~Living a life of sophisticated domestication deep in the heart of Texas~

Monday, July 30, 2012

Speaking of....

....I did read with interest (and one eyebrow elevated) J.A’s Independence Day column in which he laments – as religious conservatives so very often do – Supreme Court rulings and related developments of justice that have restrained Christianity from quite dominating society. You know, what with that dirty no-good ACLU, so busy “getting God, the Bible and prayer out of our schools and the workplace” even as “other religions and radical groups…receive special treatment.” He recalls ruefully how Satan won when alcohol was made available for sale to (local) adults, and now here we are with all this passing out condoms instead of copies of the Ten Commandments. And not letting anyone sing “Jesus Loves Me.”

God bless those who see that the "no establishment" provision of the Bill of Rights clearly authorized such historic steps as ending compulsory sectarian prayer in public schools and, for another example, banning loudspeaker prayer “in Jesus’ name” at public school district football games. Measures like that have been nothing but fair and are lamentable only to those who have a problem conceding equal rights to their neighbors.

Worse by far than anything from Professor A was Hobby Lobby’s full page of right-wing “Christian Nation” graffiti on July 04. Kicking myself now, as I had forgotten they were like that and went in there for something just the other day. We need to remember Hobby Lobby plainly does not want our heathen patronage, and try to go to the other places. The same holds true for those shops with a fish symbol – “Christian dollars only, please,” I’m pretty sure it means, so I try to honor that.

And for all you smart-alecks who have an issue with “In God We Trust” on the currency: Word is it’s a free country, and one with an activist’s heart need not meekly endure this kind of thing. Collect some ones and fives and tens and when you’ve got a few minutes, get you a red ballpoint pen and go to correcting. Simply scratch out the presumptuous “motto,” and while you’re at it you might leave a little free speech there underneath in neat block print. “STOP ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION,” I always used to say. Or hey, what if one had a little rubber stamp made? Certainly it’s a good feeling if we can make a difference, however small.

Speaking of, how about that Higgs boson? Wasn’t I just telling y’all a while back about the way subatomic phenomena speak of a living universe that contains its own meaning and purpose? In its way, science gestures toward the Wonderful Law or Dharma extolled in Buddhism. Accordingly, when we consider the cellular nucleus and the atomic nucleus in turn, it would appear that life proceeds from a truth that is inscribed within and ever within, and so belongs to us originally and fundamentally.

With the objective, testable nature of reality turning out to be this positive and inspirational, why isn’t everyone retreating from dogma that says we have no intrinsic worth and deserve eternal suffering? Oh wait, they are.

I have every confidence that the Pledge of Allegiance continues to be recited in school and at PTA meetings in our town, and for that matter I’ll bet it is still broken up with pauses between the phrases: “I pledge allegiance. To the flag. Of the United States of America. And to the republic.” That method is a real blessing to those of us who want to participate but prefer the original version without “under God” stuck in there. The pause right after “one Nation” is where one can raise his or her voice a little and proudly declare “one nation indivisible,” making the omission conspicuous. Individualism is inevitable in a society that values equality and respect the way we do. I don’t understand getting all worked up about the Pledge of Allegiance when it is so easy to adapt and have an attitude of cooperation.


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