Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2010, at 6:58 AM
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  • I couldn't agree more!!!!! Thank you for this piece. Have a great day......

    -- Posted by Proud of My Country on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 12:03 PM
  • God told me that Lee Reberger is going to win.

    -- Posted by Village_Id10t on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 1:08 PM
  • There's always one in every crowd. Nice article!

    -- Posted by Hodgepodge on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 1:15 PM
  • Charles:

    Thoughtful piece. As usual, I'd like to counter with a few comments to ponder.

    I've lived, as I believe you have, in several different locations throughout the US. I really don't think that Clay County is that different from many other places. In New York, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia I can say that people in general believe those same 4 things you mentioned. In addition, Clay County is not different in that it also has people who do not believe in those things AND it has those who also do not leave that judgment of those who do not believe them to God.

    I also don't believe that God's presence can be pushed out of schools or the town square by merely not having His name mentioned. A stone tablet with the Ten Commandments only displays political power on the part of a fundamentalist majority faction who are of the opinion that all must follow the same "brand" of religion as they; much like the Taliban of some fundamentalist Islamic groups who drag men out of their homes if they aren't in the mosque at the appointed prayer times. A true Muslim, not the fundamentalist "brand", combines self discipline, service to community, and the true jihad is his conscience within his own mind; the same battle we Christians have between doing right and wrong each day.

    To be a true Christian, one must choose that road, fall, and get up again to continue to try to emulate Christ and love his fellow man just as you describe. Christ said nothing about making others read the Commandments, say his name out loud in school, or judge others for not following the nit picking rules in Leviticus about not wearing clothes of blended fabric. Even today's Catholic missionaries have changed their strategy by helping impoverished communities become more self sufficient instead of just trying to cram catechism down their throats, damning they way they've been doing things for hundreds of years so that a more true conversion may occur due to the desire to emulate the missionary who leads a Christlike life helping others and putting them first and not judging their ways.

    God is in school in every teacher who is truly there for his/her student. In every person of the court who within the laws of the land, gives his/her all for those he/she works for and with.

    I, like you, am an "aspiring" Christian. I say aspiring because being a human, I don't get it right all the time. I don't however feel that with our government that separates "church" and state that we should have a public display of God forced upon people who may not believe as it would not be truly Christian to do that forcing.

    True faith comes from within and cannot be forced upon anyone. Whether it's the Crusades or the Taliban, intimidation and even war in some cases cannot be what God meant when he said to love God above all other and love your neighbor as yourself. He didn't say love your fellow Christian, or love only those you know personally, or love only those who attend your own church. I don't think that to send the message that "we" feel that "our" way to follow God is better than someone else's is what God meant by being His hands and loving each other.

    Forcing others to comply with one's own personal religious convictions is not Christlike. Instead would it not be more Christlike to be an example and let others see for themselves what it is to be a Christian so they might look upon it as something to strive for instead of to be forced upon them.

    -- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 3:48 PM
  • Charles, Great topic! Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (He. 11.39)

    I grew up in the 60's. Mohammad Ali was Cashus Clay, Jackie O wore those crazy pill hats, Neal Armstrong walked on the moon and JFK made the American dream seem real.

    I went to the same school for six years. Every morning, we stood, facing the Flag and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Noone was forced to. I can't recall a single student or parent questioning their 1st Amendment rights. Saying those words together meant something. Patriotic unity as a whole, "under God" gave us the moral virtue as a nation.

    It was a Baptist Minister, Francis Bellamy, that wrote those words in 1892. The Pledge did not contain the words "the Flag of the United States of America" until 1923. It wasn't until 1954 that President Eisenhower added the words "under God" in response to the communist threat of that time.

    I'm a Patriot. I'm a Christian. God hasn't been pushed from our class rooms, town squares or courtrooms. God has been ruled as an infringment of rights by our very own government. In 2005 the Supreme Court ruled that "one has the right to be free from a coercive requirement to affirm God." Can't tell you how that makes my blood boil. How can someone find offense in others enacting a manger scene? LOOK AWAY. Leave the classroom, courtroom, or public place momentarily while others are enjoying their rights. How did our country come by "Justice for All?"

