Sunday, March 30, 2008

In God We Trust - Part Two

Okay, let’s try this again.

A few days ago I received an email about our national motto, “In God We Trust,” being removed from Post Office walls. This upset me, and I posted the email for your consideration. (It’s the post just below this one.)

I received one comment, and almost immediately realized that I needed to explain my upset … ness.

Ya see, it’s like this; I’m fully aware that there’s a war raging in this country. Religion is under attack. You know that. There are those individuals who appear to delight in pointing out the letter of the law. They argue that separation of church and state insures not freedom OF religion, but freedom FROM religion. Legalistically, they could be correct. On the other hand, it’s my opinion that a belief in God was so imbedded in our founding father’s way of life that they couldn’t conceive of anyone being without it. And, as a result, they felt no need to spell out what, to them, was obvious.

That’s my opinion, and I could be wrong. But I don’t think so.

But that’s not what bothers me.

THIS is what bothers me. I don’t care if religious symbols and sayings in government have been around for ten lifetimes, five lifetimes, or two lifetimes. They’ve been around for MY lifetime! I take comfort in these things being prominently displayed in public places. This tells me that my country, the most powerful on earth, places the government under a HIGHER authority, and under a strict set of moral guidelines. And following these guidelines prohibit us from doing truly stupid things … like invading countries that are not at war nor pose any threat to us.

And THIS bothers me. Who are the people responsible for my symbols being taken away? They are, if you can believe in statistics, a small percentage of the people who live in this country – a VERY small percentage. Excuse me. I thought this was a democracy here! Whatever happened to majority rule?

On the other hand, my friend Nicki put it this way. “I guess what steams me is what steams you too -- that a vocal minority can get all het up about something that is not that important. God IS important, of course, but when I say "In God We Trust" I mean "I am trusting God that the path I am taking is the right path and that I am following His will and not screwing things up." Not "We are going to fight this war and we trust that God will win it for us." You must carry your belief in your heart, not put your faith in symbols or, well, false idols as it were. America was founded on freedom--freedom to worship differently, but also think differently. In England, you could go to jail for being blasphemous or speaking out against the king. We are so used to freedom of speech that we take it totally for granted--we take it as a RIGHT--and we forget that it's worth fighting for. Is the right to put the ten commandments up on the wall a right worth fighting for? If it offends other people--do you have the right to offend other people? Or be offended when they take your commandments down?”

So … whadda ya think? I’m looking for guidance here. I want to accommodate people, but shouldn’t there be a point where I take a stand – enough is enough. I’m told to be loving. I’m told to be meek. There’s a line from an old song that keeps coming back to me, “It’s not the earth the meek inherit, it’s the dirt.” I’m beginning to wonder if that could be true.

And how was your day?

1 comment:

Birdie said...

Hi, Jack, don't you just hate when you really want people to comment on your blog and then you get 0 comments? I found this post interesting, but even more so since the meeting I went to last evening. It was with a few people at my church and we discussed the words "compassion" and "justice". I think when it comes to the word "justice", we may see "justice" come about in different ways. For some people, the posting of something spiritual, specifically that may lean towards a specific "religion" may seem unjust to the rest of the population. I understand that. Their way of making things "just" is to change what they see so that everyone will experience the same thing. (I hope I'm making sense here). Unfortunately, at times this procedure will only take away from someone else's rights. We are ALL different and believe differently. As a follower of Christ, I believe justice should come about through HIS compassion and love. If I try to bring about justice any other way, forcefully, then am I any different than those who bombed the World Trade Center in the name of their religion? I don't believe in being passive for passiveness sake, but I believe in living like Jesus. At times that may mean speaking out, at times that may mean letting God deal with it HIS way. I don't think it will always look the same. Anyway, that's my two cents, whatever that's worth (two cents?).