One of my friends often forwards me e-mails from someone whose political and religious views seem very different from my own. This gentleman seems to believe that opposing state-sponsored Christian prayer in public government or school functions is unpatriotic to this country’s foundational principles. He also seems to believe that opposing such prayer OR saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” or “Holiday Tree” instead of “Christmas Tree” is not only unpatriotic but also an evil assault on God Himself.
Here is the text from one of his messages:
If you look closely at the picture above, you will note that all the Marines pictured are bowing their heads. That's because they're praying.
This incident took place at a recent ceremony honoring the birthday of the corps, and it has the ACLU up in arms. "These are federal employees,” says Lucius Traveler, a spokesman for the ACLU, "on federal property and on federal time. For them to pray is clearly an establishment of religion, and we must nip this in the bud immediately."
When asked about the ACLU's charges, Colonel Jack Fessender, speaking for the Commandant of the Corps said (cleaned up a bit), "Screw the ACLU."
GOD Bless Our Warriors, Send the ACLU to France. Please send this to people you know so everyone will know how stupid the ACLU is in trying to remove GOD from everything and every place in America. May God Bless America, One Nation Under GOD! What's wrong with the picture? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING GOD.
Here is how I replied to this message:
Someone forwarded to me the following message that seems to have originated with you. This is what I wrote to the person who forwarded me the message:
I think the ACLU does go too far at times. But I also think that the same could be said of some Christians who seem to want to force their idea of God on everyone. The message you sent me appears to be from just such a Christian, and it has a tone of defiant disregard for the convictions and feelings of those who disagree with him or her that I find troubling and, ironically, quite un-Christian. I also question this individual's insistence that organizations such as the ACLU are trying to stop Christians from praying. I don't see how preventing government or state sanctioned praying to a Christian idea of God stops people from praying as individuals in private to whatever God they want to pray to as often as they want to pray to Him, Her, or It.
I feel quite sad to see messages such as the one you sent, because they seem to have no other purpose or, at least, consequence than to stir up ugly emotions of "us vs. them," we good, conservative Christians against the evil liberal atheists, heretics, and heathens when what it seems to me that we really need now is people of all religious and political persuasions respecting one another more and coming together to make this country and world more like the heaven it could be and less like the hell for countless numbers of human beings that it continues to be.