Friday, May 12, 2006

PIECES OF PAPER AND BITS OF STONE

This is why I keep a notebook by the bed. I read something that got me going and my brain wouldn't stop chewing on it like a pup with a nice juicy bone. Now, I can keep rewriting possible journal entries in my head and never get to sleep or I can write it down and hope I can decipher it later.

 

Ran across an editorial inserted into another journal. Blogger said it came out of Florida but didn’t identify the paper. Anyway it was another of those “love it or leave it” pieces.

 

There are some things I just don’t understand. And I'm not sure that I want to.

 

Why does it matter so much if In God We Trust is engraved on our dollar bills or if the Ten Commandments are hung on a public wall? If the words aren't written on your heart the rest doesn't matter. And too many of us make it very clear every day that not all of those commandments were created equal.

 

Why should it matter so much if someone says Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or Seasons Greetings. Getting bent out of shape over how you’re greeted in public between the day after Thanksgiving and December 26th is just more noise and distraction. Heck, holiday is another way of saying holy day. And I’m only in my middle fifties, but being around to greet any season is a blessing in my book. Heck, waking up to greet another day with the cats, mom, the yard, my camera and my job is a blessing. Perhaps we should try to greet every day as a holy day and look at every place we stand as holy ground.

 

I’d love to find out when this writer’s family came over the water. Supposedly one branch of my family settled in the Plymouth Colony. There’s a signer of the Declaration out there somewhere in the wings. Some of the Smiths were in Vermont in the early 1800’s. There were some Kaisers in Iowa by the middle 1800’s. Family lore claims a part Cherokee great great grandmother. I don’t have a name or dates so I’m not going to make an official claim. But if it’s true, then my roots in this land run deeper than most. So, yippee, what have I done with it? What have I done to make this a better place?

 

Yes, most if not all of the founders were Christians. They were Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutherans and Deists. Sorry, when someone talks about a Christian” culture, what exactly are they talking about? If it isn’t written on your heart, an act of congress declaring this is a “Christian” nation is just a piece of paper. A very dangerous piece of paper. Too often in the past Christian meant white, Protestant, northern Europeans. If this is officially a “Christian” nation, is there a place at the table for those of us who aren’t?

 

America, I love you. I love you enough to believe that this isn’t the answer. I love you enough to believe that we can do better. WE CAN DO BETTER. It doesn’t matter what’s written on the papers, on the stones or on the plaques. What matters is what is written in our hearts. Because if it isn’t there…..the rest isn’t worth a damn.

 

3 comments:

toonguykc said...

Christians are in the majority here.  So why do they need public displays for  validation??  I don't get it.

xo,
Russ

lightyears2venus said...

I was cheering the whole time I read your piece.  Yesyesyes.  I came over here from an articulate blog about The Da Vinci Code and one of the commenters was so bent out shape about any form of irreverance. No room for that.   I'm sure she would also think it matters very much about holiday greetings, etc.   As you say, there are some viewpoints we'll never understand.  But it seems that we concur with the Founding Father who said to the effect, I'll never agree with you, but will defend to the death your right to say it.  It's those who don't see it that way that I take issue with.
*debbi*

lisaram1955 said...

It boggles my mind that the very people who are screaming about the US being a Christian nation are the ones who are screaming that Iraq CAN'T be a Moslem theocracy.  Oh, I see...religion running the government is all right, as long as it's MY religion...  Oy!  Lisa  :-]