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Ways of the World

Carol Stone, business economist & active Episcopalian, brings you "Ways of the World". Exploring business & consumers & stewardship, we'll discuss everyday issues: kids & finances, gas prices, & some larger issues: what if foreigners start dumping our debt? And so on. We can provide answers & seek out sources for others. We'll talk about current events & perhaps get different perspectives from what the media says. Write to Carol. Let her know what's important to you:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ted Kennedy's Liturgies

We watched the "Irish Wake" for Ted Kennedy and his funeral, fine pieces of liturgy both, each in its own way contributing to the commemoration of the Senator and to the needs of his family and friends -- and even us -- to express our emotions over his passing.

Among the tributes, we took special note of those by John McCain and Orrin Hatch. Senator Hatch is, of course, a right-wing conservative, and as he reminded us, he maintains a vastly different style of religious observance than the Kennedys. But they are great personal friends, respecting and enriching each other despite and perhaps because of these basic differences. In such relationships, there can be no presumption, nor can either party take the other for granted. Everything has to be on the table. Senator McCain, for his part, can be as rambunctious as Senator Kennedy, and he told the wonderful story about how he and Kennedy once staged a mock, but highly spirited, debate on the Senate floor, taking advantage of their inherent differences in a joint, mutual effort to give lessons in priorities and decorum to junior Members of the body.

Perhaps this has been said enough times in recent days, but we need to add our own sentiment. In such a sensitive time for the country as this, with the economy so very fragile, our troops suffering the most deadly month so far in Afghanistan, legislation pending that will reform a basic part of our lives, the incumbent ruling party in one of our staunchest allies, Japan, decisively turned out of office and numerous other issues looming, may these coming weeks be a time when our leaders can all take advantage of their inherent differences to forge stronger, richer relationships and to formulate joint, mutual efforts at accomplishing the tasks at hand.

Kennedy's casket was escorted out of the church Saturday to the strains of "America the Beautiful". The last verse, highlighting his own sentiment that “the dream will never die”, appeals:

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

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