    In 1814, Christian Patriots led a final battle at Fort McHenry. The war with the British had been going on for two years. The Pres and his wife hid out in Maryland and the Capital was nothing but ashes. How the heck did they conquer the British? FAITH. An atty from Baltimore, Francis Scott Key, was taken prisoner, and watched the battle from a British ship. He prayed. He wrote that all at once the battle was silent. He didn't know who won. At day break, as the smoke cleared, he caught glimpses of the Flag, standing in victory. It was that day he wrote "The Star Spangled Banner" on an envelope from his jacket pocket.

    In the last paragraph of that famous(poem then) he wrote,"Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, And this be our motto: "In God We Trust"

    What are the values we hope to teach our youth? How can they learn from example if God is not a part of our daily lives? How do we hope to explain prayer may be offensive to some? Isn't that hugely conflictive? Why do people who are offended by public display of Christianity live in a country with a Christian foundation? And who thought up the term "coersive requirement"?

    I have faith. Faith that through Christ all things are possible.

    Thanks Charles for posting! Silverlining

    -- Posted by Silverlining on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 11:13 PM
  • Silverling:

    One thing that US history books conveniently leave out is that the US attacked the British in what is now Toronto and THAT is why they retaliated and attacked Washington DC. Individuals' faith may have kept up spirits during the battle cries but the attack on York and subsequent burning was far from Christian. I cannot see where ANY war is started as being Christian. It's the acts of Christians that promote Christianity, not the display of Christianity.

    ..And you said it, the words "Under God" were added later to the pledge for political use against communism, not because our country had become more Christian. Many people were tagged as communists just for challenging some of the actions of the government under McCarthyism. It was fear mongering and propaganda. Not driven by Christianity.

    Yes a good topic and hopefully will allow self reflection as to why people really insist on displaying words instead of trying to act as Christians. Remember the sack cloth and ashes passage of the Bible.?? we are not supposed to promote our way of living but just live it and others will see by our example.

    Have a good day

    -- Posted by Jenny Moore on Thu, Jul 29, 2010, at 10:04 AM
  • Charles,

    A very good article. I enjoy reading your posts each week.


    The British did retaliate by attacking Washington, but The British were the ones who started the War of 1812 not the United States. And if you read several of the journals of the American Commanders they do allude to their faith and that of their troops as a driving factor in winning against at the time a world superpower. An army more experienced, with far greater numbers than that of our still very new nation.

    This country was founded by Christian men with strong christian beliefs. While everyone is free to believe in whatever religion they choose without fear of persecution (even no religion at all) The majority of the population of this country have christian beliefs. I do find it reprehensible that such an effort by a few to remove god from almost every facet of our society. I too grew up in a time when there was prayer in school, people actually stood up for the flag and respected the National Anthem. I think part of the problem is taking political correctness a bit far. It also doesn't help that our current president has publicly stated that it's bad to be "distinctively American" Sometimes a few people will be offended, but they are free to their opinions. However the minority should not force the majority to hide or remove their beliefs from view.

    If you dig deeper in history the crusades were started in the name of Christianity (right or wrong). Many wars throughout history have been started in the name of god by supposedly religious men.

    While you are correct to a degree, yes we should live by example and our faith will inspire others. But if we take God out of everything how will those without the opportunity whether by family status, upbringing, or a multitude of other reasons learn about him. In the bible Christ asks that his disciples teach others about God and how to live by his word. If God is removed from mention other than those who frequent places of worship how will others learn? Not by forcing them, but certainly not by removing all things christian from the public.

    I will point out also that along similar lines that God was removed from Russian society when the communists took over, and could not be spoken of without fear of imprisonment. That was a decision by a minority on a majority.

    As for the separation of church and state, it was meant to ensure that the church took no part in the running of the government (as was done in many monarchies in Europe). Not that any mention or display of religion be removed from everyday society.

    But everyone has the right to their opinion, and sometimes we must agree to disagree. I don't agree with everyone but I will (and have for the last 20 years as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States) defend their and your right to free speech and your beliefs.

    Have a good day.

    -- Posted by Localguy1972 on Thu, Jul 29, 2010, at 10:43 PM
  • Jenny and Localguy1972 - thank-you for responding to my post, indeed food for thought.

    Jenny I was merely responding to Charles blog entitled FAITH. He wrote that our society has degressed since God, the utterence of His name, or a visual display with regard to Christianity has been removed in our country from public view.

    It was not my intention to address the principles of Christianity nor debate the actions of our founding fathers. Rather I was making refernce to the Patriots who through FAITH, sufferred, sacrificed, fought, and gave their lives for the freedoms they believed were fundamentally correct. It was their FAITH in God that led them to stand strong for what they knew to be right.

