Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Understanding Liberals - because they're friends and family

I have a very liberal brother-in-law. In fact, for the past two years I have wished him a happy birthday on Facebook with, "Happy Birthday Comrade!" and he likes it!

This week I had some interesting... exchanges on his page. First this -

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I'm so used to seeing vile and disgusting things on the internet, this didn't faze me - but when my almost-16-year-old son saw it, he couldn't believe that one of his own uncles would post something like this.  He was disheartened, and I was awakened - because this really is insulting and does not really invite any kind of discussion, frank or otherwise.

So of course I decided to engage.

The most obvious response to a post that mentions "Every Democratic president since Carter" is that  there has only been one - Bill Clinton. Certainly at the rate we're going Obama won't be able to make that claim."

To which my BIL responded:   "Don't be snarky and in denial, just check and let me know the truth."

and we were off.

My reply:  
"The truth is that "every Democratic president since Carter" is only Bill Clinton. If I'm forgetting one, please remind me who that is. The other fact is that if we continue as we are, Obama will have considerably raised the debt. Also, since Congress sets the spending, it should be noted that all the R presidents had D congresses."

Now I'm thinking perhaps this will lead to a discussion of the Clinton presidency and the economy of the 90s. But my dear BIL had other ideas and in typical liberal fashion (to my experience) we went this way instead.

BIL:"It would be nice to hear one conservative, republican, teabagger right winger accept responsibility for anything except blaming someone else for any problem."

I think my brother-in-law just referred to me in a pejorative term? I have spent time in this man's home, he has slept in mine, and our spouses were siblings.  Nonetheless I guess that all disappears when it comes to Facebook and politics.

My reply:
It would be nice to ever have a political discussion with a progressive that stayed on topic and didn't dissolve into ad hominem attacks.

Crossing my fingers for perhaps an "I'm sorry" or at least a return to the topic of all those Democratic presidents after Carter.  Instead BIL comes back with:

I guess not responding to a query is a response, remember Mitch Mc Connell saying the only thing the Gop's in the senate were going to do was try to make Obama a one term Pres, and John Boehner with 40 some vote on the same thing, if there is a problem look in your political mirror

  There's only one response to that.