Tag Archives: Christianity

Obamaprayer – Is the “No Prayer in Schools” Law Really His Fault?

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America is a nation that consists of individuals from many different religions.  For instance, there are many thousands of Christians.

According to the 2011 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, from which members in the United States are combined with Canadian members, and of the National Council of Churches, the five largest denominations are:

 

Depending on religious definitions and varying population data, the United States is also home to the largest or second largest (after Israel) Jewish community in the world. In 2012, the American Jewish population was estimated at between 5.5-8 million.

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Then, there are the Muslims.  A lot of Muslims live in America.   In 2005, more people from Islamic countries became legal permanent United States residents — nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades.In 2009, more than 115,000 Muslims became legal residents of the United States. Thomas Jefferson defended religious freedom in America including those of Muslims.   Jefferson explicitly mentioned Muslims when writing about the movement for religious freedom in Virginia. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote “[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom… was finally passed,… a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’

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There are also a lot of Americans that do not choose to follow any religious doctrine at all.  They are just as American as any other American living in the USA, and are protected under the exact same Constitution.      Atheists comprise almost 10% of the world population.

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These are only a few of the religions  in the USA.  There are many others.   My point is that in the United States of America, we have a diverse religious culture. Our religious preferences are choices.  They are not mandated by the government.  This is stated in the Constitution.

The leader of this country, our President,  is a Christian.  That is his choice.  In the United States, freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Freedom of religion is also closely associated with separation of church and state, a concept advocated by Thomas Jefferson.  President Obama was not elected President to exclusively uphold the Christian religion, nor was any President.  He was elected President to uphold the Constitution that governs this diverse nation.

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Because there are so many different religions in the United States, public schools are banned from mandating religious observances such as prayer.  If it were allowed, and our children were lead into prayer, WHICH RELIGION would have the right to dictate that?  If you are Muslim, would it be ok with you if your kid was forced to say a Christian prayer?  If you are Christian, would you approve if he or she was asked to pray to Allah?  This is not an anti-Christian sentiment.  It is not an anti-Jewish one.  It is common sense.   Apart from common sense, the legal basis for this prohibition is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which requires that:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

The first part of the above amendment which reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” is known as the Establishment Clause, while the second part (“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”) is known as the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Though each of these clauses originally applied only to the central US government, the Fourteenth Amendment extended the scope of the entire First Amendment to all levels of government, including the state level—thus compelling states and their subject schools to adopt an equally detached approach to religion in schools.  These are not Barack Obama’s personal rules.  They are the laws as stated in the Constitution.  He was elected to uphold that Constitution, and he is doing a fine job of it.

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If your kid wants to pray in school, there is nothing stopping him or her.  When little Timmy or Sally opens up that lunch box and sees the delicious lunch that his fathers or mothers or father or mother has prepared for him or her, there is no law that says he or she cannot lift up his heart to God and say, “Thank you!”.    If the President of the United States can take time out of his work to pray (which he does daily), then kids can pray whenever they want to as well.  They simply cannot be mandated by their school administration to do so because there are so many different religions here.

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Both conservative and liberal religious believers who want to see more of their own religion involved in public policies invariably make the argument that only their religion is “legitimate” and “true” while the others are following some sort of “false” or “hijacked” religious faith.In 2007, Barack Obama spoke to the congregation of the United Church of Christ’s Iowa conference.  He said:

…somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it is because the so-called leaders of the Christian right are all too eager to exploit what divides us. …I don’t know what Bible they’re reading. But it didn’t jibe with my version.

 

 

I agree with Barack Obama.

An impressive post about guns…Posted by: Helen Philpot | December 15, 2012

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What follows is a blog post about guns that has been floating around Facebook.  It expresses my sentiments perfectly, so I thought I would re-post it here.  I hope the author, Helen Philpot,  will not mind, and I will drop her a line to make sure it’s all copacetic.

I do not own guns.  None of my children own guns. My husband does not own guns. My parents do not own guns.  This is something I am quite proud of.  No disrespect intended toward those who make a different choice, but I’ve never really understood gun culture and all that it signifies.  I am not the least bit impressed by guns, gun ownership nor anything else having to do with guns.   I have always personally considered it a bit back-woodsy and redneck, although I know there are plenty of folks out there who would disagree with me, and that’s your right.  You have the right to carry guns.  I just think, personally, that it’s dumb.   Having that opinion is MY right.

Please read what Ms. Philpot has to say about the whole thing.  I share her opinion…to a tee.

Ms. Philpot wrote: 

Margaret, can we – the American People – finally have a rational conversation about gun control?

It was an elementary school this time – an elementary school with children the same age as my grandchildren. I can hardly bear it. Those poor precious children…

Is the insanity of this enough for us to finally kick the NRA morons to the curb and have an intelligent conversation about the real reason for the Second Amendment?

Yes. I know. Guns do not kill people. People using guns kill people. The same can be said about tanks.

I have no doubt that in the coming days we will learn that no laws or gun control of any kind could have prevented this tragedy. There are millions of guns already out there and new gun control laws won’t do anything about that… bad people can always find a way to get a gun. Most gun owners are responsible people who have legitimate reasons to own a gun. So there’s nothing we can do, right?

Bullshit. Not doing anything is not the answer. It’s the problem. I refuse to believe that hunters and responsible gun owners can’t have a meaningful conversation about better gun laws with citizens who do not wish to own guns.

We are already hearing about the mental instability of the shooter – a child himself. And there will be meaningful conversation about the lack of good mental health policies and how that was the cause of all this and not gun control laws. Everyone can agree that mental illness, just like any illness, should not go untreated. So where is the disconnect? Why are conversations about mental illness and gun control mutually exclusive? Please Dear God if Republicans and Democrats can ever come together about something, this must be it. And for those of you who think now is not the time to talk about gun laws, I wholeheartedly agree. That conversation should have happened long ago. And it definitely should have happened before 20 precious children lost their lives.

It doesn’t matter what type of gun was used. It doesn’t matter if that gun was obtained illegally or legally. It doesn’t matter if the person was mentally unstable or just plain evil. What matters is that the most powerful country on the globe must have an intelligent conversation about the manufacturing, sale and ownership of guns without someone screaming nonsense about the 2nd Amendment.

Guns do not kill people. They make it easier to kill people. There are 314 million Americans and we own almost 300 million guns. That is the very definition of mental illness. I mean it. Really.

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Update:  And now, this one just showed up from a Christian minister.  I am impressed by it as well:

 

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Happy Holidays

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Sometimes, I think the political Right will use any excuse they can find to undermine the President.  The latest is the term, “Happy holidays” as it refers to the new holiday tree that just went up in the White House.  They claim that President Obama is undermining Christianity by using the word, “holiday” rather than “Christmas”.  That claim is just dumb.  The man, himself, is a Christian.  Not only that, when the tree was rolled in on a horse drawn wagon, it had the words, “CHRISTMAS TREE” posted broadly on the side.

 The term, “Happy holidays” is used because this country consists of a lot of different religions AND the non-religious….and a ton of people celebrate in December….not just the Christians.   This is not exclusively a Christian country.  Remember?  The term, “Happy holidays” is inclusive of everyone.  It is not, at all, disrespectful toward Christians, because it literally means, “Holy days” AND it includes Christmas as well.

Please give this Presiden bashing a break, will ya?  It’s almost…dare I say it….CHRISTMAS!  HE says ,”Merry Christmas!”  Stop making crap up!