It is Thanksgiving Day. I have been to church to listen to the 2008 President’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving (George W. Bush), visited Madrid’s American Store to smell the pumpkin pies and walked home.
My friend and I have a continuing conversation concerning personal rights, liberty and the separation of church and state in our home turf. America is a country founded by religious persons who were searching for freedom, religious freedom. If a government is to be hands off, as liberal as possible so as to allow each citizen to “do as you please” without the interference of the so-called conservative, Christian founded government, then how do we make any decisions? Morality, human stuff, is mixed in on both sides, I do not care what vocabulary is used to define it.
California just passed a law revoking it’s earlier legalizing of homosexual marriage. I believe in the rights of a person and I believe that it is not my right to dictate life of another human being. (These are my opinions, spoken cautiously but with conviction.) One has the right to live as they chose. The other also has the right to voice their opinion and to have that opinion be turned into an active vote as constitutionally declared. So in American, a country that greatly values, and at least strives to uphold, its democracy and its freedom, we have a dilemma. If my friend is right, that there can ever be a clean break between the church and the state, however one might defines those terms, them someone always loses politically. There are two sides and one declared winner. I think it a nice idea, the attempt to clean up, to delineate to avoid recommitting previous errors, but too simple.
But perhaps Cathy was right this morning when she spoke of peace, that we agree to disagree, and in that lies freedom. We have made a decision to put a black family in the President’s House, a decision that makes me proudly blubber like a newborn. I embrace the day when I can sit myself down next to a black man on the Metro and not flash through hundreds of years of American history, but maybe that is what I should be doing. Remembering and loving. Loving and embracing. Embracing and giving thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
“O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years, thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law.”