The Problem with Happiness

dope rainbow artwork

Freshness of Cold by Leonid Afremov

“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” seems pretty straightforward as far as founding documents and stump speeches go. And, in a country where little can be agreed upon, this is a famous statement that anyone can nod along to. However, there are some particular problems with this phrase, and not just the hypocrisy of land-owning white men declaring these things as “unalienable rights” even while maintaining chattel slavery and a firm patriarchy. The one I want to parse out is “the pursuit of happiness,” which, while appearing to be the most obvious and benign of the three rights, may be as revealing of the American imagination as either of the other two. What I mean is, while life and liberty as rights was a newer concept in the world (The Declaration of Independence would heavily influence France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen 13 years later), the pursuit of happiness has also not been something guaranteed, or even available, to the average citizen. But, in 1776, Thomas Jefferson decided to put life and liberty right next to the pursuit of things and activities that make people experience happiness.

In America today, the right to life is, for the most part, taken for granted (although this time the hypocrisy suggests that life is a right only for born persons). We assume that all most people have the right to life. Liberty is the one that gets the most controversy, as doomsayers like Ted Cruz claim that religious Christian liberty is under assault and issues of gender and sexuality become some of the most important new discussions in society. The Libertarian movement suggests that liberty is as important as it is elusive.

But enough about those things. It’s the pursuit of happiness which has come to be America’s real sacred cow. The quality of our life and liberty have come to be predicated on how happy we are. Things and activities that generate happiness have become the very things for which Americans aim, and the rewards that are promised for hours and hours of work.

And this is fine – now that humans don’t have to fend off wild animals and we have medicine to keep us around for more than fifty years, it’s great to fill up spare time with leisure, recreation, and the things from which we derive happiness. But there’s a problem, and this is the thesis to which this overwrought introduction has built:

Happiness is cheap. And the exaltation of this cheap happiness is a road to misery that bypasses fulfillment. I hope to show that, while not having the same ring to it, the pursuit of fulfillment is the thing for which we should aim instead.

I can’t say for sure what Jeffy had in mind when he penned the Declaration – maybe he really envisioned all that I’m about to say. And I can’t really say exactly what my fellow Americans have in mind when they think of the pursuit of happiness. But what I see being sold to us, what I see being pursued, what I see being exalted and protected, is happiness that comes from fun, from thrills, from pleasure, from smiles and sunshine and puppies and rainbows. I don’t mean to be sardonic – I really think that happiness, for so many people, amounts to good food, good drink, good sex, good laughs, and good fun. And when we’re not doing one of those things, it is expected that we should keep a good mood. We should just be happy. If we’re not smiling that must mean something is wrong. And Lady Liberty forbid something should be wrong. The happiness I’m talking about isn’t just another word for materialism, but it’s the mindset that being in a happy state of mind is what makes up our quality of life, our measure of success, and the definition of our purpose.

This isn’t right. This is a distraction. We have greater aims in life than the nice feeling we get from being happy. Happiness is great – I like being happy – but devoting our lives to gaining as much happiness as we can is doomed for failure. C.S. Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” I think we might say, for the purposes of this essay, “Aim at fulfillment and you will get happiness thrown in. Aim at happiness and you get neither.”

The song “Injoy,” from Beleaf’s depression-riddled album Red Pills + Black Sugar, presents this tension as Beleaf and his guests rap about the troubles of life but also the pressure they feel to appear happy. Beleaf laments that his “smile is counterfeit” and wishes that he could appear happy while also growing as a person. It’s a pretty good song, but its best moment is the very end, in which Beleaf says, “Yeah I’m supposed to fake it till I make it huh/Yeah I’m supposed to be happy, happy/But this life keeps getting worse/But I just keep smiling and pretend that I’m happy, happy.” It’s unsettling, and it should be. The song is inspired by the second verse of the Book of James, in which Jesus’ brother implores his audience to “Count it all joy when you meet various trials.” What Beleaf reveals in this disconcerting end to an anguished song is that to count it all joy does not mean “don’t worry, be happy.” He is struggling with the Christian belief that Christ is ultimate joy, even while experiencing human suffering.

