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Wednesday, July 11, 2007



Dare I?

I do.

So yeah, the really important distinction here is not what is *allowed* in school but what is required in school. Nobody is requiring students to all dress like "freaks" or put holes in their noes, their just not making it against the rules. And nobody is catching a child praying at school and sending them off to the principals office due to it.

The idea of removing school led prayer from schools is not that they are banning the private act of prayer, but that they are no longer forcing a vast student body to say words that may be counter to their personal beliefs or religion.

The school system has no business teaching the bible. That's the parents job. Period. And I really don't see why that is so offensive.


Elaine, your thoughts are welcome here. You needn't feel daring to express them.

The poem is a silly thing, written by a child that I posted for amusement. To respond to your concerns about prayer in schools, I have revisited the Lord's prayer. I just can't see what all the fuss is about. What is so offensive about God? Don't you think it's kind of extremist to remove the mention of Him completely? Like it or not, kids learn much of their values in school. We, as parents may not always be there for our kids. Wouldn't you like for your kids to grow up knowing that in times of trouble, they can turn to a God who loves them? I know you love them very much. Unfortunately, not every child has loving parents. They come to school broken, abused, and hurting. Shouldn't we allow them the chance to be reminded that they aren't alone in their troubles? I see only positive messages in this prayer:

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. (A message of PRAISE as we address the one who created us as a loving, personal and holy Father )

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. (a message of HOPE - we give up our selfishness for that which is Heavenly)

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. (a message of TRUST and of FORGIVENESS)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (a message of GOODNESS as we commit to do what is right and turn away from wrong).

I am truly sorry for whatever has happened to you to hurt your faith, Elaine.


Wow~ there is some hard stuff on here lately. I have been reading the last couple of posts over and over again and want so desperately to respond- but don't know exactly what to say. I certainly do not want to negate in anyway your beliefs Joo, because I see what peace and joy it has brought you. It brings me such joy to know your are finally happy. That being said- I do disagree with them- particularly homosexuality.

Your faith is just that- YOUR faith. It belongs to you to bring you whatever peace you need. As for the pledge, it did not include mention of God when it was first written. It was included in the fifties during the McCarthy era and the "Red Scare". It didn't belong there in the first place. Not everyone believes as strongly (or at all) as you do, so why should they be forced to recite something they do not believe in? That is the freedom this country allows us. I respect that you have such strong faith. I truly do. But we do have separation of church and state for a reason. Our forefathers came to this country to escape religious persecution, so that they would not be forced to believe or not believe in any one God. Would your mind be changed if the pledge stated "One nation, under Allah?" or "One nation, under Ganesh?".

I am not sure how to respond to the homosexuality issue without offending you- which is why I have waited so long to say anything, so I will say as little as I can. It is the post that has made me the saddest. I do not believe it is a choice. No one (straight or gay) can help who they love. Being homosexual is not about the pleasure- it is about who you love. The Church does not have to accept or even tolerate it- however- the government does. Therefore- they should get the same civil rights as everyone else gets. I know more homosexual couples that are in it for the long haul than I know straight couples that have made it longer than 10 years. Those couples are monogomous, loving and role models for long term relationships. I will support them to the end and celebrate the love they have found.


Thank you, Mel, for your comments. I appreciate your gentleness and respect for my views, even as we disagree. You don't ever have to worry about offending me. I knew that this day would come, when I had to let you and others know my full heart and mind. I sob as I imagine losing your friendships but I can't turn my back on God either. Just know I will always have love for you.

Okay, where to begin...the Pledge. You said "Not everyone believes as strongly (or at all) as I do and I think you mean that they don't believe in God. But 90% of our nation does believe in God and 9 out of 10 people would like the pledge to be left as it is (under God).

Our fathers were led by God to create this great country. The language in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution makes it abundantly clear that we are a faith-based nation. You don't have to believe in God because that is your privilege. We have freedom OF religion here, not freedom FROM it.

Now to homosexuality...Mel, how many gay men do you know that are with their first partner? Men are not gay because they happened to fall in love with a man rather than a woman. I'm sure that happens but every gay person I know had gay "feelings" long before they fell in love. I've seen many men wrestle with it and when they have given in to those "feelings" (a choice, yes?), that preference, if you will, then gayness becomes their identity. Now, the question that I don't have an answer to is this: Do they have a choice as to whether or not those "feelings" arise? I can't answer that. I don't know. I have great compassion for anyone who is faced with the choice of their fleshly feelings that battle with their Godly desires. I would encourage anyone going through that turmoil to seek God earnestly because His blessings and mercy abound. He will give comfort and refuge and strength when called upon. But we have to seek Him. Our will is free.

