Category Archives: Entertainment & Culture

Jun
29
2021

Virtuous Leisure

29, Jun

By Katie Kieffer

Summertime

“What I like doing best is Nothing,” Christopher Robin tells Winnie-the-Pooh in A. A. Milne’s 1928 collection of stories, The House at Pooh Corner. The capitalization of “Nothing” is not a typo. Milne is introducing children (and re-introducing their parents) to a deep philosophical point through the voice of a fictional boy and his anthropomorphic stuffed bear.

“How do you do Nothing?” Pooh asks. Christopher Robin responds that being outdoors on a lovely day—as they are—sitting on a grassy knoll, enjoying one another’s company, with birds singing in the trees above, is: “a nothing sort of thing.” He further explains, ‘It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear…” Continue reading

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May
31
2021

Poppies of Flanders Fields

31, May

By Katie Kieffer


Flanders Fields, Belgium, 1915: Poppies, the hue of human blood, blow in the gentle breeze. The scarlet blooms decorate thousands of Allied soldier graves. Graves of mud transfused with the blood of fallen brothers.

1,043 American soldiers perished in Belgium during World War I, 368 of whom are interred at Flanders Field American Cemetery. Today, Memorial Day, we remember their courage—and the courage of all American veterans—by revisiting the story of the vermilion poppies of Flanders Fields. Continue reading

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Apr
26
2021

God, Author of Diversity and Uniformity

26, Apr

By Katie Kieffer

Katie's mother's garden

Green, green everywhere. Spring blooms are here: nascent lime green buds and tufts of emerald green grass—proffering glimpses of God’s enchanting creation—long hidden under snow.

On the first day of Spring, my mother—an avid gardener—visited with a big smile and a small box of heirloom Rudbeckia and hollyhock seeds. “Do you have a rake and a watering can? Today would be a great day to plant!” Continue reading

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Feb
22
2021

Talent. On Loan. From God.

22, Feb

By Katie Kieffer


Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh frequently told his audience—of over 62 million weekly listeners—that his “talent” was “on loan from God.” Limbaugh’s confidence in his innate gifts—and regular expression of gratitude to his Creator—is his most inspiring legacy.

Rush made you feel good about yourself; good about America; and hopeful for the future. Aptly, he also played feel-good bumper music. Two weeks before my wedding last summer, my father and I remained undecided on our Father-Daughter Dance song. A lightbulb went off as I tuned to The Rush Limbaugh Show and heard his bumper: My City Was Gone by The Pretenders. Continue reading

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Jun
22
2020

Black Fathers Matter

22, Jun

By Katie Kieffer


Fathers matter. A child without a good father figure grows up with a disadvantage that cannot be erased by money, education or fame. Activists claim that whites and police are primarily responsible for holding blacks back. In truth, black father figures are the foremost differentiating factor in their offspring’s quality of life.

69 percent of black children are born to unmarried mothers, according to the latest data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In contrast, the CDC reports that 28 percent of non-Hispanic whites are born to unmarried mothers. Continue reading

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Dec
22
2019

A Dragon for Christmas

22, Dec

By Katie Kieffer


Red fire, green scales, and sharp white teeth for Christmas?

On Sunday afternoon, I went on a walk. Home after home is decked with wreaths, garlands, lights, a nativity scene, and then… a dragon! A father was energetically inflating a nine-foot red, white and green dragon. “Our theme is red, white and green!” he exclaimed to his wife and child. Continue reading

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Jun
18
2019

Girl in a Red Balloon

18, Jun

By Katie Kieffer

Red Balloon

Two legs—jutting from a large red balloon—struggle to navigate between rows of gawkers. Women follow the red balloon girl—each covered from head to torso in a brightly colored balloon. They look like walking gumballs. Continue reading

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Jun
11
2017

Fathers Count: Who Were Hillary and Bill’s Fathers?

11, Jun

By Katie Kieffer


Hillary Clinton once wished her dad a Happy Father’s Day by commemorating her mother. And likely not by accident. Both Hillary and Bill Clinton were raised by fathers who set poor examples—a reminder of the crucial role fathers play in raising society’s future leaders.

Certainly, Jackie Robinson is an example of a man who developed himself into an upstanding leader in spite of a deadbeat dad. (Robinson’s mother raised Jackie and his four siblings alone after their father abandoned them.) So, the point of today’s column is to encourage men to be great fathers—not that an imperfect father determines one’s future. Continue reading

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Jun
05
2017

I Know What You’re Reading This Summer

05, Jun

By Katie Kieffer

Girl Reading Book

The average American child will spend 405 hours this summer watching TV and Internet videos: Be a great example and read. Reading is proven to make us healthier, happier and wiser. So grab a cold Corona (keeping this example to yourself, at least for now) and pick up a book!

One evening while staying at Sea World Orlando, I looked up from dinner to notice a family of four eating beside me. All four were peering at smartphones or tablets (including the children who both appeared to be under the age of six). Continue reading

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Feb
13
2017

What Normal People Want

13, Feb

By Katie Kieffer

Millennials

Less than 1% of American adults identify as transgender and most Americans support President Trump’s recent immigration order—but you would think (from how much we publicly discuss refugees and sexual identity) that most Americans are LGBT open border activists.

Most Americans are very ordinary (a.k.a. sane) people who couldn’t care less whether Bruce Jenner adopted the name “Caitlyn” and identifies as transgender. The average American is also a generous and welcoming person who supports our country’s “melting pot” heritage. (There’s a reason why Budweiser’s 2017 Super Bowl “Born The Hard Way” commercial about its German founder’s immigration to the U.S. was a huge hit.) Continue reading

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