Despite the call for joy, I don’t think there’s much case to be made that the Bible directs Christians to be “happy” all the time. Was Jesus happy when he wept for Lazarus? Do all of the Psalms end with cheerful assurance of God’s help? On the contrary, the Bible is full of sorrow and even anger (Ephesians 4:26, Jesus clearing the temple, etc). And there’s a very good reason for that – it’s through trials that we grow. Growth doesn’t happen in times of ease and comfort – rather, it happens when the trials are very real. C.H. Spurgeon, who struggled with depression throughout his life despite his spiritual zeal, said that “They who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls.” Some Christians like to say the world will know them by their love, or by their hope, and neither of those are the same thing as happiness.

I generally approach this sort of topic with a Christian and American framework, but I don’t mean to confine it to that lens, even if Christianity is important for my angle on this in particular. The Tao Te Ching, a spiritual text for which I have great admiration, is also lowkey on happiness. Peace, wisdom, balance, harmony, and humility are some of the things of much greater importance to Lao Tzu and other followers of the Tao.

But this issue can’t be confined to spiritual and religious persons either – I think this plays out for just about any spiritual worldview.

Where else to look first but the song “Pursuit of Happiness,” by Kid Cudi, one of the great secular philosophers of our time? In all seriousness, I don’t care if Cudi makes terrible albums for the rest of his life – Man on the Moon: The End of Day is enough to make him a genius forever. The thirteenth song on that album, “Pursuit of Happiness,” has become an anthem for the party lifestyle, but the song isn’t about celebrating drugs, alcohol, and the other things associated with wealth and fame. Rather, the message is that, no matter how much he pursues happiness through the party lifestyle, he’s left unsatisfied: “I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know/Everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold/Hey, I’ll be fine once I get it, I’ll be good.” He knows that there is something higher beyond getting high that will satisfy, but has yet to find it. This is one of the messages of his masterpiece album, summed up in the album’s final poem by fellow rapper Common: “The end is never the end. A new challenge awaits/A test no man could be prepared for/A new hell he must conquer and destroy/A new level of growth he must confront himself/The machine in the ghost within/This is the journey of the man on the moon.”

Of course, you might reject Cudi as an outlier with a troubled psyche and a drug problem, but this sort of pained expression is hardly unique to Cudi. It begins with slave songs and black spirituals, which created the blues, which would become the taproot genre for jazz, rock ‘n roll, R&B, Gospel, and hip-hop. In other words, the pain of slaves eventually evolved into almost all of the most popular genres of American music. It also appears in the written poetics of Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, and others. This music, this deeply affecting music, does not spring from sunshine and rainbows, but rather comes from the stirring of pained souls longing for something else.

When Dietrich Bonhoeffer came to America in the early 1930’s, he was affected by the mistreatment of black Americans, by the beauty of black spirituals, and by the sound preaching happening in black churches. His time in America moved his theology to theologia crucis, in which the Gospel is hidden and found in suffering. This was a change from his theologia gloriae, which placed God in the presence of a people’s success and well-being, a theology that would have exalted the success of the Third Reich and turned a blind eye to the Jewish people. Finding the Gospel among the oppressed in America helped move Bonhoeffer away from supporting the German government to become a conspirator plotting to overthrow Hitler to save oppressed people from his murderous policies. (ht Reggie Williams, PhD).

I’m not saying that the black experience was bereft of happiness, or that good music and good religion can only come out of prolonged suffering, but these examples illustrate something lasting and something gratifying that exists even when happiness proves difficult to pursue. These examples hint at deeper longings that are more crucial to our well-being than fits of happiness.

This calls to my mind J.R.R. Tolkien’s statement about spiritual longing: “We all long for Eden, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most human, is still soaked with the sense of exile.” This truism shapes his fiction, and we can see some of the ways in which a longing for something better supersedes our quest for happiness. In Middle-Earth, the hobbits are not materialistic happiness-seekers because they spend their time eating, drinking, and smoking. Hobbits do those things, but that’s because that’s what hobbits do – they’re bucolic beings with a love of growing things, and they are in a state of fulfillment when they are growing plants, eating plants, and, of course, smoking plants. Not because they’re bent on happy feelings, but because they are earthy beings with a love for hearth and home. Likewise, the elves are not somber because they can’t find fun things to do – they’re somber because their time is fading away as connections to the natural world become weaker. They aren’t sad because they don’t have meadows to play yard games in – they’re pained because their natural way of life is fading from the world. In short, the joy found in Tolkien’s world is not based in the pursuit of happiness, but in the glimpses of Eden that drive characters to do what is right – to defend their friends, to fight evil, to take care of the earth.