I used to use the same argument as you, Mel. When I worked exclusively in the theater, I knew more successful gay couples than not. I think that speaks more to the company we keep than the merits of homosexual relationships. The 2002 U.S. Census Bureau showed that nearly 60% of heterosexual marriages lasted 20 years or more. The 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census showed that the percentage of gay relationships lasting that long was a mere 5%. I know, I know, different surveys...still, that's a big jump, eh?

Okay. I'm getting off of the defense wagon to say, I AM NOT THROWING STONES AT ANYONE!! God's love is for us all and so is mine! I am a sinner. I battle with vanity, gluttony, and pride. I do not think I am better than anyone else and I, too, celebrate love. But I will not ever turn my back on God to cater to the whims of man.


You've handled this all with a deep respect for those who think differently than you, but I do have to push just a little further.

The reason God doesn't belong as a MANDATED part of school is that there is no way for the school to pick the "right" god. Just because 9/10 believe in the same concept of god doesn't mean that they should force the other 1/10 to shift their personal relationship to their god while at school. It's not OK. And it's not like students are being told not to pray in their own way. They are only being told that it's not longer mandated. Prayer is something they can do anytime, anywhere (heck, I just did a little bit now!). A relationship with God goes with you everywhere.

And yes, there are so many broken souls out there. But God is not the only path to healing.

And no single bad thing happened to me to shatter my faith. Rather I've seen years and years of very bad people calling themselves Christians and I've done enough study into religion to be unconvinced that Jesus was truly the son of God. A rocking prophet? YES! An amazing man with a brilliant message? You bet. But magically born of a virgin mother as the true son of god? Sorry, I can't buy it.

God I still grok. But without a belief that Jesus is the messiah, it would be hypocritical to call myself a Christian.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. (A message of who you believe in... unless you don't)

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. (not all religions believe in heaven. Where is Buddist reincarnation in this prayer, for instance? )

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. (this part I have always loved. But again, you are telling a student WHO is giving them this stuff and for them, it may not be the God Christians are putting forth)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (I don't believe in evil and there are so many varying ideas as to what temptation is).

(And the part you failed to include, from memory, so forgive me if I'm a wee bit off).
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Um, do I need to explain why this would not be considered "inclusive" to a non Christian?)

Seriously, I get your faith. I'm pleased as punch that you have it. But just because I don't, doesn't make me broken. I'm not worried about my soul. My relationship with God is sound.


Hi Elaine. You made my day by referencing Stranger in a Strange Land...okay, grok this:

Your response deserves a reply but I am going to have to discipline myself to hold off blogging until after my concert tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience.


I am not turning my back on you. I will admit- I do struggle with it because my feelings are as strong as yours. And we will just have to know there are certain things that we disagree on. I still love you!- even though we will fight about it :) Not often though.

"We have freedom OF religion here, not freedom FROM it." Exactly- more than one religion...not just God. Well- your God. And some don't believe in any God, so we have to tolerate that too. See, to me... any kind of spirituality is a private matter. It should be something that brings comfort and peace to the person, not something that causes so much pain and strife. Celebrate your spirituality privately and with those who share your faith. There is no reason to force others to share your views. That is what causes wars. At least in my opinion.

This country is not a Christian based nation. The founding fathers were not abundantly Christian. They were deists. I can post a 1000 articles and studies on this. This one is pretty good~ (not sure how to do that tricky thing that will make it link automatically.)
All it means is that they didn't want just one faith to run this country. They didn't want religion to run the country at all.

It is always interesting to me to see others interpretations of things.

Joo, come on- how many heterosexual couples do you know that are with their first partner? I can't think of a single one. That is neither here nor there and a red herring arguement. And let's face it, considering that gay marriage is not legal, the actual statistics are hard to gather because there is no trail. All they can do is gather a small group and take a poll. And polls can be skewed. All I can do is look at the people I know, and say- I can think of 5 homosexual couples that have been together for over 20 years. I can only think of 1, maybe 2 heterosexual couples. Now I am going to go put together a statistic that says gay relationship last 5 times longer than hetero. j/k :)

PS- I am not throwing stones either. it is an interesting (albeit frustrating) discussion. I know I won't change your mind and I hope you know you won't change mine. I have grown up in the church. I did my time. And have found that my thoughts and ideas do not correspond to the teachings of that particular sect. I do however, think Jesus was a great man and if the world could follow his actual teachings and example instead of skewing them to meet their corrupted ideas, the world would be a much better place. I also think Ghandi and Martin Luther King are great as well.


By the way~ kick some butt tonight~ I would love to hear your band some time!



Mel rocks.

I'm hoping you did at the concert as well!


T with Honey

Elaine wrote "nobody is catching a child praying at school and sending them off to the principals office due to it."

Unfortunately this is happening. A child at school is seen praying and that observer is offended by the action. They, admittedly it is typically a parent, run off to the principal's office.

Most of the time, as long as the praying child is not being disruptive nothing happens. But is it only a matter of time until a Catholic making the sign of the cross to pray before lunch in school is seen as offensive and banned?

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