Making Sadness Great Again

I think if you wanted to pinpoint a time in history when this country made a wrong choice and started down a narrow road to self-destruction (evidenced by the limp impotence of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party), when would it be?  It might have been when we added “In God We Trust,” to money, and when we added “One Nation Under God,” to the pledge of allegiance.

The original version of the pledge, written in 1892 by Socialist Francis Bellamy, was far more inclusive than today’s watered down version.

And look at that date–1892!  How the heck was anyone patriotic before then?  While its creation was aimed at dealing with a perceived threat to all things American, and to consolidate white Anglo-Saxon Protestant American values, at face value, it seemed innocent enough. 

It sounds like deja vu with what is happening today.  It was an attempt to deal with the influx of people with “other backgrounds and religions.” Sound familiar?  Like today, it put aside notions of equality and justice for all.

This change clearly goes against the very notion of separation of church and state and has resulted in our elections today more than occasionally being more about protecting a few dominant religious groups than in protecting the rights of all human beings, or even all U.S. human beings. And of course the first “real” Americans did not figure into this equation at all.

Government cannot function serving two masters–it is either for everyone or for the few.

The founding fathers appeared to have been right about this, and it seems they were far smarter than the fear mongers who brought about the changes in the 1950’s.

Most of the founding fathers might not recognize what we have become today.

When we vote for a person because they are most likely going to promote or support our own personal religious views or agendas we are not keeping church and state properly separate and we are ultimately supporting divisiveness–regardless that we tell ourselves our  intentions are well meaning.

If we see protection of other’s rights, as an affront to our own rights, we could likely benefit from revisiting the validity of our own beliefs.

Religious issues have no place in politics beyond making sure those rights of religion and personal choice remain protected.

The fact we might not “like” some of the choices others make, or that those choices go against our own personal beliefs, or that it might mean we must share some of what is on our plate, is not sufficient reason to abandon a constitution that protects those choices.

This is especially true when we attempt to create specific courts that might be more friendly to our own personal views.

Sometimes we must grit our teeth for the common good.

As soon as we use regulation to promote any religion or religious belief we kill freedom of religion and personal choice.

As soon as we use regulation to control someone else’s freedom of religion or belief, we essentially agree to have our own beliefs or religion regulated.

It is a given that no candidate for public office is on the ballot blemish free—they are all, versions or reflections of ourselves—although Mr. Trump is arguably (even to those who voted for him) a tumid aberration of ourselves.

The one we vote for should be the one who has the “highest likelihood” of moving us toward a fair, free and just world.

They should be the one that has the “best-chance” of moving us away from special interests whether they be religious, political, personal or corporate.

The ones we should avoid are the ones that promise to promote our own personal beliefs and agendas in spite of negating the needs of others.

Currently the system provides almost no candidates from either camp that fits the bill.

We have come to a time where our choices will result in almost imperceptible improvement, at a time when our choices arguably matter the most.

We have come to a time when people have the illusion of thinking for themselves when they are  merely being swayed by the bling of fake news, junk misinformation and blatant disinformation–including memes with absolutely no basis in fact.

So many of the issues we wrestle with today would be easily resolved if religion and personal interest were removed from the equation.  It is the elephant in the room that is sitting on us all and no one can escape its weight.

The loss of separation of church and state—such a nuisance to becoming a fair, free and just world.

This is a great sadness, becoming greater under our watch.  How can we let this happen?

 

Charles Buell

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