It is clear that many people – writers, ministers, artists, philosophers – have found their greatest meaning not in happiness, but in fulfillment. Why? Maybe it’s because happiness is fleeting but fulfillment endures.

What can pursuing happiness guarantee other than the insatiable need to pursue more happiness? Food, drink, cars, houses, sex, sports, and things like these brings happiness, but do not secure our position against the storms of life. Trials will come. And we need those trials. But how can we expect to face trials and grow from trials, or how can we even expect to survive trials if we are determined to make happiness our default setting? If we spend our lives running as fast we can away from pain and sadness, what foundation do we have when trouble comes?

I find many of these answers presented by Beautiful Eulogy in their song “Anchor,” which has given me much peace and profound joy, even though it has never made me happy and even though it is not a happy song: “It helps me/To understand that we stand on solid rock not on sinking sand/Through the providence of pain you perfect your plan/Predestined to be tested when the works and the Words of/God cooperate and educate men in the great gift of Grace/And Faith. And even though its obvious when my outlook’s/Ominous you’ve bound my heart and my conscience and gave me a constant calmness.”

Whether you believe in purpose and design, there is a space inside all of us that is reserved for fulfillment, and this space can’t be filled with happiness, no matter how hard we pursue it. As a Christian, I might call this “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). I expect that a non-Christian would have their own answer for purpose and fulfillment, pre-ordained or otherwise – but I should hope that it recognizes the futility in filling life up with happiness generators rather than the things that lay the foundation of fulfillment and thus provide happiness in turn.

Stop chasing happiness. I don’t think you will ultimately find it. Life is tough and people are fickle. What pleases you today may bore you tomorrow. Pursue fulfillment instead. There are deeper, more beautiful, more worthy things to set your attention on than a comfortable, easy, happy life. The most beautiful roses in life come with unhappy thorns.

Forth now, and fear no darkness.

Soli Deo Gloria

– Peter

Church Clothes 3 is Exactly What We Needed

Lecrae’s maturity will make some uncomfortable, but will also create the space to take a subgenre to the next level.

Church Clothes 3

“I’m not saying that a Christian audience shouldn’t listen to this – I think it will be beneficial for them, however, I don’t think you’re gonna get some of the same type of messages that you’re used to nor the same kind of music that you’re used to. It’s not gonna be a lot of “commercial” music on here. It’s gonna be raw, uncut hip-hop tracks.” – Lecrae, discussing Church Clothes (Volume 1) in 2012

When Lecrae moves, Christian hip-hop moves. Although he does not claim the crown of the subgenre, to call Lecrae the Jay-Z of CHH is entirely short-changing Lecrae. Being the leading man of this particular subgenre that is simultaneously music, movement, and lifestyle is not like being the leading artist in any other type of music because the music has such a close connection to a religion. The squabbles that fans of music have about their favorite artists are magnified by the stakes of the debate, namely: Is the music Christian enough or is it too worldly? These debates are often quite silly, and it’s not my present intention to walk through them, but suffice to say the subgenre is, for many reasons, hindered by disagreements over how this type of music should be handled.

As a result, Lecrae, as the subgenre’s leading man, faces more pressure than anyone because he carries the most weight and can affect the most change. And that’s why some fans were upset by what Lecrae said about the content of Church Clothes and then eventually by the mixtape itself.

But what Lecrae began with Church Clothes in 2o12 has come to full realization with the surprise release of Church Clothes 3 on January 14. Even as Lecrae’s retail LPs took his name and the subgenre to new heights of popularity (Gravity won a Grammy for Best Gospel Album in 2012 and Anomaly hit number one on the Billboard in 2014), it has been his trilogy of mixtapes that have been his most important contribution to music. While he has risen to be one of the most recognizable icons in popular Christianity, it has been the side projects of Church Clothes that have done the most for him, his subgenre, mainstream Christianity, and mainstream music.

