Thursday, September 24, 2015

I Prefer Percale

With all the challenges (shortcomings and obstacles say some; I prefer to say opportunities to excel), we face as a nation about which we can do something: healthcare for all, elimination of the school to prison pipeline, equal rights in every way for everyone, fair wages at meaningful jobs for all who want them, protection from all enemies, foreign and domestic, we’re generating a lot of heat though not much light about religion, and/or more specifically why some versions of God may be/are better than others, at least that’s how it seems to me.

Last week, as all the Republican candidates who participated in the CNN telethon, were still working the cramps out of leg muscles, one candidate got popped with this question

As someone who is (too) often dangerously close to abusing freedom of speech, I absolutely defend the right to his own opinion the fellow in the audience is exercising. However, he doesn’t have a right to his own facts.

There was a teachable moment there both at that event and on screens all across the nation, which, in my opinion Mr. Trump failed to seize for reasons I cannot pretend to know and will not attempt to speculate (yeah, something about sin and stones; not Keith or Mick, some other kind). History, held in low regard by some circles across this country, does show us all a different way to respond to practically the same situation.

Speaking of facts (and other annoyances), “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” 

Pretty straight-forward, I think and yet….There’s another aspirant for the nation’s highest office who sounds like he’s going into the “creating new qualifications to be President” business. I think the folks who came up with Article 6 of the Constitution have that one handled but leave your card and if an opening develops, we’ll let you know.

As a kid attending Saint Peter School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, when the United States elected John Kennedy as President, despite being a Roman Catholic, I assumed we had put the ‘what’s your religion?’ litmus test strips back in the box and abandoned them somewhere in the past. It looks like everything old is new again, sadly.

We need to have meaningful discussions leading to solutions on many actual and serious problems confronting us as we continue Slouching towards Bethlehem (and not the one in Pennsylvania). I’m not sure how creating artificial issues help us do anything good for anyone, ever. 
-bill kenny

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