    I FIND IT OFFENSIVE that someone could live in this country, making full benefit of the freedoms and rights given us by those Christian Patriots, and take offense at the utterance of Gods name or someone praying or displaying beliefs publicly. How DARE they infringe on my rights!!!!

    have a blessed day

    -- Posted by Silverlining on Fri, Jul 30, 2010, at 7:01 AM
  • Great Article Charles!! And great follow up by Jenny, Silverlining, and Local Guy!! All very great points.

    Oh and The Devil lives in The Village with Lee Reberger, not God! Along with several methhead demons!! Up with God. Down with Methhead Devils!

    -- Posted by sandman442 on Fri, Jul 30, 2010, at 10:57 AM
  • Hi All,

    No one is saying personal displays of one's faith should be banned. In no way do I feel that God's name should be banned completely, just not officially displayed as part of a publicly funded institution. Right here we are free to discuss this. That in itself sets us apart from some other countries. Nothing wrong with saying grace in a restaurant before meals, a religious funded bill board, or praying while sitting on a park bench etc as an individual or group, but when it becomes a part of a public forum such as a school board meeting or government building, the line between church and state is not so clearly defined.

    In talking to veterans of this middle east debacle [I support fully the troops who are part of it but at same time did not support us getting into it in first place]some see how religion overflowing into being the law of the land is both dangerous and unfair to those who don't agree with that "brand" of religion.

    Let's play devil's advocate here and replace the Christian majority with Muslims. How would you feel with the Quran being quoted in school, Mohammed's name being part of the prayers at school board meetings? Should the majority really decide these personal beliefs in our publicly funded settings?

    Even the different "brands" of Christianity cannot agree at times as to the degree to interpret various passages in the Bible. What if the rules of the Bible start to infringe slowly into the rules of our separate government?

    While personally I would love to see the "Thou shalt not kill" commandment taken to the full extent and both elective abortions and capital punishment be banned completely, our separate, "Christian" government has not. Some even want a portion of that commandment to be reinstated but are fine with "legal" murder when by human judgement it's "ok" to kill another individual who is held guilty of that same crime. How does that make sense?

    In our own country we continue to debate the legality of abortion to the point that it has become a political platform more than an effort to actually reduce them. Did you know that a parish in North Carolina learned that more abortions were avoided by taking an unwed pregnant teen into one's own home than by the pro life movement's activities?

    Like the Bible that in numerous places contradicts itself as it was written by different men who interpreted God's messages a little differently according to the individual community in which they lived, our Christian inspired government many times cannot really claim to be Christian. Even the gay issues of health care and marriage benefits. Let's be honest, with our high divorce rate, even a high number of heterosexual marriages are actually just civil unions under the guise of a sacramental marriage. We call all of these marriages as many are performed by clergy but many are only to legalize the partnerships gained by this legal contract. That's not to downplay real marriage. I've been married for 25 years and my parents are working on their 56th I believe. It's just that the civil part and the sacramental part are not the same and we've lumped them together erroneously for too long. Either allow gay couples to have the same benefits without discrimination as that is separation of church and state OR start calling a spade and spade and call ALL civil unions and only through deep, thorough preparation through marriage preparation classes as one would take for any other sacrament, engage in that sacrament with one's own worship community. Of wait a minute, maybe that is only a practice in SOME Christian faiths and not a sweeping Christian one??

    You see when one starts to really delve into this separation thing, one finds that each thing plays upon another and like the Bible, each quotes the passages they personally believe in and avoids the others.

    I don't want to have to only wear a dress and never cut my hair as some Christian groups demand of their women just as I'm sure that those who are not Roman Catholic don't want to adhere to some of those laws on divorce etc due to the fact that historically they've protested and become "Protestants" already. Both Christian "brands" but both different in several human made details. From which one should the government take the lead?

    I fear that this will be debated until final judgment day and yes I may be accused of being politically correct but I went to school alongside Jews, Hindus, and other Christian groups other than my own. I think that it maybe could be the lack of cultural American diversity reflected in this locale why some don't see that one religious affiliation being touted in government sponsored settings as an issue.

    America isn't a Protestant population. I myself have found some of the public "Christian" prayer quite uncomfortable and very revival like. Much like a cross between Southern Baptist and Pentecostal; both of which I've attended with friends in the southern part of the US. So you see, if the "brand" of prayer being said in public forum is not what I am accustomed to just as I don't think others would like the rosary prayed at a school board meeting, how is it for someone of a non Christian faith?

