Public & Private Freedoms


Public school prayer and the Ten Commandments displayed in the courtroom here in Alabama needs to be dealt with void of emotion. I would like to unequivocally support our first great amendment to the Constitution in our Bill of Human Rights, which supports freedom of conscience we call freedom of religion. The gross misinformation that floats around our society indicating that our country was founded on Christian principles is in error. Religious persecution was one primary cause of the migration from Europe to America. Freedom is a glorious human right that is hardly appreciated by fundamentalists. People whose passion gets
out of balance apparently believe they would be doing Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad justice by placing a gun to the head of someone and forcing their verbal allegiance. Perhaps it is good to remember that Adolf Hitler was the master at using this powerful tool of social conformity. 

Jesus taught a great lesson regarding this very subject. (Matthew chapter 6, verses 5-6) This prayer issue should have created a great schism in the Christian theological (new word) empire. Jesus apparently knew religion was a form of control which would hopefully produce a better society. In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, he said that prayer should be confined to private. Apparently he was conscious of the self-serving motives of those who want to "pray" in public. Those people who say our society is founded on "Christian" principles and who also want prayer in schools really want more recruits so they can consequently feel
secure in numbers. It would appear fundamentalists like being intoxicated with religion and public prayer is merely symptomatic of their addiction. 

Politics controls by law and external forces whereas religion controls by moral law and subsequently internal force. Thus, it follows that both are art forms of similar persuasion and control. Perhaps it is good to understand such. Religion and politics share a common force called passion. Personally, passion seems a great characteristic, but like anything great, it can easily get out of balance. Does not Saddam Hussein's subjects share some Islamic passion? Jesus apparently wanted to control the passion of his followers by making them more pensive through private prayer. I thoroughly agree with Jesus and I see as suspect those who want to pray and display their piety in public. 

Charles Darwin identified our quest for life in all of us but it is this very quest that has also created our quest for immortality which would placate our vanity. Remember what Solomon said "All is vanity". We must bury this vanity our capitalist society is trying to build in all of us (with the help of churches I might add) Our vanity creates a selfishness in our capitalist society the Epicurean could hardly dream of. Is it not vain to think a God listens to us and counts the hairs on our heads? Prayers may be the ultimate in vanity. Let us follow the admonition of Jesus and pray in private; it seems the only sane way to be. 

The U.S. was not founded on some homogeneous religious creed, but rather on freedom glorious religious freedom to be Buddhist, Deist, Hindu, agnostic, Christian, atheist, pagan, Jew or whatever. However, I for one will forever seek to expose the shortcomings of any creed that doesn't seek to make this world a better place. I am not so sure that fundamentalists of any generation make this world a better place. 

We must celebrate the glorious diversity of America. Let us give tolerance and respect to all who are deserving of same. We should never seek to homogenize our society through any form of public religious display, including the Ten Commandments on a wall, public prayer or nativity scenes, etc. All religion is private and does not belong in public. No two people on this earth believe exactly the same. I am immensely pleased to live in such a great country that allows religion to co-exist but to never dominate or be dominated by society. The communist countries of this century tried experimenting with this drug of choice we call religion and we see what happened to them. To allow religious display in public is a terrible way to put pressure on someone to conform or exhibit someone's piety. If you want to do the religious thing, go to your
church, temple or mosque. While you are there, celebrate our glorious diversity in this, one of the greatest countries in history.

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