Thursday, December 16, 2004

Merry PC-mas!

Merry PC-mas! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but not too jolly lest ye upset someone who does not care to participate in your festivities. This is one of my favorite PC-mas songs:

rest ye merry gentlepersons
Let nothing you dismay
was born on some day
To save us all from bad choices
When we had gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy!
O tidings of comfort and joy!
From our PC Parent
A special winged-being came
And unto certain farm-animal technicians
Bro't tidings of the same
How that in some city was born
The child of by name

Before you laugh, remember that it might hurt my feelings, so take care that I can’t see or hear you when you do it and that no one else can either, because they may tell me.

Ridiculous as this may seem, it may well come to pass. A few weeks ago I was watching Hannity and Colmes on Fox News. [aside: yes, I watch Fox and you should consider if you have ever actually watched it to decide for yourself, or just taken someone else’s opinion that it’s bad.] The show focused on the recent Cupertino, CA scandal. The guests included a representative from the Atheists of Silicon Valley and Michael Newdow, who some may recognize as the man leading a challenge to having “God” in the pledge of allegiance.

The atheist was trying to make the point that there is no place for God in our government. He was asked about the references to God in the Declaration and he claimed that the Declaration of Independence is not a founding document as it was written years before the government was formed with the ratification of the Constitution. As expected, he used the “separation of church and state” clause of the Constitution as his argument. When pressed he had to admit that the phrase never appears in the document. He tried to recover lost ground by suggesting that it is alluded to and buttressed his point with Jefferson’s personal letter that actually does use the phrase. He was asked about the next part of the statement and said, “that is a separate clause.”
Michael Newdow is fighting “for his daughter” so that her religious freedom is not infringed. His position is that she should not have to say “God” in the pledge. The fact that she likes the pledge as it is and attends church regularly is immaterial to her estranged father. Newdow’s claim was that religion is “divisive” because not everyone in the country believes in God and, for example, is offended by “In God We Trust” on our currency.

Alan Colmes rose to the defense pointing to the fact that the Constitution does not mention God, except in an offhand way in the First Amendment. Alan was asked where he thinks blessings come from, because, it was pointed out, the preamble of the Constitution includes the phrase “Blessings of Liberty.” He was caught in the conundrum. The founders may have been deists, as some argue, but that still means they believed in something and ‘blessings’ derive from some power greater than man.

Where is the divisiveness that gives rise to this myth? It seems to me that the divisiveness stems from the throats of that small segment pressing their views on the rest of society. It should be noted that altogether, a recent study determined, those opposed to “God” in school, on money, and in government amounts to about 8% of the population. I would suggest that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” means what it says: there will be no church of the United States. How that is separated from it’s rejoinder, “or prohibiting the free expression thereof,” is beyond me unless what you want to do is prohibit people from freely expressing their religion.

The Salvation Army does wonderful social good and helps many people. In an effort to avoid contributing to religious divisiveness Target and Toys-R-Us have barred the bell-ringers from their doorsteps. Who is Ebenezer Scrooge here? The church goers trying to help their fellow man or the politically correct? How is it divisive to display nativity scenes? The Grinch would be comfortable and feel at home in the ACLU and the atheists trying to steal Christmas from this country. Another important pillar of this country is ‘rule by majority’ which doesn’t mean the minority is oppressed. Far from it, the majority is required by law to protect the rights of the minority, but not at the cost of their own. This seems to be something we’ve forgotten.

December is a wonderful time of year. It opens with Hannukah, includes Christmas, and New Years. All three are celebrations thousands of years old. Contrary to popular opinion, the Mayo Clinic and other researchers have found that suicide rates do not rise during holiday celebrations when people are far too busy “because it may be easier to repress troublesome thoughts during these times of greater social interaction." This is not a season of divisiveness but rather a season where many people gather together and celebrate our common brotherhood irregardless of nationality, creed, or race. Happy Holidays “and God bless us everyone.”


At 4:01 PM, Blogger Brasil66 said...

8% ??? More fundy lies. The BIG lie, really. Yanks have a thing for getting it wrong, the whole picture, the rest of the world, all seen through Yankee eyes. Soon to end, soon to end, but not soon enough. continue your absurdist rant, get history wrong, even your own, and pay the price. Your religious thinking is peurile, your methodology, High School level. think twice next time, then shut up.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger jmstettner said...

Well, brasil66, it seems I've touched a nerve. I must say that I am amused by your comments. I get it all wrong, but you don't say how. Since I'm so wrong about history, including my own, perhaps you could be kind enough to correct me. While you're doing it, perhaps you could use less angst and more logic. The lyric of your prose has a beat, but it's hardly clever or persuasive.


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