there in that now lonely room; the fire burning low, in that mild stage when, after its first intensity has warmed the air, it then only glows to be looked at; the evening shades and phantoms gathering round the casements, and peering in upon us silent, solitary twain; the storm booming without in solemn swells; I began to be sensible of strange feelings. I felt a melting in me. No more my splintered heart and maddened hand were turned against the wolfish world. This soothing savage had redeemed it. There he sat, his very indifference speaking a nature in which there lurked no civilized hypocrisies and bland deceits. Wild he was; a very sight of sights to see; yet I began to feel myself mysteriously drawn towards him. And those same things that would have repelled most others, they were the very magnets that thus drew me. I’ll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy.

The “wolfish world”, how apt! I feel like I could use such a pagan friend right now to show me the secret of contentment in a country grown strange and menacing.

Mormon middle way

I just read an interesting article about a growing group of Mormons who follow a middle way: faithfully engaged but not as concerned as previous generations about outward signs of Mormonism like wearing temple (under)garments or following the dietary restrictions of the Word of Wisdom. When I left Mormonism behind, this path wasn’t apparent to me.