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Scoot: Is the government robbing us of God and patriotism?

Since there is a tendency to define the world we live in by headlines, sound bites, Facebook posts and tweets, it is easy to create hysteria in America.

Recently, two different headlines might enhance the fear that the government, in particular a liberal mentality, is removing God and patriotism from our society, thus escalating the downward spiral of American values.

Here is a headline is from FOXNews.com: “New Jersey school bans religious Christmas music.” and this headline appeared yesterday in the San Francisco Chronicle: “No pledge mandate for Sioux Falls high schools.”

In New Jersey, the Bordentown Regional School District posted a message online announcing a ban on all religious Christmas music.  The banning of Christmas music in public schools in the interest of respecting separation of church and state becomes an annual holiday controversy. And every year there are those who protest such bans on religious Christmas music. However, those who do protest also spread the fear that the evil government is removing God from our society.

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, veterans asked for the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance from elementary schools through high schools. This week, the School Board approved the request for elementary and middle schools, but not for the high schools because since high schools do not have homerooms or regular assemblies, it would be difficult to find the right time to have the Pledge recited every day.

Those who protest the banning of religious Christmas music, or reference to God or Jesus in public places, and the veterans who protest omission of the Pledge of Allegiance do more than protest that absence of God or patriotism. Aided by the media, the protests actually attempt to promote an alleged widespread national conspiracy to strip American society of its moral values, and this fuels the hysteria about the immoral path this country is headed down.

I have talked to many listeners on “The Scoot Show” on WWL about their perception that the government is taking away America’s moral compass. But in all of those conversations, not one person has adequately explained precisely how the government has taken away their moral values. Because of the deep political divide in America, we are now a nation that seems less focused on our own lives and more focused on the lives of everyone else.

Whether it is God or patriotism, I have seen no government-level attempt to prohibit belief in God or country. I support Christmas music in public schools and Nativity scenes in public, but I also understand that if Christmas is allowed, all religions must be allowed, and it might be easier to separate Church and State in the interest of fairness. Remember, freedom in this country is tested not by what we know and understand, but by the things we don’t know or understand.

I still hear the irrational argument that it was the removal of prayers from public schools that marked the beginning of America’s decline.  If only it were that easy to explain! In the early 1960s, when the Supreme Court ruled that public schools, as government institutions, could not direct or lead prayers in classrooms, there were many changes simultaneously taking place in American society.

The attitudes that were changing in America became the foundation of the anti-Establishment rebellion in the mid-60s, which was the collective action of today’s Establishment. The battles over birth control, integration and other social issues were part of a changing America. Pointing to the removal of prayers from public schools as the flashpoint in time when America was launched into immoral space is just the simplistic argument of those who would like the government to adopt Christianity as America’s official religion.  The myth that it was the banning of prayers in public schools is to blame for the lack of moral values in America today perfectly fits into the perceived fear that America is becoming a Godless nation.

Before you buy into the hysteria that the government is robbing America of God and patriotism, ask yourself: how has any government action diminished your moral values or your patriotism?

We are so preoccupied with how everyone else will be affected by banning Christmas music or the Pledge of Allegiance, that we have lost sight of the fact that as a Nation, we are nothing more than a collection of individuals. Regardless of what is allowed in schools or on public property, no one has the power to take away your core beliefs or your ability to pray and recite the Pledge of Allegiance! Students can pray in school, the Supreme Court only ruled that schools cannot lead prayers.  If your children are not praying, can you really blame the government? Or is that something you should be teaching your children?

If our nation is nothing more than a collection of individuals, then as a nation, we can only be as good as the individuals that make up this nation.  If we all focus on being as moral and patriotic as we can – then we will live in a moral and patriotic nation!

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Topics : EducationReligion_Belief
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Locations : New JerseySioux FallsSouth Dakota

11/14/2013 6:58PM
Scoot: Is the government robbing us of God and patriotism?
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11/14/2013 11:56PM
Education, Religion_Belief
Most of your callers really don't believe in the notion of freedom of religion except as it applies to them. Most don't even know that "under God" wasn't even in the pledge until 1954. They are having difficulty acknowledging the fact that they live in an increasingly pluralistic society. And of course not one so far as I've heard has even mentioned Native Americans or the rights of atheists.
11/26/2013 3:29AM
Refreshing Pastor
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