Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lost at Sea

Normally I blog at my desk at the house in the bedroom that functions as my office. My Fortress of Solitude. When I am on the road I blog via my iPad where ever I can find some solitude. Today I am at the home of my Sister-in-Law in Orlando. She is a therapist working out of a sound proof office at her home. Since she has sessions most of the day, I find that the rest of the house is quiet and calm. So... with trusty iPad I attempt to blog.
To my surprise there was a Johnson Rant already on the screen when I opened up Blogsy. It was written on a ship before Christmas but was never published since the Internet connection there is often sketchy. So... here is the blog that I would have published on time at the time. The reason for writing it is dated but the feelings are not. It is risky to talk about religion or politics and in this missive I have touched on both. However, with fool hearty belief that my readers will take it with the usual understanding grain of salt, I finally publish the missing blog that was indeed lost at sea.
On a ship there are limited television stations to watch. I guess they figure if you are in your cabin watching television you are not at the bar spending money. Mostly the stations are promotions for the cruise line and advertisements on the excursions you can buy at each island destination.
Three stations are a staple for the floating audience. Two are CNN, the European version and the Spanish version. The other is Fox News.
On most any other occasion I would not be watching Fox News especially Bill O"Riley, but on a ship when most of the time I am cargo I will stray to that form of "entertainment" out of boredom. Last night was just such a case.
Bill O' was on a rant (yeah, hard to believe) about something he called the secular agenda. Evidently he believes President Obama with his "secular" supporters are trying to "de Christianize" America. At issue was manger scenes on public property and the greeting of Merry Christmas. His theory is that America was founded by Christians so it is a Christian nation. As I remember it the nation was founded on the idea of religious freedom. Anyone could believe anything they wanted without fear of government repercussions in America. Freedom is the key to that sentence. Believers in this country have the right to be free of a compulsory belief dictated by the government.
Let's suppose for a minute we are a not a country of religious freedom. Let's suppose also for argument sake that we are a Christian Nation like Bill O' rants. What sect of Christianity do we enforce? If Catholicism is the sect we enforce, are we then required to have a rosary with us at all times like a drivers license? If it is the Baptist sect we enforce, will dancing be illegal? If we are Church of Christ is music no longer allowed? If we are Church of the Nazarene then jewelry and make-up for women will be forbidden. If Christian Science is the official religion will we then outlaw all Doctors and medical treatment? You see the problem with this approach. Even in Muslim countries there is decent. The Suni's hate the Sheits and everyone hates the Jews.
The only way to let everyone believe what they believe and practice what they practice is to not involved in the discussion. Freedom of government intervention is the only way that can happen.
So Bill O' believe what you want to believe and worship a block of cheese for all I care, but don't tell me I can't have it on my Hamburger.
To me religion is like the old parable of the blind men describing an elephant. Those who touch the elephant tail think it is like a snake. The blind man who touches the ear of the Elephant think it is like a leaf. The one who touches the leg thinks an elephant is like a tree. They are all correct and they are all wrong. No one can explain God or even correctly describe him... or her (you see how it happens). In the end we will see the light and all will be clear. A loving Deity will not turn someone away from eternity because they could not see the totality of his or her magnificence.
To think anything else is to worship a fickle and King like God who like some lawyer in the sky will hold us to the letter of a man made law. If God is also Grace which most religions, Particularly Christian, believe then he can not be so cruel.
As you were,


Aaron and Judy said...

As always....very well said.

Dave Robison said...

Whenever I encounter someone that argues in favor of school prayer, I always recite "Elohai neshama shenatata bi t’horah hi." (albeit in a Southern accent) which is the beginning of a Jewish morning prayer, and ask them if the teacher led this prayer in school, would they object?

Usually the argument trails off at that point.