John Brock: What is so horrible about Judeo/Christian teachings/practices?
Frankly, I'm getting a bit fed-up those folks in our nation who are attempting to wipe all vestiges of our Judeo/Christian heritage from American life. In doing so they are diminishing the very concepts upon which the United States was founded and has flourished for so many years.
I grew up in an America that cherished these founding principles predicated on the notion that God was in charge and every blessing in life came from above. But, today we have a president announcing to the world that we are no longer a Judeo/Christian nation but one willing to embrace all of the religious views of the world. I think he is wrong because a vast majority of US citizens still hold a belief in the God who oversaw the formation of this great nation that was founded on the principle of a free exercise of the Judeo/Christian principles. We have flourished under that belief and I truly believe that the farther we get away from it, the worse off our great society will become.
What's so bad about our founding beliefs anyway? For a few folks, we must all be unshackled from the bonds of our religious belief even if the government has to outlaw certain practices. I don't understand their hatred of the world's largest and most enduring religion.
If the world adhered to just a few of the concepts of Judeo/Christian beliefs, it would be a better place. If we would just embrace the Ten Commandments and couple them with several other Biblical pronouncements, we might have a world in which beauty pageant contestants would no longer be compelled to announce their reign's “platform” as striving for World Peace. We would have it!
For instance, if the whole world enjoined the Ten Commandments which denounces, among other things, murder, envy, dishonesty, adultery, lying, and idolatry and encourages observing a weekly religious day and honoring our parents — we would have a society based on love and respect instead of a Jihad mentality. And if we add several New Testament admonitions such as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and a few others — what a wonderful place this old world would be!
So where is all of the condemnation of these concepts originating? Perhaps some folks just don't have enough gainful opportunities and look for ways to bring attention to themselves with their outrageous indignation as they rail against common religious practices – even to the extent of bringing numerous lawsuits designed to eliminate religion from every aspect of public life. They often use the pretext of the First Amendment to justify their claims.
Of course those who don't concur with my thoughts always ask, “How would you feel if our country was predominately Muslim, Buddhist, etc.? My answer is that I don't live in a nation founded on any religious basis other than Judeo/Christian philosophy and belief. And as long as we adhere to our founding principles, we have nothing to fear.
Let's look at the First Amendment as it applies to religion. The first thing we observe is that it guarantees the right of religious liberty. It states simply that we have the right to engage in our religious practices and beliefs unencumbered by government. It guarantees Freedom of Religion but nowhere does it ensure Freedom FROM Religion. The statement concerning the “separation of church and state” appears nowhere in the constitution or other founding documents. It is a belated and conjured statement but today is applied to whoever is the plaintiff in yet another lawsuit against our Judeo/Christian heritage. Even a portion of the clergy has been ensnared with this mode of thought.
I ask: who has ever been harmed by seeing the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse? What evil has been done to anyone who witnessed a Nativity Scene on their downtown court square? And what child has been tragically scarred by hearing a prayer before a football game? I grew up in a world in which our Judeo/Christian heritage was revered and honored.
Of course many would say that I am daydreaming in my hope of what the world could be. But I am not alone.
First, I must do my part but like St. Paul, “I am the chief of sinners.” But I will continue to do a better job of following Judeo/Christian principles and trying to convince my fellow Americans that my religion is not evil but could, indeed, come the closest to anything in guaranteeing a better life and outcome for all of humanity.
Won't you join me?
John Brock is a retired college professor and newspaper editor/publisher, who lives in Georgetown County. He can be reached by mail at this newspaper, or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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