Church Clothes was not a mainstream-seeking, worldly, irreligious sell-out like some fans irrationally feared. Rather, it was a collection of 18 “raw, uncut hip-hop tracks” that boasted an impressive array of producers and featured artists and some of Lecrae’s best lyrical work. Hosted by Don Cannon, and released for free on DatPiff, the mixtape drew the attention of many in the “secular” rap world. Most remarkably, it was fierce, gritty, and yet unapologetically Christian. It was, in a way that so much of Christian music is not, rooted in the so-called “real world.” While his 2008 album Rebel (an instant classic in CHH) was like a lion roaring in a pulpit, Church Clothes was more like a panther stalking the streets. Both cats are useful, even excellent, in their own right, but the important thing about the panther is that mainstream Christian audiences, let alone mainstream secular audiences, were only used to the lion in the pulpit.

Lecrae incorporated the panther approach into his 2012 LP Gravity, and continued it in full with Church Clothes 2 the next year. However, even as Lecrae’s rapping skills improved alongside better and better production with each release, and even as his lyrics became more and more socially-conscious, mainstream Christian listeners revealed that these things mattered little in their decision to help make Anomaly an astounding commercial success. The same fans who turned their backs on Sho Baraka for Talented Tenth, perhaps the most “black” CHH album of all time (and basically To Pimp a Butterfly before there was To Pimp a Butterfly), passed over Anomaly’s “Welcome to America” and “Dirty Water,” two hard-hitting songs about social inequalities, for the more tame and more mainstream songs like “All I Need is You” and “Messengers,” the two songs on the album that received Grammy nominations. In the wake of Anomaly, racial tensions grew in America, especially concerning police brutality, and Lecrae, like many of his fellow black Christian rappers, received heavy criticism for talking about issues of race.

In short, the message from so many listeners was clear: make youth group music. Make fun music with a Christian message that young white people can listen to while driving around with their friends. The sound can be mainstream, the lyrics can be mediocre, as long as it’s loud and Jesusy.

So you could say that, entering 2016, CHH was in another formative stage as it awaited the next release from its biggest star.

Enter Church Clothes 3, the mixtape that settles all debate on what Lecrae is about and where the subgenre is going.

Like the other two installments in the trilogy, CC3 is going to be just about totally absent from any kind of mainstream radio as well as Christian youth conferences. There are no conventional party tracks, hype songs, and no features from contemporary Christian music (Lecrae has previously featured big names like For King and Country and Tenth Avenue North).

Instead, the album starts with “Freedom,” which recalls the African spiritual sound with which Sho Baraka began Talented Tenth. “Freedom” and “Gangland” set the tone for the album as they take hard looks at the plight of black America. CC3 is not black in the way that To Pimp a Butterfly or Talented Tenth are black, but suffice to say there are a lot of listeners who will want to turn the music off after guest artist Propaganda raps on “Gangland”: “Why would we listen/When American churches scuff their Toms/On our brother’s dead bodies as they march/To stop gay marriage/Yo, we had issues with Planned Parenthood, too/We just cared about black lives outside the womb/Just as much as in.” Together, “Freedom” and “Gangland” make a statement: Christian rap isn’t running from racial issues, even if many listeners would rather ostrich the issue and ostracize the activists.

 Lecrae takes the time to address his haters and critics on the album, most notably on “Sidelines,” but makes statements on other songs like “It Is What It is”: “You wasn’t with me on the 4th down, huh?/Then you can miss me when I touchdown/And that’s no shade, no shade/It’s just those games, I don’t play/I’m gettin’ wiser with more age/And realizin’ some gonna hate/And that’s okay.” Recently, Lecrae has addressed these kinds of criticisms people cast at him and his Reach label mates, but on CC3 he sounds much more sure of himself, letting his actions speak for themselves, whereas his verse on KB’s “Sideways” last spring seemed more conceited. This approach is in step with how he has handled criticisms recently: those who criticized his label for removing Romans 1:16 from their mission statement (this writer included) had to backpedal as Lecrae shared pictures on social media of his mission trip in the Middle East, not even bothering to address the criticism directly.

