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Church And State. Together Again.

I attended church today.

It has been almost two years since my last visit.

I always say to myself that I really should make an earnest attempt to attend regularly, but, for whatever reasons, I just haven't.

Sometimes I will go through a phase where I just think to myself, I will honor God in my own way, without the pomp of ritual. That, however, always turns out to be an exercise in futility, and I find myself returning to the setting in which I feel most comfortable.

I always gain a bit of insight. Some inner peace. A calming of the churning emotions clogging up my mind.

An hour a week. Just an hour a week to devote myself to something which enriches my life, where I can connect with and give thanks to the God in which I believe.

Seems time well spent.

We had a good mass today. A fine sermon was delivered, and I felt a personal satisfaction knowing I at least slowed things down a bit for a purpose that can only be described as good.

Today was particularly poignant.

After the mass ended, the final song to be sung was "God Bless America."

It was so fulfilling to hear fellow citizens proudly joining in to sing such a wonderful tribute to our country. You could feel the emotion in the building rising, uplifting the spirit of the moment. I found myself choking up with pride as I heard the words echo through the church, sung so sincerely.

At the end, the entire congregation erupted into applause.

I felt proud. Very proud.

God has been eliminated from so many aspects of our lives. I don't mind some of it. I feel it to be a very personal decision, and as such, it should be engaged and nurtured with the loving care of family and friends.

Yet I could not help but juxtapose the situation to the reality.

Here we are, in a society which has come to shun many things involving God and religion, yet, in a place of worship, we were singing a profoundly patriotic song.

What a wonderful testament to the greatness of our country.

God Bless America, indeed.


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Comments (14)

Glad to hear you're attendi... (Below threshold)

Glad to hear you're attending church again. You painted a beautiful image of a church singing God Bless America. The men that formed this country had great belief in God and based our country on biblical principles. I believe that is why we've been able to achieve so much. God Bless You and God Bless America.

"......inalienable rights e... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"......inalienable rights endowed by our Creator..."

I don't know what more evidence anyone needs to know that our Founders believed in God and formulated a government to protect the dignity and rights he designd for us from those in power who would arbitrarily abuse it. There will be no government-mandated way for a person to worship the Creator and by extension no one can be forced into worshipping the Creator.

This is why I believe the Church-State separation argument gets carried too far. The exceptionalism of the United States is its open recognition that all men are equal in these endowed rights bestowed by the Creator and all men are equal before the laws designed to protect those rights. We can see from our past that maintaining this is the greatest challenge any government has undertaken ideologically.

ShawnYou werent on... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Shawn

You werent on Ft Hood, Texas were you. THey played that song last at the service I attended

"After the mass ended, t... (Below threshold)
Highlander:

"After the mass ended, the final song to be sung was 'God Bless America.'"

Why not beseech your god to bless the entire world? Or is it the Jesus thing to do, to favor one country over the others?

HighlanderThe song... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Highlander

The song is God Bless America.

I dont know of a song that goes God bless the world.

We regularly pray for people who are not in our country, world leaders, the poor, etc.

Catholic missionaries go out and assist in providing food and clean water to millions of people in third world countries.

Can you say the same of your religion if you practise one?

The song is God Bless Am... (Below threshold)
Highlander:

The song is God Bless America.

Well, yeah, but this mellow Mallow guy even ends his essay with "God Bless America," thereby favoring one nation above the rest of humanity, just as Jesus commanded, right?

Can you say the same of your religion if you practise one?

I'm too intelligent for any of that Sky Chief stuff.

HighlanderThen why... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Highlander

Then why does Shawn's last statement bother you at all. d If there is no God what does it matter if Shawn puts God bless America or God bless the world. What does it matter what Jesus commanded?

"I'm too intelligent for any of that Sky Chief stuff."

Yeah umm right. Your statement speaks for itself.


"I'm too intelligent for an... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

"I'm too intelligent for any of that Sky Chief stuff."

Right. You have a substitute "The sky is falling!" Gaia religion instead where you warn people of the impending judgment of nature unless they do as you say. That is far more intelligent.

highlanderMaybe re... (Below threshold)
retired military:

highlander

Maybe read more of what Shawn said.

"Yet I could not help but juxtapose the situation to the reality.

Here we are, in a society which has come to shun many things involving God and religion, yet, in a place of worship, we were singing a profoundly patriotic song.

What a wonderful testament to the greatness of our country.

God Bless America, indeed.
"

Thanks for proving his point.

Give me your tire... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:


Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
Send these the homeless tempest-tost to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night, with a light from above.

From the Mountains
To the Prairies
To the Oceans white with foam.
God Bless America, my home sweet home.

I'm sorry, but if you read those words and have to ask why it isn't "God Bless the World" then you are lost to us anyway. As the person above stated I don't know of a song with that as a title in any case.

For all that the left preaches about acceptance and tolerance when it comes to any other topic. I guess that only applies in any case except for Christianity.

For cripes sake who cares w... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

For cripes sake who cares what people sing in a house of worship? It's up to them. If they want to sing God Bless America, good for them.

The only thing we should worry about is if the government tells us what to sing in our churches.

Sheeesh, this may be the only time ever I agreed with Mallow.

God bless America, right, left and in the middle.

"The only thing we should w... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

"The only thing we should worry about is if the government tells us what to sing in our churches."

So... why are you a Democrat again? Because that is exactly where we're headed (using "sing" in the metaphorical sense), and certainly not at the behest of Republicans. Ever hear of 'speech codes?' That's a euphemism for: Left - say whatever you want. Right - shut up.

Considering the number of d... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Considering the number of different faith groups and belief systems here in the US, I think that the separation of church and state is a sound idea. It makes sense to me that one group is not privileged over another, let alone backed by the government officially--that's only asking for conflict.

There were reasons why the US Constitution was written as it was:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

This Federal tenet, as you all know, was not applied to all states until the mid 20th century, based upon rulings of the supreme court. And I think these clarifications make sense.

While many people might take offense to this separation, imagine how you would feel is your state attempted to enforce some other religion ON YOU. That should drive the point home why there should be this separation. This keeps any majority from forcing religious views upon a minority, and it makes sense to me.

Religious wars in Europe undoubtedly influenced the founding fathers greatly, among other things. The wars between Catholics & Protestants in 17th century Europe were devastating, and were one reason why many emigrated to the Americas (some of my ancestors included--who came over in 1717 after Germany had been decimated by conflict and war). So the separation of church and state, I think, was a sound idea.

That does not mean that this country is anti-religious, it means that no single religion is going to be mandated or forced upon people. It also means that people can choose whether they want to be religious in the first place. To me, that's a good thing.

Iran is another case in point as to why there needs to be a separation between church and state. Another example: early 16th century Spain, where Jews and other non-believers were expelled, tortured, etc for not following state mandated religious practices.

Keeping the govt out of the business of promoting religions sounds like a good plan to me.

BlogworthyI've alw... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

Blogworthy

I've always defended the Right's right to say whatever those folks want. The Right has the absolute right to say and look and be as stupid as they choose.




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