Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Seperation of Church and State
I don't break into political song and dance around here because I believe everyone is allowed their own opinions and mine - well, they are mine. I don't like to have your beliefs forced down my throat nor do I like to be preached to at every turn - in turn I will not preach to you. I do however believe that a good healthy debate stemming from a difference of opinions is a good thing so....you decide.
I noticed something that perhaps I have always known, but never really bothered to pay attention to. Every so often I receive the email forwards claiming that I need to 'forward if I believe' or 'send to 10 of my friends if I'm not afraid to share God' etc. I am not a forwarder...this is not something I do often - but that being said...
Religion is a touchy subject - prayer especially. The use of the word "God" in the pledge of allegiance has been questioned, prayer in the schools has been questioned, overall faith has been questioned in an effort to keep peace between differing faiths and yet organizations are willing to observe other 'non-traditional' faiths and shun the use of a protestant faith in a public setting.
I do not understand?
You see, during Thanksgiving we had a luncheon at work and one of the things we did prior to the meal was 'say a blessing.' You are not obligated to bow your head, hold hands, stand, sing praises or anything else - but as a whole we all acknowledge a belief (whatever it may be) and take a moment to say 'Thank you' for the comfort it provides us.
Growing up in the far south - football is part of our blood and a game (regardless of what the sporting event was) did not take place without the aforementioned prayer said over the loud speaker prior to the events beginning. No one was offended, no one questioned your beliefs, no one cared if you participated openly or not - we asked for one common thing - Our children to be safe during the game.
On a battlefield, there is no difference. The military is made up of many different races, religions, beliefs, but even those who do not share in the belief of a higher being can unit in one commonality - prayer before battle. Prayer for the safety of all involved - a single act of unity among the group who despite any and all differences, can come together, acknowledge what lay ahead and ask for safe passage thru whatever life brings their way.
What I do not understand about all of this, is simply, if we can find a way to accept our fellow Americans as equals and individuals then why can we not find a way to allow beliefs to be just that - individual beliefs, no less and no more than our own? Why does one student praying in class have to be made an issue? Why does the use of the word 'GOD' have to be made an issue?
Our country was started as a way to escape religious persecution and yet, here we are - a few hundred years later finding a way to let this issue become just that ... an issue.
I am not advocating teaching religion in school, I am not even saying that I believe separation of church and state is bad - I believe this is a necessary thing and that in many cases, parts of religion are wrong, but I do find comfort in prayer...in the silent acceptance it brings because ultimately we are all wanting the same thing - for everything to be alright in the end.
What are your thoughts?