Friday, December 9, 2011

Suppose They Gave a War and only Rick Perry Came?

If only it were just him. I'm afraid he would be joined by Gingrich, Bachmann, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and probably pretty much everybody else at Fox News and those who watch.

Yes, I find this really offensive. There is no war on Christmas. President Obama is not warring on religion. He has a Christmas Tree in the White House, for Heaven's sake! Christmas is a legal, federal holiday since President U.S. Grant! (I looked it up once. I knew there was something I liked about that guy.) President Obama is one of the best, solid family guys we've had in the White House.

You don't have to believe me. There's some fact-check documentation from the St. Petersburg Times [and the Austin American-Statesman] here (although I suppose it could just be another liberal media attack on Christianity.)

This add from Perry is the worst form of political pandering playing to people's misplaced religious prejudices and fears.

Here's what I think is happening. The fact is that schools still have holiday ("holy day") parties and sing and play actual Christmas music, they are more inclusive including an occasional Hannakuh song (although I'm not sure I've ever heard a Kwanzaa song now that I think of it). They still pray in schools too. Just not Teacher or Principal led prayers which around here would generally be Mormon, which does annoy some people. We used to live in New Mexico and Maryland where the prayers would have likely been Catholic, had they been allowed. I could have tolerated that as we taught our kids our own way to pray at home. I guess I have to admit that my prejudices are such I would be annoyed by Christian Fundamentalist prayers if those were the only option, especially if led by Governor Perry. And as the article says on a variation of the old joke, as long as there are tests in school, there will be prayers. (I certainly prayed a lot. It still didn't get me through Algebra too well). Let's just not pray on the street corners to be seen of men.

I am old enough to remember when public schools were more overtly religious in holiday celebrations. That changed as our nation progressed and became more tolerant of a variety of religious beliefs, and no belief at all. It also might have something to do with the First Amendment.

I have heard President Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints note that we face greater challenges in the world today because it used to be that our standards of sexual morality and marriage were more widely shared in the general population. But I can't recall that he ever said we should declare a war on secular humanism. 

I also recall the day in my lifetime when there was legal segregation of the races. We addressed that to remedy some wrongs in our society thanks to Congress, the Courts and certainly the Fourteenth Amendment. We also had that blessed revelation on the LDS priesthood that came to President Kimball after much prayer and effort on his part along with the amazing statement by Elder McConkie to disregard everything he or anyone else had previously said on the matter (that means they were wrong.)

It also appears that laws have strengthened against child and spousal abuse and rape in general. These are the sorts of things that were more easily hidden in a society that on its face did share more of the cultural standards on sexual behavior and marriage. 

I don't believe the trade offs in our modern world are all good or all bad. It is what it is and a lot of it is good. I have a good family with good kids as we work hard to live up to our religious ideals. We fail now and then but in general, we do  pretty well. And I can testify that it is worth it and in a spiritual sense I believe we are blessed for it. I do believe as LDS President Hinckley and Elder Bednar have so often stated that we live in the best time of the world as well as the worst. The choice is ours which parts of that we choose. And I don't think the best times come when we make stuff up to promote our cause in the so-called culture wars.

Leave me out of the sanctimony evidenced by the Rick Perry video above.

And Happy Holy Days to all!

I guess I was probably influenced some by my buddy TNC at the Atlantic.

1 comment:

  1. I could almost admit that Rick Perry is a "straw man" for my argument. Or maybe he's a "slippery slope." (I get those all confused.) He now is so low in the polling, he has little chance of winning the Republican nomination.

    Yet, he is a real person and I didn't make the add up. A few weeks ago he was leading in the polls. And for heck's sake, he is, right now, the governor of a fairly large state!

    The Dems certainly have their share of questionable intellects. And even the best of them, even our rather cerebral president, make their mistakes now and then. But I can't think of any of the real crazies on the left who are actual state governors or running for president.

    And if the evil Dems are trying to destroy Christmas and Christianity in general, somehow I didn't get the memo or the invitation to that meeting (and I'm a precinct chair!)


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