Saturday, February 23, 2008

Separation, Church and State

One night as we were listening to commentary on the radio about religion I asked grandpa if we were a nation under God as the Pledge of Allegiance say we be. This is what he said,

" Yes, boy, we be a nation under God. Is the fact we are under God mean that the government supports one religion above the rest? The answer be no. Would the recognition of this by our government mean that there would be no wall of separation of church and state as some like to think? The answer again is no.

For God is the One every religion declares worship to. God is as He is. No religion can declare that their description of God is a fact. The most any one religion can declare is that God, as they see Him, is a belief. Even atheists must accept this description of God even though they have no belief of His existence. For if God does not exist He still is as He is, non-existent.

We must remember, boy, that every belief that exists is really the recognition of two beliefs, one of which is true and one of which is false. Without either of them the other no longer is a belief. So, in the declaration of the one as being the truth we are also acknowledging the possibility of the other being the truth. That is the nature of beliefs regardless of what the believer says. It is the believer, regardless of belief, that declares one to be the probability and the other only a possibility.

The word God does not permit the question of, whose God, when we declare ourselves a nation under God as some have asked. For God belongs to no man or any religion. If anything, man belongs to God for we are his creatures as He created us. And He be the creator of all, not just those who believe he exists but also those that believe He does not exist.

God, by the nature and meaning of the word, denotes a life form of the highest ranking in the hierarchy of life. It does not denote nor can it be used to declare a particular religion or belief. What it does do is validate the existence of the religious establishment within a society that the Constitution protects.

So, in the recognition of this being a nation under God we validate the necessity of governmental protection of the religious establishment from persecution. Under a government that does not recognize itself as being under God there is no validation for protection. The first amendment of the Constitution would not exist under these circumstances.

Now, boy, that is enough for tonight. Off to bed you go. Its late and that ol' man of the morning peaks over the horizon mighty early. We’ll talk more on this tomorrow."

Nodding, I smiled as I reluctently obeyed and went up the stairs to bed, tired yet excited to hear more from grandpa on the morrow.

"Good night, grandpa and grandma. I love you"

9 comments:

Karen said...

Excellent!

You're absolutely right... to say that we are a nation 'under God" doesn't give preference to any single religion.

The Griper said...

thank you, karen. i don't know how excellent my words are but they do depict my thoughts as accurately as i can.

Anonymous said...

Um... actually it does give preference to judeo-christian beliefs over polytheistic or athiestic beliefs. I'm not arguing whether "under God" should or shouldn't be included in the pledge, but it should be acknowledged that the use of a singular god is preferential to a monotheistic viewpoint, which is certainly not inclusive of all religions.

Thanks.

The Griper said...

a good point, anonymous, except for one thing. i declared that God is as He is thus if he be polytheastic God then He still is as He is.

i also declared that no religion's description of him can be declared as a fact but only as a belief. thus the use of the singular is appropiate here. i could have used God/Gods instead but that would not have changed the meaning behind the post. it would only present me as trying to be politically correct.

the most that the use of the singular can declare is that of the belief of the author in regards to His description.

Anonymous said...

I respectfuly disagree. Simply because you and your grandfather (or anyone else for that matter) asserts that the expression "under God" really doesn't imply the existing of God, or that the use of God in the singular excludes polytheistic or atheistic beliefs does not in fact make it so.

This is the basis by which others (myself included) object to the 1954 addition of the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. I posit that your statement "For God is the One every religion declares worship to." is incorrect -- there are several religions that do not have One god (Hinduism, Buddhism, Wiccanism, older polytheistic religions), and other religions that may exist within a monotheistic framework, bug do not worship him (various sects of Satanism)

I mean no disrespect to you or your grandfather, but the assertion that under God is inclusive of those who believe in God as well as those who do not believe in any God, is ludicrous.

The Griper said...

first of all no disrespect taken. you are putting forth a good arguement in defense of your stance on this issue and that deserves respect. now whether or not my arguement is ludicrous is debatable at this time. and i enjoy this type of exchange for i can learn from it.

but we must differentiate between the God of belief and the God in fact. God is as he is,,is a fact. the nature of the words used declares it a fact. it doesn't declare Him as being monoistic or anything.

the word God is assumed to be singular by belief and common usage not by fact. if he is polyistic as a matter of fact as some believe then the word God becomes a collective word. if in fact he does not exist as some believe then the word has no meaning except as a false belief. and as i pointed out before every belief is in fact the recognition of two beliefs, a negative and a positive one of which in fact is true and the other in fact is false. that is the nature of belief and why they are called beliefs. and in the declaration of the acceptance of one we must acknowlege the possibility of the other. and the four possibilities are

God does exist and God does not exist,,or

God is monoistic and God is polyistic.

now if i was to use the word Gods that automatically declares Him as a plurality and leaves no room for one of the possibilities. thus the use of God is proper. it becomes a collective word. it is also proper because none of the assertions above would make any sense without its use.

there are many words that we use this way. i used the example of Chritianity as one.

dcat said...

Now I am ready to use that “F” word again!

When will I learn not to read comments from trolls!

I lost my train of thought and only "GOD" knows where that is!

Respectfully, I don’t believe in folks that don’t believe in God.

To me they are lost. I look at it as their problem not anyone else.

I wish they wouldn't drag WICCAN's into it. I beleive my powers come from "God".

I don’t believe in man and religion just in God and Anonymous is a figment of our imagination.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

but the assertion that under God is inclusive of those who believe in God as well as those who do not believe in any God, is ludicrous.

What I find ludicrous, speaking as someone not affiliated with any religious beliefs, is that there is cause for any offense, whatsoever, with religious expression.

The Griper said...

word,

how can it not be inclusive if we live in the same nation? remember, the use of the democratic process declares the majority speaks on behalf of the whole and that includes the minority. and remember also that the greatest majority that is needed in this country is only 75% leaving 25% to disagree with any decision but that decision still stands.

those who would say that the majority does not speak for them are declaring they do not accept the democratic process when the decision goes against them but only accepts it when they are in agreement with the results. that is not how it works.

when i hear someone like that i hear someone thinking he has the right to dictate. for only a dictator will have every decision go his way.

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