While the album is not a roaring lion in the pulpit that some listeners want, or the light and easy feel-good message that satisfies many contemporary Christian music fans, make no mistake: this is still a “Christian” album. Lecrae is not hiding: “Now they’re wondering, is it rap or is it Gospel?/Look all you need to know is I was dead, now I’m not though… I hit my pastor on the cell, I said, “I’m catching hell”/Well, what you think they did to Jesus?/Only time will tell.” As well as he ever has, the message of Lecrae’s music artfully balances the grit of the real world and the hope of the Gospel, making the message of CC3 authentic and meaningful.

Musically, CC3, executive produced by S1 (who has worked with big names like Kanye West and Jay-Z), is not only excellent, but continues the Church Clothes tradition that makes a statement for keeping raw hip-hop sound in CHH. While the youth group crowd clamors for EDM and pop sounds, which can be found aplenty in CHH, CC3 is another album that is neither commercialized nor overwrought. While some mixtapes become a conglomerate of different sounds, CC3 remains fairly consistent throughout under S1’s capable direction.

Lyrically, this is as good as we have ever heard Lecrae. His flow and delivery have always been as strong as anyone in CHH, but occasionally his writing has been less than ambitious. On CC3, Lecrae’s flow and delivery are nearly flawless, and his pen is as strong as it has ever been. Sometimes the nuances of lyricism are overlooked by mainstream crowds (Christian and secular alike), and in truth Lecrae would sell records even if he mailed it in lyrically, but it is clear from this album that Lecrae is committed to the craft and can hang with anyone bar for bar.

All of this is plain to see in the album’s best song, “Misconceptions 3.” The beat drives forward as S1 samples “N.Y. State of Mind ,” a legendary song by Nas. Lecrae finishes the song with what is probably his best verse of the album, but only after unleashing as lethal a lineup of lyricists as you will find – “Misconceptions 3” features cousins John Givez and JGivens, as well as Jackie Hill Perry. And oh are they ever lethal. Hip-hop listeners, in general, tend to overreact to how great a verse is, but there is no overstating how excellent John, J, and Jackie are on this song, and it is to Lecrae’s unending credit that his verse is not a weak link when all three of his guests are more gifted writers. And it’s not a song about nothing – it’s a brilliant battle-rap style song that attacks the misconceptions that Christians and non-Christians have of Christian rappers. JGivens raps: “This a misconception triple threat/Did Givens flex? Still a Christian? Yep/Don’t need acknowledgement, just respect the conglomerate/Double tap it and follow it.”

The featured artists on CC3 are significant when considering the accomplishments of the album. Lecrae features his talented young label mate, KB, as well as rap veteran E-40, and the little-known N’Dambi, who sings the hook on “Freedom.” But more significant are the features from the aforementioned John Givez, JGivens, Jackie Hill Perry, and Propaganda. They are four of the best artists in CHH, despite not being as popular among the youth group crowd. The key is that all four fit the Church Clothes panther approach, favoring authentic instrumentals, skilled lyricism, and socially conscious content rooted in the real world. All but John Givez are signed to Humble Beast, which is, for my money, the best label in CHH right now, but one that is anything but mainstream. Givez and his teammates at Kings Dream are not far behind Humble Beast, and have a similar style. It’s pretty clear that CC3 is an endorsement of the style of Humble Beast and John Givez. Even as Lecrae’s label becomes more mainstream, Lecrae has made it clear that he wants to run with the talented underground of CHH.

CC3 demonstrates not only Lecrae’s skills, but his goals and intentions: he’s going to be a socially conscious, Gospel-rooted artist no matter what anyone (including mainstream Christianity) says. It sends a message to the world of secular rap that he is committed to authentic music and he can make it as well as anyone, while alerting Christian listeners that, while his music is still unashamedly Christian, he isn’t here to make youth group music. And, because Lecrae is doing and saying these things, it creates the space for other artists in CHH, including those at Humble Beast and Kings Dream, to say those things and continue to gain recognition for the excellence of their craft.