    It just doesn't belong there. It doesn't belong in a school where a child might be too intimidated to say anything. Or a non tenured teacher might as well. It doesn't belong on the wall of a court house unless the courthouse is going to truly back them...

    Have a good day

    -- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Jul 30, 2010, at 11:07 AM
  • Sandman:

    So...Why that comment about Reberger? I mean facts to back it up. Let's not let this forum be come slanderous. I thought we were having respectful "debate" here. Don't think it has anything to do with what you are eluding to. Did he prosecute you or something??

    -- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Jul 30, 2010, at 11:12 AM
  • Everyone,

    Thank you for all of your posts. Once again, it shows that this little corner of the Internet has some of the best commentors. You have also provided the seeds of future articles.

    Perhaps it would be fun to invite everyone to get together and meet. Perhaps before the weather turns foul. If everyone would promise to be on their best behavior, I may be willing to provide the venue and refreshments. I promise not to politic. Hummm.


    -- Posted by Charles Hear on Fri, Jul 30, 2010, at 5:57 PM
  • Another point to ponder; these individuals that are offended by The Pledge of Allegiance, The 10 Commandments, manger scenes, etc. seem to be just a bit hypocritical. Next time you are at the grocery store, gas station, bank take a look at the dollar bill in your hand. Then think about the hypocrites who are offended by 'religion' yet have no problem grabbing up as much money as they can. Pretty convenient of them don't you think?

    -- Posted by Village_Id10t on Mon, Aug 2, 2010, at 12:02 PM
  • On a side note, Jenny, look up impressment and the War of 1812. Wikipedia is not the be all and end all of knowledge.

    -- Posted by Village_Id10t on Mon, Aug 2, 2010, at 3:27 PM
  • Jenny:

    No, I was never prosecuted by Lee. I read what Village_Id10t had posted "God told me that Lee Reberger is going to win", as humor. I thought it was funny, and decided to counter with a devil remark towards Lee. Sorry if it came off as slanderous.

    -- Posted by sandman442 on Thu, Aug 5, 2010, at 10:20 AM
  • Village,

    If God is giving out odds to you, could you please inquire about the Super Bowl this year? I would really like to get those odds. Lol. Charles Hear is a good man who will dutifully perform his service should he be elected. To me, Charles Hear is just another really cool cat I have the pleasure of knowing.

    -- Posted by karenmeister on Thu, Aug 5, 2010, at 2:52 PM
  • Greetings this glorious morning!

    It's been so uplifting reading all the postings to Charles' blog! Thank you so much for sharing...

    Jenny I enjoyed your response. I think we should call a spade a spade. Gay rights, religious rights, right to live without fear, the same rights should apply to every individual. I hope you didn't misunderstand my posting. I wasn't implying our government is made up of Christians. I was merely making the point that the men who dared to want freedom, dared to commit treason, persevered every hardship, faced imprisonment and or death, acted on FAITH. The foundation of our country was formed by men who believed in God. I respect the sacrifices they made. When I think of our rights, the freedom we share in this country, all of us, I know gratitude. That being said, I agree with you about seperation of church and state. A Christian government? Webster's dictionary gives the definition of corruption as "morally debased". How can the Supreme Court rule on a morals issue? How can they overturn a verdict already ruled on? Who figuratively summed up the statement "one has the right to be free from a coersive requirement to affirm God"? So the ruling is, rather than one person stepping out of a room, reading a book, listening to music, or dancing a jig, the rest of the people in a classroom may not excercise their rights? I've never seen a student get slain in the spirit and speak in tongues or act in a way to coerse another while saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

    A guest singer annually sings the Star Spangled Banner before the running of the Indy 500. Will they be required to ommit this tradition? Millions of spectators attend, of every culture I'm sure, will someone be offended by the utterance of the word God?

    At the close of my sixth grade school year, Mrs. Simms annual Patriotic Padgent presented every student in the school, clad in colonial costume. Standing room only was usually the outcome of every parent, grandparent, relative, teacher and most of the entire community cramming themselves into the school auditorium. Our sixth grade class sponsored the play. Before the play could begin, before we danced the minuet, I was asked to loudly and precisely recite the Ten Commandments. Noone was offended.

    OK, I'll step off my Patriotic soapbox now.

