Fourth of July

In the past I have had occasion to list, in no particular order, what I loved about England. On this Fourth of July allow me a list of what I love about the USA. Here goes.

Hot Dogs and Sauerkraut, Elvis Presley, It’s a Wonderful Life, Drive In Restaurants, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Columbo, Amish people, Manhattan, Hamburgers, Flannery O’Connor, T-Shirts, Clear Creek Monastery, equality, Cole Porter, the saxophone, Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream, Katherine Hepburn, Southern Comfort, Honda 750 Shadow Spirit, football, Shawshank Redemption, cranberry juice, generosity, Johnny Depp, shoo fly pie, North Carolina mountains, milkshakes, marching bands, T.S.Eliot, religiosity, Amusement Parks, Fiddler on the Roof, Aaron Copeland, Optimism, Indiana Jones, beauty pageants, Washington DC, Orthodontics, Frank Sinatra, Thomas Merton, Rib Eye Steaks, Charleston, Bar BQ, Tina Turner, ceiling fans, Myrtle Beach, Thanksgiving, gospel quartets, the community pool, oreos, baseball, clean toilets, Disneyland, Ray Ban sunglasses, B. B. King, Ronald Reagan, turtle track ice cream, Tennessee Williams, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Casablanca, Minnesota, pickles, Andrew Wyeth, pretzels, the Blues Brothers, Dorothy Day, patriotism, air conditioning, summer camp, Patsy Cline, speed boats, pecan pie, naivety, James Taylor, Manhattans, peanut butter, Catcher in the Rye, pizza, root beer, the pro life movement, friendliness, Dr. Pepper, conspiracy theories, peaches, front porches, EWTN, the Grand Canyon, corn on the cob, Renee Zellwegger, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, hash browns, the open road, Empire State Building, enthusiasm, gangster movies, Buster Keaton, fresh shrimp, Knights of Columbus, Guys and Dolls, Gershwin, freedom, the Shenandoah Valley, taking risks, Ella Fitzgerald, fried chicken, Robert Frost, radio preachers, cheerfulness, interstate rest stops, Redwood forests, Robert Duvall, cook outs, Niagara Falls,

Phew! What have I left out?

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08971901041369887862 Rob

    Baseball you forgot baseball

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14485768454161100884 Neophyte

    Greenville, South Carolina!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07569130676781280732 Deacon Dick

    Just what you did, The FREEDOM to do it! God Bless.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    baseball's there. Between oreos and clean toilets

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05660260542343577894 Les

    Happy 4th of July, Father, from a Canadian reader. God bless!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17437769524164651907 JACK

    Really Father? SOUTHERN COMFORT??!!We need to introduce you to some real smooth bourbon! Happy 4th! Great post!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00803711185913601754 John Michael

    Apple pie? Kitchen sink? :DGreat list, Father!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17123185796355069648 Alphonsus Rodriguez

    Charlie Parker, Leonard Bernstein, Miles Davis, Shiner Bock, Dashiell Hammett, Nathaniel West, Hebrew National Polish Sausage.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05521207668262592414 gemoftheocean

    Besides Baseball (which Rob mentioned), specifically stolen bases, drive in movies, really BIG cars, the 2nd amendment (that final guarantor of all the others!), LL Bean, fried catfish, free refills, philly steak sandwiches, just getting in the car and GOING – it doesn't matter where – you can get "nowhere" in a hurry, high school yearbooks, 59,000+ flavors of ice-cream and there will be new ones next week, bitching about any politician I'd care to and not looking over my shoulder, dress-casual Fridays, Hawaiian shirts, and go-to-hell pants, the smell of fall, FALL, thanksgiving Day, visiting graves of loved ones on Memorial day, unabashed and unashamed naked patriotism, submarine races, sled dogs, redwood trees, firehall wedding receptions, bowling alleys, poker, homemade quilts handed down through generations, the sound of "THE GAME" any game on the radio when at the beach, the Kentucky Derby, mint juleps, Minnie the Moocher, driving for miles and not seeing a single soul except just when you need to and over the hill is an all night diner and a gas station and they're open, 24/7/365 open Denny's – Denny's that have been open so long they forgot where they put the keys if riots happen and they have to close but stay open anyway. Free Matches. Free stuff. 2fers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    "Phew! What have I left out?" Only Johnny Cash and Billy Graham who, by the way I have travelled to see, three times.Love Americans, best Christians in the world. They speak, with a full heart, as you do, and will, Father.And check out Smith Wigglesworth, already!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04843514873861242426 Howard

    This kind of list is just silly. The real reason to love America is because it's home, just like the real reason to love your Mom and Dad is because they are your Mom and Dad. If you base your love of this country on externals, you wouldn't have loved it in the past, because it hasn't always been the largest economy, or had the most nuclear missiles, or had Hollywood, or even had baseball. If you only love this country for the good times, you'll be useless when times turn bad … and we have about a dozen unsustainable trends in the economy, in law, in demographics, etc., that indicate bad times ahead.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03580856325657683194 Maureen

    The Brooklyn Bridge, US Armed Services, The Bill of Rights, egg creams, t- birds, corvettes, Yogi Berra, Brooklyn, Marilyn, dial soap, iPhones, iPods Macbooks, James Dean, John Coltrane, Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain, Mickey Mouse and Star Trek

