Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lettin' it slide

 I was in a conversation about businesses being open or closed on Sunday. I heard all the regular arguments pro and con. Those opposed like to use the , you can't force your religious beliefs upon me tact. That is of course referencing the " blue laws. " I understand that completely and wouldn't disagree. I have no right to restrict your commerce. Then there was the issue of the employer requiring you to work on your day of worship and how that is also unfair. Again I can see the point being made but religious freedom is a two way street. That aspect of it is making its' way into society even today with the Muslims. Some say they are required to pray five times a day and to not do so violates their religious principles. Should they be given those times during the workday ? Additionally with the Muslim population there is the issue of handling certain food products which they refuse to do. We will leave dress and dress codes out of the discussion. But back to the open on Sunday for business issue. The bottom line for me was this, I remember well the days of the blue laws. It was a different time and place. A lot more folks went to church on Sunday than they do today. Families spent Sundays together a lot more also. The distractions of shopping was removed. Or as I put it, the temptation. I pointed out that man is weak in the flesh and any excuse not to go to church will be grasped at. I was informed that the whole concept of the blue law was to force Christian values on the public and a direct violation of the first amendment ! Furthermore is was a suppression of the Jews. I don't think anyone was forced to attend church or influenced to believe anything. Yes there was mention of those that we didn't see in church, gossip if you will, but that continues till this very day.
 In the end I said I was just being nostalgic about those days and was surprised to receive this response. " The good old days weren't so good. " This person went on to list an entire litany of perceived wrongs that were " justified " back in those old days. I was a bit taken aback. Obviously this person either had lived back then and suffered some bad things or was reading history books. I can tell you this, everything that was mentioned as " bad " is still going on in the world today. The only difference I can see was there have been changes in the grievance section. That a shift in the " human rights " area has taken place can not be denied. This person informed me that nostalgia left out all the negative. I agree. Isn't that the point ? To learn from the mistakes of the past so we may further enjoy the future is the function of memory. Memory and nostalgia are separate things. Perhaps this person was confused about the two. I may have added further confusion in saying I believe America was in a better place back then. It is a theme I often write about. It just seem that everything was much simpler back then, black and white as it were. People, as a whole, were far more accepting of their position in life. I don't see anything wrong with that. In fact I find it to be an asset. It is certainly conducive to happiness. Oh but we are told to aspire to so much more and to never settle for less. That isn't to say don't try to improve your situation, just don't measure your success with someone else's yardstick ! Acceptance of reality is not a bad thing ! I am reminded of a story I was often told about a gentleman that lived in my hometown. He was what some would call a " simple " man. By that I mean he was perhaps not quite as intelligent as some. As he was being teased by some others for this perceived lack of intelligence his response, to me, was golden. He looked at those teasing him and said, " I've got all the sense the Lord saw fit to give me. " Then he went about his way. He has accepted his lot and was grateful. A " simple " man ? Not quite so simple as others would have you believe.
 I find it interesting that man continually tries to write law to control the conduct of man. As fast as we write a law, someone finds a reason to oppose. Human rights and religious belief are often the most popular weapons to employ. An appeal to compassion is used to reduce penalties for wrongdoing. The laws that man should live by are written on our hearts at birth. This is a universal truth. It is no coincidence that all the major religions of the world are based upon the same desires of men. We all want to live free from oppression. We all agree that I have no right to kill you. I have no right to take your possessions. We all agree I have a right to happiness as long as that happiness does not infringe upon yours. These concepts do not have to be taught, that are inherent. And yet man tries to rewrite those laws as well. Sadly we " interpret " our religious documents to suit our own agendas. That is why all the confusion. First we must all agree, not just in principle, but in truth. Truth is acceptance. Acceptance also means when something is wrong, it is wrong. It isn't always about just lettin' it slide. Isn't that why man is where he is today ? We know the law but just " let it slide " as is convenient for commerce and personal gratification. Then we form our " doctrine " to reinforce  it. We employ a " solicitor " to define this as a legal and just action. In the United Sates the founding fathers wanted to separate these actions. The result is what we call the separation of Church and State. Unfortunately this separation has been construed as a removal of all religious doctrine from the administration of government. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; is the first part of the first amendment. That is the exact wording. Where does it say that religion should not be a part of our governance ? It only says the government shall not " establish " that is to say, endorse any one particular religion over another or punish anyone for practicing their religion. Okay, so I can't make a law that says you can not open your business on a Sunday. I agree. Funny how we can all agree on basic human rights, at least in principle, but not in commerce or personal gratification. It is a wonderful document that allows this to be so. That document was written by whom ? Did they not interject whatever religious beliefs they held into the composition ? I do not believe you could say otherwise. They were after all just men like you and I. Consider the opening remark, " We hold these truths to be self evident " and what does that mean ? It means those truths require no explanation or justification. It is a Declaration ! We declared it then and the majority of Americans would still declare it so today. Well, unless it interferes with commerce or their personal happiness. Things haven't changed all that much. We continue to just " let it slide. "