Pagans Speak Out on the 'Pledge' #1
Article Specs |
Article ID: 4363
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,446
Times Read: 5,219
Author: Christina Aubin [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 30th. 2002
Times Viewed: 5,219
On matters of religion and government - I make it no secret that I am in high favor of the separation of church and state - theocracies have a long and harsh history, no doubt begun by well meaning folks but ending horribly wrong, violating their own religious teachings and laws, under the assumption that it is okay to bend the word by which they seek to live their lives when there is a perceived good against evil struggle. Many folks can easily justify the act of killing if it is in the name of promoting a religion, cleansing the population of evil and other such justifications.
Reading through history, the horror of religious abuses of power come screaming from the pages - their victims often forgotten, falling into the anonymous terms of statistics. One striking scene for me is the burning of Protestants at the stake by Catholics, and make no mistake that the opposite was also true in other areas and times. If Christians can not find common ground and harmony with other Christians - how on earth will they ever find common ground with non-Christian religions?
I can not believe that any God, of any religion, condones murder in that Deity's name - despite our different faces, rituals, and teachings - we all carry one identifying virtue, our humanity. When we are so willing to cast aside the humanity of another in the name of spiritual warfare, haven't we become the very thing that we struggle against? Throughout the religious teaching of various cultures, religions and mythological structures - striving to win the personal war against good and evil is the goal of each individual. When we carry out heinous acts in the name of that Deity we claim to serve, have we not become the most vile form of evil?
The founding fathers, despite their much evident humanness, were able to see through the history of the founding of this country, European history and the horrendous repeated collapse of everything that makes us the beautiful people we are in the acts of the Inquisition or ethnic cleansing. This is why they set forth to establish a country that would not make the continued and terrible mistakes of its European counterparts, by one group claiming religious and moral authority and superiority over the population and its groups, with its typical conclusion that a purification of that which is different must occur.
Despite all our differences we are all still members of the human race - and thus connected - perhaps not in matters of religion, politics, race, and a host of other personal distinctions - but in what is truly important - our human condition.
I understand the ruling -however I was very surprised - as I too grew up with the Pledge of Allegiance - at some level it has taken root in our country's psyche and thus this ruling stimulates the defense mechanisms, However I do understand why the justices ruled as they did - and if one child - an American child feels isolated from the "American club" because of the reference to a Deity of the majority - then perhaps we can devise a less exclusionary way to express our patriotism and dedication to the ideals we strive to express -- because every American and every American child is indeed American and should never feel isolate from all Americans.
Religious belief or lack there of, does not mean a lack of patriotism, but rather a differing religious philosophy, even if it is a non belief. Given the crushing expression of religious fanaticism we have experienced - should we perhaps refrain from the mistakes of the past - and not have to tie a Deity to government, religion does not give this country its moral authority - our commitment to democracy, human rights, and the higher ideals that transcend all religions and ethical structures - the ideals that celebrate the very best of our collective humanity,
One needs to remember that the words "under god" were added in the height of red scare - the war of democracy and its social ideals against communism and non-personal expression. These words were added to evoke the timeless battle of good against evil in the minds and hearts of the American people - the battle of the god state (America) against the godless (communism) - the crusades again........ always a effective rallying call throughout history..... the reason so many went to war in the middle east from Europe - to cleanse the holy land from the godless moors...... which wasn't quite the way it was, but it worked to further the quest for expanding land holdings - although they never did quite succeed as they had wished.
Although I am not one who easily feels left out due to semantics - I would hate there to be any American who feels less American due to their religious or non religious beliefs - after all we all are American and would fight to retain that sovereignty - and luckily so - if we were not we may not even be able to discuss the matters and differences of religion, politics, and policies.
Be well everyone!
Location: North Shore, Massachusetts
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