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AN ANGRY, POLARIZED AMERICA
My column last week, "A Reasonable Decision By The Supreme
Court", brought emails both of support and condemnation.
To my critics, I answer, I will stand with you shoulder to
shoulder in defending your right to pray and your right to
pursue your goals, even though I may disagree with such
goals. In turn, it is my right to express my opinions and
to commend the U.S. Supreme Court in their narrow decision
to strike down state mandated prayer in public facilities,
especially where children are a captive audience. From my
perspective, public debate on divisive issues is the
defining strength of our 224 year old democracy.
In addition to school prayer, conspicuous among these
polarizing issues are abortion; the teaching of evolution;
gay rights; the death penalty; state and local control
versus federal control; taxes; environmental protection
clashing with recreation use, jobs and economic expansion;
immigration policies; and the list goes on.
Historically, serious disagreement is nothing new.
Beginning with our Declaration of Independence, there were
those who wished to remain loyal to the crown in opposition
to those wishing to establish a new nation. Our most
devastating division was regional, the North pitted against
the South in a Civil War that cost over one half million
Union and Confederate lives. In more recent memory, there
was the contentious struggle for civil rights and the
confrontation of "hawks" and "doves" regarding our
involvement in Vietnam, which brought tens of thousands
into the streets, convincing that most consummate of
politicians, Lyndon Johnson, not to seek a second term for
But, is this not the human condition? Bring two free
people together and there is likely to be disagreement on
some issues. Recently-while press coverage may have led us
to believe otherwise-the Miami Cuban community was not
solidly behind young Elian Gonzales remaining in the United
States. There were many-though still fiercely opposed to
Castro-who strongly felt the will of his father should
In truth, the general acceptance of debate and rational
disagreement is a positive indicator of the viability of a
society. Were this not so, we would be a people suffering
from some permutation of the following: extreme apathy; or
a nation so politically correct and hypersensitive that no
one dare utter an unpopular statement; or a population of
self-righteous, tunnel visionaries, dangerously deluded
that all is perfect and we can do no wrong. Each of these
afflictions, in sufficient measure, would essentially
nullify the democratic process.
The operative phrase is "rational disagreement", not
disagreement so intensely vehement and intransigent that
meaningful discussion or compromise is all but impossible.
In situations such as these, there are no solutions! No
one is satisfied, and the conflict can rage for decades, if
not centuries! If there is any peace at all, it is
maintained by court order, police or, where violence cannot
be controlled, by troops.
It is easy to say, let us all take a deep breath, not take
ourselves so seriously, admit the possibility that-no
matter how remote-we could be mistaken, and, most
importantly, be willing to listen to other points of view.
Sadly, and perhaps tragically, the extreme chasms which
separate, make this unlikely to happen soon!
Comments to Don Malvin at: DonM@gulf1.com
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Public Education System vs Christian Home Schooling
Church and State
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [patriots] Church and State
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 20:53:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vin LunneyJr <email@example.com>
The reason we have seperation of church and state is
so that we don't have government control over how we
worship like the do in England and every other Godless
country. The New Testament makes it clear that we have
to find our own way to God. We each have free will and
a soul that is our responsibility. A child's spiritual
growth, until he becomes sixteen and is a protected
under the law and is baptized and brought into the
faith is the responsbility of his parents and spirtual
leaders. There is nothing wrong with a school choosing
on it's own to start the day with a prayer but if we
take the oath of a allegence don't we violate the
constitution by going right to a prayer? What if jews
want to be included by having their liturgy read? Do
you really think people would be comfortable with
their kids coming home and quoting Budha or the I
What is important is to start holding people
accountable and not let liberals hid behind age or
race. If you are old enough to kill, assualt or rape
you are old enough to pay the price for it. You make
the choice you take the responsibiliy. Making
schoolprayers a law isn't going to change anything.
Are we saying that we should be governed by the ten
commandments along with the constitution? Having faith
and wishing to express is is commendable but we also
have to give it the place it deserves. It is a moral
guide for how to live your life not as a set of rules
for everyone else to follow.
Vin Lunney Jr.
The Patriot Organization is dedicated to the rediscovery of the founding principles upon
which this republic, the United States of America, was established. We strongly advocate
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Last updated 09/21/2003