Central Park, New York City I probably should join the holiday exodus from Manhattan, but I actually enjoy being in New York over the Fourth of July. Streets are quiet, Central Park is perfect for a picnic, families are grilling, kids are playing – the city takes a break from manic mode. I wish our grandstanding politicians and their supporters could dial down the noise, too. Yes, I know much is at stake. Our divisions are real. Mega-money is flowing. Some serious issues are in play. But this is also our homeland – all of us, not just the noisy few – and we have a right to find happiness in it. The noisemakers are trespassing on civility and common sense. FAITH Q & A: NBC & “Under God” Q: I am curious as to your thoughts about NBC making the decision to leave out the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance during a televised tribute to our nation? A: I had to do a web search to learn more about this incident. I dismissed it at the time as small – small-minded of NBC to do an editing that they had to know would offend people, small-minded of the offended to jump on NBC as if a second 9/11 had just occurred, and in general a small matter compared to much larger issues. After some research, it appears a group of editors at NBC made this decision on their own. A bonehead play. Memos will go out, maybe heads will roll. The chattering classes immediately seized the opening to vent their rage on all things liberal and big-government, not that NBC editors and those targets are necessarily related. I like saying the full pledge and wish we could avoid making it one more weapon in the culture and political wars. It belongs to all Americans, liberal and conservative.

Central Park, New York City

I probably should join the holiday exodus from Manhattan, but I actually enjoy being in New York over the Fourth of July. Streets are quiet, Central Park is perfect for a picnic, families are grilling, kids are playing – the city takes a break from manic mode.

I wish our grandstanding politicians and their supporters could dial down the noise, too. Yes, I know much is at stake. Our divisions are real. Mega-money is flowing. Some serious issues are in play. But this is also our homeland – all of us, not just the noisy few – and we have a right to find happiness in it. The noisemakers are trespassing on civility and common sense.

FAITH Q & A: NBC & “Under God”

Q: I am curious as to your thoughts about NBC making the decision to leave out the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance during a televised tribute to our nation?

A: I had to do a web search to learn more about this incident. I dismissed it at the time as small – small-minded of NBC to do an editing that they had to know would offend people, small-minded of the offended to jump on NBC as if a second 9/11 had just occurred, and in general a small matter compared to much larger issues.

After some research, it appears a group of editors at NBC made this decision on their own. A bonehead play. Memos will go out, maybe heads will roll.

The chattering classes immediately seized the opening to vent their rage on all things liberal and big-government, not that NBC editors and those targets are necessarily related.

I like saying the full pledge and wish we could avoid making it one more weapon in the culture and political wars. It belongs to all Americans, liberal and conservative.

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