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17994305847295524391 konia

    Fr.L,I like your list. It was very timely because after reading Alexander McCall Smith's "The Unbearable Lightness of Scones", I was longing to have a solid historical identity, such as the inimitable characters he has from Scotland. Your list reminded me that despite our very short history, there is much to love about the U.S. Keep going with your writing,please. I read whatever you write on a daily basis!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    Howard you're just being a party pooper.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02826324313955545759 Fr. Eric

    Declaration of IndependenceConstitutionCharles Carroll, signer of DeclarationDaniel Carroll and Patrick Fitzimmmons, signers of Constitution.Sts Isaac Jogues, John Brebeuf, Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, Junipero Serra, Sts Elizabeth Ann Seton, John Neumann, Katherine Drexel, Rose Philippine Duschene, Frances Xavier Cabrini. Dorothy Day, John Courtney Murray. Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne. Sisters of Life, John Cardinal O'Connor, John Hughes, Cardinal Gibbons, John Tracy Ellis.Chaplains Capodanno (Vietnam) Kapaun (Korea), Fr. Corby of the Irish Briagde (Civil War)Louis Armstrong, without whom we would not have Jazz.Andrews Sisters, Bob Hope, Carl Yastremski "Yaz", Catholic family man, one team, baseball's triple crown, played into his 40s.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12957780041821906594 Wessington

    Am surprised to see "equality" on your list, since your religious journey does not appear to have covered any ground that includes equality for women.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    Wessington, my understanding of 'equality' means the lack of a class system determined by breeding and the guaranteed equality of opportunity.I eschew any definition of equality which implies (and therefore destroys) diversity of gender roles.Women and Men are equal but they are not the same, and when we attempt to make them the same we destroy equality.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15585191860491461368 louisianais

    Father Longenecker, let's get back to the party: here's some Louisiana lagniappe for your list–Mardi Gras in South Louisiana, Confederate Memorial Hall on Camp Street (929 Camp Street) near the D-Day Museum. (There you will see a crown of thorns given by Blessed Pope Pius IX to President Jefferson Davis, the President’s scapular and rosary (but he never converted), and a stain glass window image of Father Abram Joseph Ryan, the Poet Laureate of the Confederacy), the original Ursuline convent in the French Quarter (where the Ursuline nuns achieved a number of “firsts” and “bests” in the United States), the land settled by the Acadians, (from the Mississippi River to the Sabine River, no further north than Alexandria Louisiana) and the shrine of Charlene Richard (in Richard Louisiana, who, along with Mother Henriette Delille, is a native Louisiana candidate for canonization).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12957780041821906594 Wessington

    It seems convenient that your views on gender do not seem to differ from those of your alma mater, Bob Jones University. I wonder if your views on race are also similar to bigoted positions BJU took on race for many years. It is interesting that you only define equality as a class system, indicated some form of economic attachment. Am I reasonable in my assumption that you view persons of all races as equal, but serving different roles here on earth?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    Wessington, racial equality and gender equality are different. Different races can be equated for political and social reasons, however, obviously people from different cultures are different from each other. Equality in the law does not imply or demand uniformity and diversity does not imply superiority or inferiority.Gender equality is a different matter because men and women are biologically and psychologically different from one another. In society they should have the same civil rights, but within their social interactions they have different functions and capabilities according to their gender. Again, equality does not demand uniformity nor does diversity imply superiority or inferiority.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00098504849466846551 Arkanabar T’verrick Ilarsadin

    Wessington, that's at best a gnat's whisker away from trolling.You're the one who brought up sexism. You're the one who brought up racism. You seem to have done the former simply on the strength of Fr. L's being a Catholic that accepts the teaching Magisterium of the Church (as I am). Your statements regarding the latter seem to have arrived ex nihilo.The Catholic Church does not presume that men and women are the same. This is realistic, because men and women are not the same. As a result, their roles are not the same. This, by the way, is not to say that there is no possibility of overlap, or that there are no roles that cannot be filled by both. Some roles, however, cannot — motherhood and fatherhood being two of these.Seriously, put your priorities in order. The means by which men and women obtain salvation is the same. Their access to salvation is the same. And it is salvation, not Holy Orders, which is the greatest good the Church offers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06699469546715086680 Jordan

    T.S. ELIOT YES! It's good to remember that, although usually categorized as a British author, T.S. Eliot was in fact born and raised in America. Alos, thank you for taking the time to help us all appreciate our culture, since so often we get caught up in bashing it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09011063783466945979 Michael

    Wow, I was having fun until Howard showed up. Don't forget Corn Bread, and Clint Eastwood. Oh and Jemimah Johnson.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05805001368577993268 Christina

    Yeah, Jordan, I was thinking that, too!I love T.S. Eliot. I should look it up, but I wonder whether he's on your British list, too, Father.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11961792423937962991 stpetric

    Yup, with Maureen's addendum. People who don't get your list just don't get it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11230803204895454672 George @ Convert Journal

    It is interesting that 20% (20 out of 101 to be specific) of your items are food related!