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Posts tagged ‘separation of church and state’

What about the other 14%…don’t they count?

There were several things I was choosing from to write about today. But then I got a forward from someone I love dearly, but disagree with on several issues. This one in particular started out with a statement on the Pledge of Allegiance. Then it went all the way to asking whether the U.S. is “ours” (meaning the Christians’) or the Muslims’. I’d like to tease apart some of the points made because much of what was in this forward is well-worth discussing.

I know the feelings about this issue are sensitive and I mean no disrespect with those of you with whom I do not agree.

To start with, here is the picture which, I presume, was the original forward:

If you take this all by itself, I would have a few reactions. Yes, it is in fact Kevin’s right not to stand for the pledge. That being said, we owe an incredible debt to every single soldier and their families for the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedoms and our rights. But do I agree with with the tactic of trying to guilt a child, or anyone, for that matter, into standing for the pledge? Absolutely not. We don’t know and should never presume to know the reasons why Kevin or anyone else is exercising this right. Sure, Kevin might be a disrespectful, ungrateful, lazy kid. On the other hand, Kevin might be someone who has carefully thought about this choice. He might be someone who does not feel comfortable expressing his patriotism through means that involve a pledge that talks about God. Kevin may have made his own pledge that doesn’t involve God and says it everyday and plans to enlist in the armed forces to defend this country…but we don’t know any of that, do we? And yet so many people find it easy to attack anyone who doesn’t stand for the pledge, or support having references to God on our currency.  I will come back to a few of these points, but I want to move on the rest of the forward.

Here is the text that followed this picture:

Isn’t life strange? I never met one Veteran who enlisted to
Fight for Socialism

86% will send this on.


If Muslims can pray on Madison Avenue, why are Christians
banned from praying in public and erecting religious displays
on their holy days?

Tell me again, whose country is this? Ours or the Muslims?

I was asked to send this on if I agree, or delete if I don’t. It is
said that 86% of Americans believe in God.

Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why there is
such a problem in having ‘In God We Trust’ on our money and
having ‘God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance.

I believe it’s time we stand up for what we believe!

Ok, let me take this one section at a time. First of all, if you’re meeting U.S. Veterans, no, you certainly will not find any that have enlisted to fight for Socialism as we are not a socialist nation and therefore have never battled for it. Perhaps if you chatted with a few veterans in a socialist nation you might have better luck.

86% will send this on. Well, OK, if you say so.

So if Muslims can pray on Madison Ave, why can’t Christians pray in public? Well, it’s not really true that they can’t. If anyone sits at their desk at lunch and says a prayer before they eat, I doubt anyone would have a problem with that. (without disturbing others or forcing others to listen…I’ve been in the company of many Muslims at prayer time and it is a quiet ritual…never bothered me any). If you want to sit out in a park with your church’s youth group and discuss Sunday’s sermon, don’t think anyone is going to bother you. We do, however, have separation of CHURCH and STATE. There is good, solid reason for this. By doing so we are protected from a CHURCH-RUN STATE. I, for one, am incredibly grateful for that right. And let us not forget, it is also one of the many things that our service-men and women put their lives on the line for. And if you haven’t noticed, in recent years we’ve been involved with some pretty gruesome conflicts in nations that could do well to adopt that same protection! One last thought on this…why is it that only Muslims are called out here? Just wondering…

Regarding the fact that Christians cannot erect religious displays on their holy days…well, I must live on the moon because I can’t even count how many manger scenes I saw last December around town. Once again, I think the issue is getting confused. It is a matter of the separation of Church and State. Do what you want on your property. I saw a 15-foot Santa this year. It made baby Jesus look a little insignificant by comparison, but I guess they didn’t have a giant baby Jesus at the store? I don’t know. In places where our government functions and in our public schools, to name a couple of places, why is it such a problem to honor the separation of church and state? These are places of government and institutions of learning. They are not religious centers…for anyone…not Christians, not Buddhists, not Muslims, not ANYONE.

Tell me again, whose country is this? Ours or the Muslims?

HONESTLY? Is this for real? First of all…I have to assume by the rest of the text here that “Ours” is meant to read “the Christians.” You might want to take a look at some recent statistics on the incredible number of religions currently represented in this country before you start separating the nation in TWO groups. And second…I don’t know how much of American history should play into this, but I’d wager there are quite a few Native Americans who would have a very interesting answer to this particular question!

So it’s “said that 86% of Americans believe in God.” Again, I have to assume the writer was referring solely to the Christian God. Well, I don’t know where this statistic came from and I don’t really care. Let’s just assume it is spot-on. What about the other 14% of Americans? Do their beliefs count for nothing? Should they be chastised in a school room for not standing up to take part in a pledge that discusses a God they do not believe in? Should each of them be reminded each time they purchase food for their families and hand over their money that perhaps they aren’t really welcome members of this so-called melting pot society?

Go ahead, stand up for what you believe. That too, is an American freedom. But think it through first. Consider not just your segment of this country’s population, but the whole country.

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