Jul 4, 2009 Political
I know, I will be attacked by the irreligious left, those pesky atheists that are so sure that they are correct, bless their stony little hearts- these are people who have no higher purpose in life but to live it, and unfortunately, they are well on their way to teaching your kids that there is no God. No wonder there are kids acting out. They have been left twisting in the wind by morally ambiguous people who offer no alternatives.
Our country was founded on Christian principles, despite the false assertions of the Godless left. While the signers of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution had many different sects of Catholicism, Protestantism, and there were Quakers, Deiists, and, I am sure, some agnostics among them, humanity beings are, while if nothing else, diverse in opinion, the consensus would be that of an overwhelming Christian nature.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the Pennsylvania co- signers of the Declaration of Independence said, “I’ve lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I have lived, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”
That is a powerful endorsement from one of the fathers of our country, and one whose advice we disregard at our peril. But there are still voices that say that this is a diverse nation, one in which not all people are Christian, but other faiths as well, indeed there are others who observe no faith at all, and to that I say great- the more opinions the better, and civil discourse is a great part of what has made this nation what it is today.
But we cannot forget our roots religiously, no matter what sect, or branch, or distinctly different religion we come from. While the Ten Commandments came from the Bible, and this is the basis of our laws today, virtually every major religion has their variant of codes of honor and morality that they find to be comforting, a source of strength as well as guidance.
Thomas Jefferson, a signer of the Declaration, once said,”And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that their liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
It is sad that many on the left feel that religion has no place in our society today- they seek to have religious symbols stripped from buildings on the grounds that someone might find the very sight objectionable, conveniently forgetting that a human neck is capable of turning the head away from the “offending” symbol, thus alleviating the offended party from the very sight. We have come to this; that a small minority, pesky though they be, have begun to dictate to the majority of the people in this country just how we as a country must act; how we as a country must worship, or not; and how we as a country must change to conform the tiny but extremely vocal minority. The situation has become ridiculous.
While religion has been the source of wars in the past, and seems to ignite contentious feelings, this is not the fault of the religion, but of fallible and often power- hungry people who twist the writings to serve their venal needs. This is not the fault of the religion, but of the interpreters.
” To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness, which mankind now enjoys… Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government- and all blessings which flow from them- must fall with them.”
The writer of that last quote was Jedidiah Morse, a patriot and Educator, who has been called “The Father of American Geography”.
And yet there are those who would strip God from all aspects of life in the United States of America- no Pledge of Allegiance, No “In God We Trust ” on our money, the list goes on- but religion is inextricably linked throughout our culture, and has been so for centuries.
Alexis De Tocqueville, a French Observer of America in 1831, and author of Democracy in America, had this to say;
“Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and they reigned in common over the same country.”
Long may they reign.
May 10, 2009 Political
There’s always been a tug of war over religion- which one is the right one, does it offer eternal life, does it exclude belief in, or tolerance of other offshoots of that religion or others? Just what HAS religion done for us, humanity? What has it done TO us? Does the one out weigh the other in a positive way? A negative way?
All of these are thorny questions, ones that not everybody has handled with grace and tolerance- witness the schism between the S’hia and Sunni sects of Islam. Each one holds the other to be apostate, and thus an enemy of true Islam, and this goes back to one small thing- when Mohammad died, he did not leave a will, directing the continued rule of Islam in one direction, thus leading to two different interpretations of the same religion, and conflict over the disparity between the two.
The same sort of schism with Christianity- first was the Catholic church, with its eventual corruption (the selling of blessings, etc) that led to the schism that Martin Luther fostered, that became Protestantism, with Lutheran, Episcopalian, and Methodist sects of Christianity.
And then you have the Mormons, and Quakers, and others, oh my.
We won’t even get into the Eastern religions in this discussion, not that they are not important, but for this discussion, they are not germane to the conversation.
“Religion is the opiate of the masses”, was a favorite maxim of the communists, as they attempted to leach the religion out of their citizens, but for all their atheistic rant, they never quite kept the faith out of everyone’s life. So why? Why does religion hold such sway over people? What does religion do for the people?
For starters, religion grounds people, gives them a reason to go through another day, despite what at times seem like insurmountable odds. Belief in a higher being gives many people some solace in times of need. To those who do not believe, it might be a useless waste of time but to those who do believe, the peace that this belief brings is, no pun intended, a Godsend.
But let’s get down to the nitty- gritty here- just what has Religion done for people over the years?
The obvious thing is that the Ten Commandments has given us a baseline for our acceptable behavior towards other people, and started us on a pathway to a society that has laws that punish the defendant, and compassion towards the victim. Virtually every major religion has a version of these commandments, that give us a pathway to civilized behavior. This is a good thing, otherwise you have no society at all, as everyone is out for themselves, and if there is no God, and no afterlife, what is the use in following laws?
Some might say that this is the case now, but I would say that this is because not enough people have taught their children well. Religion has not been the problem- not teaching the religion has been the problem. Part of this is the disintegration of the family, where a father or mother is absent, and the children do not have a parent set that reinforces the laws and codes of behavior that the child is expected to adhere to. The phrase “God- fearing” is often used in a negative connotation to the adherence of the Commandments, but this is really a positive in the scheme of things.
If you have a fear of God and/ or his Judgement, your obedience to the Commandments may be reinforced, and you might be better able to resist the myriad temptations in life. God, in effect, becomes another parent, one who never grows old, or dies. Praying is just having a conversation with God- and everyone needs someone to talk to, even if, at times, the talk is all on one side. God is nothing if not a good listener.
Atheists often denigrate me and my faith, poo- pooing the beliefs of the Christian peoples. That’s all well and good, for I am not evangelical. I think that God has provided the book, but there will always be people who do not want to read, so I am fine with their atheism, except when it gets in my face.
That’s not socially acceptable, or very gracious, but I have come to expect ungracious behavior from some, as well as ridicule, to which I simply reply that if I am wrong in my belief, I simply lose some time in my life, but if they are wrong, they risk losing eternal life. That’s a gamble I wouldn’t take.
Do you feel lucky, punk? Well. do you?