Saturday, January 29, 2005

Epiphany…

…at least, for me.
Attn: This has nothing to do with Iraq, it’s just a personal philosophical eruption and the heated gases are heading your way…duck out now if you will! I was at lunch staring at my peas, TV screen in thebackground, when suddenly it hit me. Religion and church are two different things. Now, stick with me here.
The TV had a rodeo on and the thought occurred to me, “I’ve been to a rodeo.” In Idaho. Nothing interesting so far. Then I remembered that they opened with the national anthem, and then (gasp!), TheCowboy’s Prayer. That’s what it was called, The Cowboy’s Prayer. In public. I thought it was cool.
Now there is all this talk of separation of Church and State being the law of the land, but I’m telling you, as I stared at those peas, I realized we have all been duped by the switching of the meaning of one word for another. Those two words, church and religion, seem the same but really are different things. I can’t believe it took me ten years to figure this out, some of you probably had this revelation years ago.
A church is a church, an organization; but religion is a practice, a freedom, a “Right“. The founders wanted to keep government from melding with an organized church, like say the Catholic church or the Protestant church, or to keep say, the Baptists from running the government. But never to keep RELIGION out of government. They thought the combination was good!
That’s why prayers open congress and were used to open the school day, and bibles are sworn upon in court. Yes, Churches are kept out, not religion. Don’t we still pledge to be “one nation, under God?” That’s why on coins, printed by the government, it says IN GOD WE TRUST. That’s why the Ten commandments are found in many court houses, including the Supreme Court. Because the Ten C‘s, along with being the foundation of law in America, are religious, but are not an institute of religion.
When a city has a memorial in the shape of a cross, it isn‘t because the Catholic Church has co-opted the city council. It’s because religion is allowed, even encouraged. Or used to be. I keep repeating it because it‘s so simple and I missed the conniving in the wording. But we bought the clever switch from those such as the ACLU. They say you can’t pray in school because of separation of church and state. Did you see the clever switch? Prayer at school isn‘t combining church and state, it is simply living one’s beliefs. I wanna bless the cafeteria food! I NEED to bless the cafeteria food, is that so wrong!?
No Church became one with the school. The wording is subtly, but irrefutably, different in meaning. Alas, the situation has already progressed to “the right not to be offended,” now also mysteriously found somewhere in the Constitution. Maybe I can outthink this one quicker…hmmm. Sorry! I just never saw it in that light before. You know how when you discover late in life something that everyone else caught on to when they were two? That would be me. So, why didn’t they catch that in the courts…???
Hopefully this won’t happen again. A long-winded,self-centered letter, I mean.
Ernie

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