Ted Kennedy — In My Jr. High Diary????

Huh. Already one off-line snark attack regarding my reminiscing below that I wrote about Senator Kennedy in my journal as an eighth grader. And I guess that is a little surprising. Or odd. I can go with “odd” here.

But the fact is that I was brought up in a very political family, a family whose Christmases in the early 1970s were usually spent picketing in front of the Air Force base and whose idea of a birthday blowout — my birthday is always right before or right after the November generals — was stuffing envelopes and making get-out-the-vote calls over chocolate cake and ice cream. I devoured newspapers, Newsweek, and news shows even in my early elementary years, and dinnertime conversation only rarely touched on neighborhood adventures or best-friend dramas.

While I doubt that Ted Kennedy got nearly the coverage in my eighth-grade diary that Augie Gonzalez did, it still would have been important to me to comment there on the political news that enlivened our dinnertime conversation. Probably not a real normal childhood, I’m guessing, but I’m grateful for the passion for social justice it instilled in me, even when adolescent crushes were a continual distraction.

(I remember being devoted that entire year to studiously observing Augie between classes and in the cafeteria for the slightest hint that he liked me — or knew I existed at all — and as my 25th wedding anniversary to a man who does like me approaches, I’m secure enough to confirm that, ummmmm, no, he didn’t. Crushing, it was — and his loss, as I was willing at the time to be terribly un-liberal and devote my life to being Mrs. Augie Gonzalez, a title now held by the completely undeserving Sandra M., who picked her nose, cheated on her math tests, and wore blue eye shadow).

So, yes, I was “like this” even as a young girl — always writing, always learning, always preaching, and always concerned about politics and the world around me. Credit for that goes to my Dad, and because of him, in so very many ways, I mourn the loss of Senator Kennedy, a man born to tremendous wealth and privilege who, while deeply flawed, devoted himself to the tireless pursuit of a better life for those Christ called “the least of these.” And I don’t at all mind having my critics conclude that I was weird for writing about a Massachusetts senator as a girl in Arizona, because my particular kind of weirdness now has revealed to me just how the Lord has gifted me — including, perhaps even especially, his gift to me of a sharp mind, tender heart and thick skin.

4 Responses to “Ted Kennedy — In My Jr. High Diary????”

  1. I wish you were willing to cut Doug Wilson even a fraction of the slack you’re willing to cut Ted Kennedy, a hedonist who spent most of his adult life making a mockery of the Church of Jesus Christ and Christianity’s moral directives. Did Ted Kennedy really care about anything other than ensuring his next re-election and wondering where he would have his next sexual conquest? JFK and Robert were killed for the very real virtues that they had in spite of their flaws. Apparently Ted Kennedy had no such virtues and thus he could be allowed to live, a useful tool in the hands of the puppeteers who run the show. The idealized Ted Kennedy you admired in your youth was a fantasy. The reality of Ted Kennedy is a tragedy in the truest Shakespearean sense of the word.

  2. Angela says:

    I could not disagree more with Christopher about Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy worked tirelessly for the causes that his brothers envisioned
    I would say Christopher needs to stop being the puppet for his puppeteer and breath on his own.

  3. Thank you both for your comments. Angela, I agree that Christopher’s allegiance to Wilson is unfortunate; Christopher, I obviously disagree with your assessment of Kennedy. And why am I not willing “to cut Doug Wilson even a fraction of the slack” you believe I’ve cut Kennedy? Because I know nothing of Kennedy’s recent personal life, while I believe his overall contribution to the health and progress of our country has been significant. I also know nothing of Wilson’s current personal life, while I believe his overall contribution to the witness of the Gospel — and this as a preacher and pastor thereof — has been horrendous. Kennedy owned his flaws; Wilson loves the popularity he’s been receiving as a teacher/pastor/thinker, and I’ve never read or heard him apologize for even one of the many ways he’s maligned the teachings of Christ and represented so poorly the character of those who follow Him.
    Thanks for both of your comments, though.
    Keely

  4. Tom Hansen says:

    “But the fact is that I was brought up in a very political family, a family whose Christmases in the early 1970s were usually spent picketing in front of the Air Force base and whose idea of a birthday blowout — my birthday is always right before or right after the November generals — was stuffing envelopes and making get-out-the-vote calls over chocolate cake and ice cream.”

    It’s in the DNA, Keely.

Leave a Reply