Throughout the 80’s, we were ensconced in the suburbs, going to a small school run by our church, which helped the leaders police nonconforming thought and behavior. Everything in our lives revolved around our church congregation, with the exception of our sports teams. Mom had her sixth child, and eventually a seventh. She was expected to stay home, and she did heroic work taking care of us all, even as she was marginalized. Our church culture had been created from scratch, out of nothing, just like the suburban landscape. There was no connection to the past, and little attempt to draw from the wisdom of tradition accumulated by previous generations. A vague emptiness washed over me as we drove endless loops through the suburbs. The more insular we became, the more incapable we were of discerning the complexities of the world outside our church bubble. We were ever more vulnerable to manipulation by those who told us that existential threats lurked around every corner. We were fearful, combative, and antagonistic members of the body politic, rather than stakeholders interested in and able to contribute to the greater good. We were well versed in private character, but completely unaware of the need for public character.