Okay, I'm officially annoyed. Since this is a free country (last time I checked) I'm going to go ahead and vent a little. Maybe even a lot. Since this is my blog I can gripe all I want, right? I will try to be as nice about this as I can because, well, I'm a nice person but right now I'm frustrated with some folks. The following is my opinion and I'm entitled to it even if you don't like it. So, here goes:
Our Texas Governor, Rick Perry, has been promoting a state-wide prayer event at Reliant Stadium here in Houston on August 6th to join together as a body of believers to pray for the issues of the State of Texas and for the United States as a whole. Here is the video promo that's being circulated:
Seems like a cool idea to me. As far as I can see The Governor has not mandated or ordered anyone to believe in God or to attend this event. It is an invitation. Nothing more. No one will be punished or judged if it's not their cup of tea and they choose to opt out. And yet...
Of course, wouldn't you know, a Federal lawsuit attempting to block Perry from participating has been filed. Of course there are people who are highly offended that people might want to pray for the nation. They are deeply distressed and very vocal in their opposition and, well, here is the argument in the words of the group FFRF which stands for the 'Freedom From Religion Foundation.'
“We always say ‘Beware prayer by pious politicians.’ Nothing fails like prayer. It’s the ultimate political cop-out,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, who co-directs FFRF with husband Dan Barker, a former evangelical minister who is now an atheist. “The answers for America’s problems won’t be found on our knees or in heaven, but by using our brains, our reason and in compassionate action. Gov. Perry’s distasteful use of his civil office to plan and dictate a religious course of action to ‘all citizens’ is deeply offensive to many citizens, as well as to our secular form of government.”
These people have gone so far as to say that they will attempt to obtain a restraining order to prevent Governor Perry from attending the event. (And by the way I didn't hear him specifically refer to 'all citizens' as Ms Gaylor asserts but maybe I'm wrong.)
So here's what I have to say about this and I'm warning you now I'm not holding back:
If you are an agnostic or an atheist or secularist or whatever, I have no ax to grind with you AT ALL. I will admit that as a Christian believer, my desire is that all people will someday receive the free gift of Christ's salvation and will enjoy the ultimate freedom in His love and forgiveness. But, and it's a big BUT....if you choose not to believe as I do then I respect your right to (not) believe whatever you want to. If you're nice to me, I'll still like you. I won't get 'deeply offended' by you or try to sue you if you refuse to go to church or pray with me. I won't make fun of you or try to minimize you or block you from attending meetings or seminars or social gatherings that you and your fellow non-believers may decide to organize. Why? Because what you believe or don't believe has NOTHING TO DO WITH ME SO IT DOESN'T AFFECT ME PERSONALLY ON ANY LEVEL. In other words, I'LL MIND MY OWN BUSINESS EVEN IF I DO NOT ENDORSE OR LIKE WHAT YOU DO, WHAT YOU BELIEVE, OR WHERE YOU DECIDE TO GO TO EXERCISE YOUR BELIEFS. Period.
I respectfully ask you to just be quiet, mind your own business and do the same for me, even though I know deep down that you probably won't.
Obviously, Governor Perry is a Christian. So are a lot of other elected officials. There are also several other religious beliefs represented by our government officials. My point? Governor Rick Perry has the right to show up anywhere he wants to and pray for his state and nation if he flippin' feels like it. What's next, Annie Laurie Gaylor? Should we get an injunction to prevent our government officials from attending the church/synagogue/mosque services (whatever their affiliation) of their choosing just because you want so-called Freedom From Religion? Are you going to file a Federal lawsuit and waste a lot of peoples' time and money to block President Obama from saying 'God Bless the United States of America' after all of his public speeches? Give me an ever-lovin' break.
I'm no political expert. In fact, I don't claim to be an expert on anything. What I do have is common sense. Common sense dictates that a country known for being a melting pot with a diverse population and multiple cultures and which supposedly takes pride in said diversity, will be simmering continually with differing opinions and beliefs. That's what makes America so special. The problem arises when everyone decides to try to be right at the same time. Just. Not. Possible.
It really makes me wonder; What are they so afraid of? So what if (what they assume are) a bunch of wack-a-doo Christians get together with the Governor of Texas to sing and pray and cry out to the God they believe in and hold hands in fellowship? How is that damaging the fabric of America? How is it harming anyone personally? Even if you don't believe in God or Jesus or anything else I'd say at the very least it falls into the 'can't hurt, might help' category. Your right as an American? Just don't go. Simple as that. Oh,and by the way, here is the Preamble to the Texas Constitution that Governor Perry swore an oath to uphold:
'Humbly invoking the blessing of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas do ordain and establish this Constitution.'
I have an idea...why don't I start my own movement. We'll be called the Women Against Competitive Kinetic Organized Sports (WACKOS). We'll file federal lawsuits claiming that sports are perpetuating violence in our culture and are breaking down the family unit by causing millions of men to stare in a catatonic state at their televisions every weekend for hours at a time. Heck, if we get enough people to sign useless petitions and march around with misspelled signs, we may even be able to make all of the major sports unconstitutional because sports are offensive and disturbing to us and we want them to just go away merely because we don't like them. Whadda ya say ladies? Are you in?
I say all this to say that life in our melting pot would be so much more palatable if we would just back off and respect each other's differences. And yes, that means everyone. Christians, too. We all need to take a deep breath, here. Ask yourself this question...Do you want peace and unity and real resolutions to the issues facing our country? Or do you just want to be right? Think about it.
And while you're thinking about it...I'll be on my knees petitioning the God of heaven on your behalf. After all, It's my country and I'll pray if I want to.