I'm sorry that I've gotten behind on reading and commenting on all my favorite blogs. I will try to catch up this weekend. And I thought of a good post to work on. Fox and Friends were talking about the Separation of Church and State and how so many people don't understand what that really means. Well, I might as well go ahead and say what I was thinking since I'm here anyway.
Here's what the Constitution says:
Article I (First Amendment)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We have to remember that our founding fathers were reacting to England's struggles with the establishment of an 'official' religion. There was tremendous persecution done on behalf of religious differences. This was one of the main reasons that the colonists came here. This is why this issue is put first in the First Amendment. It was that important. It still is.
Let's look at what it says exactly. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." What that means is that there will be no law that establishes an National Religion of any kind. What it does not mean is that there can't be laws that respect religious establishments. But to hear some people talk you'd think that's what they think it means. They are totally misreading it. They want to think it means that the government can't have any religious expressions. But that's NOT what it says. People who object to "In God We Trust" on our money and "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and any other phrase that mentions God or any other religious concept are actually VIOLATING the First Amendment. They want to conveniently forget that "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" part. Hello? Free exercise thereof. That means that I have every right to say Christmas, and so does my kids' school and the courthouse and any other person or place that wants to. Calling a decorated tree in a government building a 'Christmas tree' is NOT establishing a religion. It is only the free exercise thereof.
I know some people will say, "Oh, but what about other religions? Why can't they have whatever to celebrate their holidays? If you have a Christmas tree then you should have a Hanukkah tree or whatever too." Well, no one is stopping someone from doing that if they really want it. If you have a town that is mostly Jewish then they would probably focus on their own traditions. If a Christian minority there felt left out then they could do something of their own. Big deal. With freedom comes the responsibility to respect other views. That's what the whole First Amendment is about anyway. And that applies equally to atheists, fundamentalists, and everyone else. If someone is offended by a Christmas tree then they need to reread their history and the Constitution.
Our founding fathers were very spiritual people. They believed in God, and they believed that Divine Providence guided them in creating our nation. People need to go back and reread the Declaration of Independence. For your convenience here are the first two and the last paragraphs:
The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
There is a lot of mention of God in there. In today's political environment if we were trying to establish our Independence from Britain it would never happen because of all the dumbasses who can't understand plain English and who refuse to try. That really scares me and bothers me.