And Lecrae does all of this without ever overreaching. The album exudes confidence. Listening to Anomaly, it was clear that Lecrae knew he was making something that was going to be wildly popular and change the landscape of CHH, and there were shades of that on Gravity as well. But CC3 continues the understated artistry that has made the Church Clothes trilogy such a joy. This is as comfortable as we’ve ever heard Lecrae.

Many listeners, particularly in mainstream Christianity, will not like or appreciate CC3, and it is sure to make some people uncomfortable, especially since it is Lecrae’s blackest and most socially provocative album to date. But this is exactly what everyone needed from Thursday’s surprise release.

When Lecrae moves, Christian hip-hop moves, and thanks to Church Clothes 3, the subgenre is moving in a great direction.

The album is available on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and select retailers. There is also an excellent short film that accompanied the album release, featuring “It Is What It Is,” “Gangland,” “Deja Vu,” and “Misconceptions 3.” All Humble Beast music is available for free download at 

Forth now, and fear no darkness.

Soli Deo Gloria

– Peter

The Feels – April 15

This will be especially potent if you like Lord of the Rings and are a man.

1. Play this video on YouTube in the background by clicking this link: Khazud-dum loop.

2. Listen to that as you you read this poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Welcome to America

Welcome to America

Last Thursday, Lecrae released a music video for “Welcome to America,” the second track on his chart-topping album Anomaly, a song he performed earlier this year on Fallon (using sound clips from Selma to accentuate that performance). It is a well-produced, multi-faceted, and powerful video accompanying a poignant and unflinching song. “Welcome to America” comes in what has become a tradition of hip-hop songs decrying the various problems facing this country.

The idea that I’m kicking around here is how we can be affected by songs like “Welcome to America” yet still, with readiness, say “I’m proud to be an American,” and “This is the greatest country on Earth.” Because you have good reason to be proud of America, and it is, in many ways, the greatest country on Earth. But, at the same time, I don’t think anyone, unless they are insane or ignorant, would dispute the images put forth in Lecrae’s video and how accurately they represent problems facing America, particularly (in this video) the problems faced by marginalized youths, military veterans, and immigrants. How is it that we can, so easily, accept America as a fantastically wonderful country of opportunity and freedom but also a repressive institution of discrimination, crime, and poverty?

There are some who might say that they are not proud of America, or go so far as to say that the nation is one big evil thing with no hope of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sometimes this comes from a fairly limited perspective, sometimes not, but I think most of us would agree that there are, truly, some pretty amazing things about this country. This is why I think songs like “Welcome to America” are so affecting: we have in our minds a vision of what America should be for everyone, but we know that not everyone is living in that America. It’s like Lecrae is saying that the reason these trials are so awful is the fact that there is a better America out there. These things shouldn’t be happening because plenty of us exist without them.

It would seem that there are two Americas. There is the one where every child has a chance to grow up healthy and educated, the members of our proud military tradition are lauded and cared for, and immigrants are welcomed to the family with the opportunity to find refuge and to lend great contributions to the nation. Then there is the other America, in which children are treated like insignificant animals, veterans are left to poverty and subject to scorn, and immigrants are discriminated against or outright rejected from ever arriving.

Which of these Americas is real? Is one reality and the other a nostalgic memory of what we perceive as the good old days? Is one filtered through red white and blue sunglasses and the other subject to stark reality? Are they propaganda from politicians? Or can they both, truthfully, exist at the same time?

Consider these things as you consider your nation and your patriotism. It is well and good to be a proud American; there are many things of which to be proud. The United States is, in many respects, a great nation. But ask yourself why. Why are you proud to be an American? And what is America anyway? Because the nation that you love for the peace and prosperity it has brought you is the very same one that has brought horrible trials and tribulations to millions of others. Just because that’s not what someone thinks of when they say “Merica!” does not mean it is no less a part of “America.”

I tend to think, when I watch videos like “Welcome to America,” that this is just not the way it’s supposed to be. America is supposed to be so much more.

For all.

Confused by the blog’s new look? If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, then you should. It will clarify what’s going on here. Anyway, like, comment, subscribe/follow, post to Facebook and Twitter, email at Thank you for reading!

Soli Deo Gloria