Wednesday, December 15, 2004

It's church and state all in one!

Heard tonight at the Iberia Parish Council meeting:

"Please recite the Lord's Prayer in unison."

That's just wrong on so many levels! Here are as many reasons for that as I can stomach to tell (both of them):

1) Separation of church and state is apparently a foreign concept in New Iberia. Of course, that parish's flag evidently contains the word "oiliest" on it, so what else should I expect?

2) I don't need my state-sponsored religion spoon-fed with a hint of kindergarten-schoolmarminess. But apparently everyone there does: "Please let out your innermost morals exactly as I say them."

Whatever happened to religion being a personal thing?


Anonymous said...

Did they stand up for the paryer? Did you stay seated? I would have, definitely.

The Manning Report said...

It became personal when 56 guys signed the Declaration of Independence.

Michael said...

Point out to me, please, that part of the Declaration of Independence that incorporates the Lord's Prayer. Or the Constitution.

The thing I'd really like to know, though, Ian, is whether they did it in the Catholic manner (pausing for another prayer between "...but deliver us from evil" and "...for the kingdom, the power, and the glory...") or the Protestant (no pause).

Ian McGibboney said...

Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution ever mentions the word "God," much less Christianity. The DoI only mentions a vague "Creator," which for all we know could have been Mother Nature or even evolution. The Constitution says and refers to God absolutely nowhere. I know this because I read every word of both documents for a research project on the subject.

As for the prayer, Michael, they sort of did a compromise--no one said "power and glory" but there was a pause for it. And they all did the sign of the cross afterward. It's quite a sight. Even more so at the local high school football games. I did stand up, but that's only because I don't feel like explaining myself to a room full of irate Catholics who hold power (even if I don't live there). But I was probably the only one in the room who didn't say the prayer. They probably noticed that, being that south Louisiana is a place where people check on your conformity.

Kyle said...

You are a bad liar, Ian. Quote from the document!

DOI"the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them"

"that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator"

Note to the words, "created" and "God". Evolution doesn't create.


Michael said...

So which god is "Nature's God," Carl? Got any proof they meant the Christian one?

Kyle said...

Irrelevant, Michael. Ian said that "God" wasn't mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Stick to the subject.

Ian McGibboney said...

Carl, thanks for pointing out my error. I do make mistakes from time to time, though I still stand by my claim that "God" appears nowhere in the Constitution. In my opinion, this omission is more critical, being that the Constitution came later and better refines the purpose of our government.

But the quote you point out, Carl, shows that I actually understated my case. "Nature's God." That clearly shows that Christianity was not the point here, nor was any other religion. It also shows that Michael is right--the particular God being mentioned has everything to do with this debate.

The Manning Report said...

And the particular God being mentioned is the Christian God. All you have to do is look back at these guys memoirs and writings to see.

Ian McGibboney said...


1) If the Founding Fathers wanted their religious beliefs to be included in the documents, don't you think they would have more explicit about it?

2) Regardless of the much-debated religious preferences of the Founders, their point was that they didn't want their beliefs to guide the nation; they wanted the government neutral from religion (in order to counter the tyrannically religious government of the British Empire).