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One Nation... Divisible
By Russ Wood July 7, 2005

The US Supreme Court is supposed to make a ruling on the Texas and Kentucky cases of the Ten Commandments soon. All that is left for us ornery folk to do is wait and see if the Supreme Court follows the spirit of the law, or the letter.

You would think that a panel of wise, mature justices would take into consideration the reasons why the constitution was set up as it was, but the fact that this issue is in the Supreme Court now causes me to believe otherwise.

Well, why is separation of church and state part of our constitution? Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of US history should realize this was put in place to protect the citizens of the United States from having a belief system enforced on them. So I guess we need to examine whether or not that is actually happening in order to determine if someone is violating the constitutional laws. You know, just in case the Supreme Court forgets to do that part.

I think the best thing to do is look at a few of the people doing the actual suing. Take a look at Michael Newdow, the man who brought the words "under God" under the scrutiny of "Supreme Beings". The man is proud to be an atheist. He bears the title "America's Least Favorite Atheist" on his sleeve. Did the words "under God" ever force him to adopt a belief system that he didn't want? I'm gonna hafta say no, here.

Then there's Thomas Van Orden, who is partly responsible for bringing the Ten Commandments brouhaha as far as it is now. Somehow, I doubt he is on a prayer pilgrimage to save the sinner now. Obviously, the government's mention of God hasn't affected these men. In fact, their adamancy in fighting against religion is pretty good proof against their claims; namely, that someone might be affected (for good?).

Just what are they afraid will happen? One day their children will drive by the Ten Commandments monument, or say a line from the Pledge of Allegiance and instantly adopt a belief system that was against their parents'? Well, where does individual choice become negated? The fact of the matter is, their children are living in a country that now protects them from any consequence of religious choice, due to any wild fits of agency.

Nobody will be hanged or beheaded for heresy. As far as I know, there haven't been any red laser-sight dots scrambling across my head in case I don't pledge my allegiance to the flag.

And I have to wond... just what problem would Van Orden and Newdow have with their children adopting a belief system that might provide a higher accountability system than the US government has in place? Might get some morals? What is so wrong with being religious, anyway? Surely, most mainstream religions provide a guide for civility, which if adhered to, might solve a lot of the problems our nation faces.

The funniest thing of all is that nobody is being punished for being atheist, or for not being a certain religion. That freedom is still in place. But if these laws are adopted, and our constitution amended to omit any mention of God or religion by a government institution, then people would be punished for not adopting Newdow's belief system. Isn't that what the ACLU claims to be fighting against?

Whose civil liberties would be violated, anyway? Just sayin'.

Copyright © 2005 by Russ Wood


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