Any honest assessment of our founding must conclude that we are a nation founded on the principles of, faith in God. Our government buildings proclaim it, our money declares it, and the writings of many of the founders of our nation prove it. "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". Many in our nation claim this simple statement means that our government cannot engage in any recognition of a God, or endorse any expression of the existence of a God. I believe this is blatantly false. To me, this statement, the very first words of our first amendment, are to limit the government from restricting the free exercise of religion. I do not believe that it means that the government can, in no way, acknowledge the existence of God, all evidence to the contrary is already a part of our history. Simply put, it cannot force a person to believe in God, nor can it force a person to deny God; our government cannot force upon its people any religion that it has established of itself, and examples of this are in our world history. The fact that the founders of our nation and their families, were escaping tyranny in order to exercise freedom to worship is well documented also.
As a child, Christmas was a magical time, it was generally understood that Christmas was a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It was a time when our cities would decorate the street lights with depiction of trumpeted angels, the star of bethlehem, and garland with christmas bulbs stretching across intersections. The Nativity was beautifully displayed in public places, and people of all faiths joined in the celebration if they wished. It didn't mean they accepted Christianity, it meant that they accepted a world wide recognition of a peaceful tradition. I knew of Jewish families that would celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas as too. Carolers would go door to door, school parties were planned and enjoyed, it was just a happier time of year. And yes, there was Santa Claus, a secular part of the celebration who was just as important to many children. Now, lawsuits are filed in defense of liberties against organized religion. Stores and towns still decorate, but it is all secular and in celebration of a Santa Claus and presents. Many of the store employees don't know whether to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, for fear of offending someone. Christmas is only one example of a myriad of issues that we face. Freedom of religion is being attacked over and over, and political correctness is to blame.
We are being asked to be tolerant of some religions and deny tolerance of Christianity. Why? Why have we allowed this to happen? Why can't we just tolerate and respect all religion? Why is it that our fellow neighbors and our neighborhoods have become less friendly and more divisive? I like to use an analogy; it's like people are walking around with their giant big toe sticking out, waiting, perhaps hoping someone will step on it. We like to be offended, we enjoy arguing and defending our point, we believe others are all wrong and that we are right. I have no problem defending a point, but arguments solve NOTHING! Our country is so anxious to be offended by someone else that we fail to see each other as neighbors and friends. We ignore common decency and magnify our differences. Historically religion has been a good thing. Even if you don't believe, at least it teaches a positive message of love and hope. It teaches people to be honest and kind. What does it matter if you don't believe? How are you hurt by those who do?
What if I live the rest of my life as a believer, die, and find out that I was all wrong? Who have I hurt? "Dude, you could have partied more, slept with lots of women, gotten high, taken that money when no one was looking cause you know you wouldn't have been caught!" Yes, I guess I could have, but, I still don't want to be that way. We teach our children that they can do anything they set their mind to, tell athletes that they can overcome physical fatigue to be faster and stronger, tell new college grads they can work even harder to get that great job.....yet, we also tell our children, you aren't strong enough to resist premarital sex, so just go do it. If you get pregnant, you can avoid the consequences and have an abortion, so you can concentrate on what is really important in life...YOUR CAREER! Morals? What morals? We don't need no stinking morals!
Look, I'm not trying to push anyone into believing in Jesus, or any other religion. I guess what I am saying is this; people DO NOT have a RIGHT to NOT BE OFFENDED. Being offended is a choice a person makes. Religion is only one example of this, there are many, many subjects that share this same disease. We have universities establishing safe rooms for students who don't want to hear a differing point of view....seriously? What are universities for? Are they simply for indoctrination of the students? Or, do we want them to practice critical thinking, problem solving, and have an open mind. I guess the answer is yes to all three, as long as you agree with their point of view in the end.
I know this is somewhat unrelated, but it still is relevant to me anyway; this election cycle has been difficult to watch, but, it's a fight that has been brewing for a long time. I do not know the outcome, nor am I excited about any of the existing candidates. In the end, I have to vote for what ultimately more closely matches my own core beliefs; and that, my friends, is what many of our current leaders are afraid of, me, thinking for myself.
Was That Out Loud?