Sunday, March 25, 2012

Freedom of Religion, A Second Side

 

The often looked at view of Freedom of Religion deals with imposition of religion by the government and a limiting of government’s ability to impose religion.  We see this clearly in the “separation of church and state” debate and rulings.  The government cannot pick and impose.  This has massive support even among religious groups who were, of course, a part of its source.

The question to think about is whether this imposes a denial of religion and its values on government.  If denial of anything based on the faiths is a driving force and goal to the country, what else might have to be lost? 

The current focus of such can show the implications of this.  Rick Santorum is clearly the most religiously focused of the candidates.  If one listens to the left the ridicule is immense.   Check Jay Leno along.  Leno would have been fined an arrested for just the public mention of the topics of his jokes about Santorum in the 1950s.  NBC would have faced loss of licenses, stations would have dropped the show, and Leno might have been forced to leave television.   Now it is just show biz and acceptable.  For Santorum, as was true of John Kennedy, the question of the day is whether these values will be a part of his judgment and decision-making as president.  

If values of decency, self-respect, self-control, support for life, and decency are to left at the gate to the White House, what is left for one to take in?   If these values of decency and concern are to be ignored and left out of public debate—meaning that one’s beliefs have no place in public government and debate—what of the other values brought to society by religion?  If these are not proper for public debate and policy, what else remains?

1. Helping the poor is a clear message of the Christina Church.  It is also a clear sentiment of the Islamic faith given its place as one of the Five Pillars of the faith.  Islam takes it a step further by requiring it for salivation.  If religious values are to be denied, then can this remain as a public focus.  Its history and source are religion.  Under current public doctrines, it cannot be a value the government subscribes to.  It is religiously based.

2. The Bible is clear that one should not kill.  If one follows the liberal practice of taking things to the extreme, then this is a religious value that cannot be apart of public and government life and policy.  It is relious and it is just plain decency, but none of this has a part in public debate and policy.  If one looks to the current craze of The Hunger Game one can easily see that government intent on the removal of religious values could see murder as religious and, therefore, not the business of government to enforce a ban.

As the left continues its drive for a removal of religion from society and a ridicule of anything that hints of religious values, the end results must be assessed early.  Can one go back?  Can a value lost be retrieved?  Ask anyone if we can go back to the 1950s and live like the media describe people lived and the answer is a no.  No equivocation t all.  One cannot go home again.  Once lost these values are gone.   Anything considered decent and reasonable that comes from religion is subject to ridicule and attack.  We must ask the question now before the total underpinnings of society are taken from us by liberal purity.

 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

America the Unhappy

 

The gang was watching Bhutan: Middle Path to Happiness the other day.  The video on PBS looked at how Bhutan has been trying to take a middle path to living in the postmodern world.    Bhutan has faced the development question and looked seriously at the damage potential of development. It has chosen a “Middle Path” encompassing the desire to develop, but not to alter tie culture and way of life. This is the Middle Path. Not the past, but not a future focused on being a different kind of place to live.

They seek a balance.   How can one work with the world’s pressure to conform and produce while maintaining the beauty of life. This is a balance they seek to maintain.  They believe the path to happiness is to maintain their lifestyle and its adjustment to the mountains, but take steps into the 21st Century only as they can be taken without damage.  Build a hydroelectric power plant, but have it underground.  It sonly outward signs are the rocky tunnerls at each end as the water enters and leaves the process.  It appears like a mountains stream.  The look to the outside is one of nature, while getting access to power.

Their King stepped down in favor of his son so that the country could engage in democracy.  While some citizens seemed ignorant of the process in the video, the impact was a life that conformed, not to the outer world’s desires, but the world they know and are content with.

The goal is to be content.  They have been so, and they will be so.

Which brings this to the gang’s issue.  While one finds various attempts at showing national happiness indicate America must be a happy place, the reality of America is that this is one massively unhappy nation [Example at New Scientist].  Argument, discord, murder, hate, and more go on without end from coast to coast.  If happiness is being content, the inner values of America hold no importance to being content.  Change and contentment are not likely bed mates.  They could be, but the chances are very poor.

The Hippies of the 1960s maybe had it right.  American society is too high speed and driven by poor human values.  People are important, not goods.  A society that is driven on growth and change cannot bring contentment except in media driven mesmerization that one is content if one is confirming to the current themes of life in society in making money and doing the “right” things.  Is that contentment if one is up to date on what the stars are doing and which politician is in trouble today?  Is a nation ahppy if the values of some are the laughing stock of others?  Is one content if one knows which people where have been killed by which lunatics?  Can contentment ever occur in a world of constant unsettling change.

The sad answer is a no.  The hippes and the Bhutanese may have it right.  Change only what is good and let the things one is content with alone.  Those concepts have no place in postmodern America.  Sad.