    I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all the titles, the character of an honest man.

    George Washington

    Charles - I think you're idea of getting together would be wonderful. If you won't politic, I won't soapbox :)

    Respectfully, Silverlining

    -- Posted by Silverlining on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 12:17 PM
  • Silverlining:

    Agree 100% on that morals thing. We legally put people to death all the time...A real cunundrum for a "Christian" government.

    The Indy 500 however is not run by a government but is a privately funded sporting event. I would hope that no tax payer money goes to fund it though that Lucas coliseum in Indy was built with taxpayer's money. How wrong was that? A building so a ball team can make money built with taxpayer money. Another matter however...

    Reading the commandments in public school however...No afraid I don't agree with that one. Too much of a slippery slope. One of my own daughters had a teacher in the middle school who had a student come to head of class and read out of Bible each day. King James Bible I believe. Not the one I use as I don't agree with all of its translations. So you see even our Christian faith varies enough in tradition that a child can be coerced into reciting something that they or their parents don't agree with. What would come next? Abandoning evolution for a creationism only curriculum if those in power believed that the authors of Genesis were scientists and were writing literally and not figuratively in order to simply explain that all thing made are from God and anything is simple for him to do that he could do it in a heartbeat?

    "Soapboxing" is fine with me as it gets others to look at the other person's viewpoint even if they dont agree with all of long as we can all respect the others' views and not really box [lol].

    -- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 4:34 PM
  • At the risk of beating a dead horse, I had more to add to my post, but time was cut short......

    Village_Id1ot, yes - every denomination of US currency, every single single bill, has clearly printed, "Federal Reserve Note". In bold letters in the upper right hand corner is printed, "The United States of America". On the right side of each presidents picture is the signiture of the Secretary of the Treasury, and on that side as well is printed the official seal of The Department of Treasury, dated 1789 (the year that office of the government was established). In the middle of that seal is pictured a sheild. On that shield is pictured the scale of justice, a roof of The House and below that the key of knowledge. Embossed in gold is our National Symbol (a bald eagle resting on a flag shaped as a shield of protection). On the other side of the bill is the official stamp of the United States Federal Reserve System. Directly under that stamp is printed, "This note is legal tender for all debts, PUBLIC and private, signed officially by the Treasurer of the United States. In the backround, also on that side is a bald eagle clutching in one claw an olive branch and the other three arrows. (Anyone care to take a stab at what that symbolizes?) On the back side of each bill, printed above the picture of The White House, are the words, "IN GOD WE TRUST". In the middle of our National Motto appears an American flag.

    Where is the line drawn as to what is offensive? When does the right to be free of a coersive requirement to affirm God become an issue? When these individuals make daily transactions using currency that bears symbols of this country's fundamental foundation and plainly affirms God in bold print, don't they feel as tho their rights have been violated? Would they have the Federal Reserve reprint all our currency?

    Jenny, you hit the nail on the head when you wrote of interpretation of the bible. However, I don't view Christianity as a religion, brand, denomonation or iterpretation. My personnal faith is one solitary teaching that one must be saved, born again, accepting Jesus as my personnal Savior, and died for the forgiveness of our sins. But thats just what I believe. There are many translations of the dead sea scrolls and writings that are not included in any version of any bible. Culturally, interpretations from the translations from Greek and Hebrew have been a controvercy since that day they rolled away the stone securing Jesus tomb and found his body was gone. The Jewish faith does not recognize immaculate conception or the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Buddists follow the teachings of Budda. The Muslims practice their faith at their mosque, the Menonites still practice their faith, openly marrying more than one wife. We all coexist together. We have the privilege of freedom because of those men willing to dedicate themselves to the intent of individuals having rights and had the fortitude to commit to documentation, an organized, moral, virtuous, workable government.

    Localguy1972 - We all are indebted to you for serving our country in the Armed Forces, for defending our rights. Thank you for securing my freedom of speech that allows me to openly express my opinion.

    That's all I have to say about that......

    Respectfully, Silverlining

    -- Posted by Silverlining on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 7:16 PM
  • And I'll wager many Christians don't even know what Immaculate Conception means....Most think it refers to Jesus being conceived to a woman who was a virgin when what it really refers to is Jesus' mother, Mary being conceived without the stain of original sin that Adam and Eve arranged for the rest of us.

    Have a good day

    -- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Aug 9, 2010, at 1:49 PM
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