New whines in classic vessels from the vineyards of Lary9

L. E. Alba

L. E. Alba
New Jersey, USA
January 09
Semi-retired but fully inspired
L.E. Alba (aka Lary9) was born into a venerable Louisiana political family during the Truman administration. Educated in engineering and liberal arts, this father of three opinionated offspring, has had a lifelong love affair with all things American especially political independence. He routinely apologizes for his progressive zeal by claiming to be besotted with Liberty. After serving in the USAF during the undeclared Vietnam war, he promptly joined the Woodstock Generation, lived in a commune in Haight-Ashbury and, despite the seductive Sirens of the West Coast, returned to the East and began to cultivate a stubborn but artistic Yankee sensibility. More often than not, this landed him squarely in radical left-wing territory on most issues. Lately he has been thinking about retiring from politics but his Louisiana roots are deep and proving to be retirement-resistant. [Twitter: @Lary9]


L. E. Alba's Links

OCTOBER 14, 2011 6:41PM

Religion (Optional): Check One.

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I was thinking about growing up in a 1950s Happy Days culture, in a nominally religious home. We weren't effusively devout. Religious holidays had to coincide with national ones in order to be observed and merit a turkey on the table. It was a huge, heavy, oval-shaped 3-leaf affair that could seat a company of Marines when pressed into holiday service. (I only recently put it out on the curb with mixed emotions for "bulk trash day".) Back in those days, I recall that religious affiliation was largely private and no one would've thought of "witnessing" to a guest or neighbor. It would've been considered bad manners...just plain rude. It just wasn't done. My mother came the closest to anything remotely evangelical when she would, in times of stress or anger, call on enough saints to fill up a mini-van. (Gads! What an image...there's a 30-second commercial somewhere in that image.)

Having said that, it's no surprise then that as an adult I've felt no coercive familial restraints blocking my conversion...or rather deconversion to non-belief. I also don't worry about what other people think...and I really mean exactly that. If my atheism arises as a topic, I will often engage people if they are genuinely inquisitive. But beyond that, it simply doesn't arise today as an issue anymore than my former religious status did back then. Then again, as a matter of daily routine I don't associate much with friends or colleagues who are ignorant busy-bodies, so it probably doesn't come up in conversation as much as it might if I lived in the more hermetically sealed culture of the Bible Belt.

Of all things exceptional about America, the separation clause implied in the 1st. Amendment is as much a part of the essential stuff of my being as my blood...and it was for my father and his father before him. 

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