Look through eyes of history, reasonPublished 10:46am Friday, September 20, 2013
It seems that the Sellers family believes they have figured out what America is all about and have decided it is their job to be the voice of what they see as “reason” in this day and time. But I also know that there are good, intelligent and fair folks in Alex City who react with more compassion and understanding – and have a better grasp of history and truth.
After reading a lot of postings from both Sherry and Billy Sellers on here (and the comments of like-minded citizens and a few dissenters), I am reminded that there are those other folks out there that will accept for fact almost anything said by a person with a title, whether that title be Rev. or Dr. or whatever.
There seems to be a line of thought that continues through many of these statements that infer that this country was founded as a Christian nation. That is simply not the case.
While most of the founding fathers were Christian, their belief systems were vastly different. Among this group were deists as well as anti-clerical Christians such as Franklin. Many were slave owners.
We tend to revere these people, as we should, but in that we often forget that they were, just as we are, flawed humans.
They had, however, seen the problems that can come from an unhealthy relationship between government and religion and tried to find an answer.
They were good and noble people, but at the end of the day, they are no different than any of us.
For anyone, including myself, to try to definitively state what those men would say in response to what is happening in the world today is not only folly, but it is manipulation.
But, true to some of those who settled in what is now the United States, it would seem that the Sellers and others would like to return to days where it is the norm to embrace very narrow religious and political views and to persecute those who don’t fall into step.
The Puritans are well documented in their persecution of the Quakers, in fact even hanging Mary Dyer because of her association with the Quakers.
When Lord Baltimore drafted the Maryland Toleration Act, it was the first application of freedom of religion to a governing body.
But, later it was repealed by those Protestants who wanted to make sure Catholics could not practice their faith. Roger Williams spoke eloquently for the separation of church and state.
The First Amendment states the case, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” and, the move toward religious freedom found a lasting footing.
Just to be clear. It is freedom of RELIGION. Not freedom of CHRISTIANITY.
I am happy that we live in a place where people can live, worship (or not), speak and believe what they wish.
I am pleased that people such as Sherry and Billy Sellers take advantage of this freedom.
But, it is our responsibility as citizens and as thinking adults to NEVER take anything at face value.
And, just because someone holds a position that society places on a lofty pedestal, their words are no more valuable than those of the homeless person living in an alleyway.
Sometimes it is wise to step back from the emotions of the times we live in and juxtapose this time against other times.
I certainly have no authority other than that of any of you – and my words hold no value greater than those of the Sellers’ or anyone else. But, before we jump on the bandwagon that finds some justification for religious bigotry, isolationism of people because of their beliefs, or creating a separate system to “control” those who do not believe as we do (seems there might be something in our Southern history that is applicable here) we should step back and look at things through the eyes of history and the eyes of reason.
When Ms. Sellers says, “We are divided into Us and Them instead of standing together as WE AMERICANS to study and correct the problems we face in education, immigration, defending our Constitution, and the Christian religion” she, by her own words, excludes anyone who is not Christian from the statement “WE AMERICANS”.
Please, let’s be smart enough not to go down this road. Because, I can’t see anything different from this and what Ms. Sellers speaks of in her generalization of Muslims: “Their view of other religions is the same for all, not a legitimate religion and should be replaced with Islam.” Isn’t this what SHE is saying, except about Christianity?
I say it again. It’s freedom of religion.
While I certainly applaud their right to these opinions, it is incredibly frightening to think that in this day and age there are people preaching this radical point of view and gaining an audience.
The days of segregation, McCarthyism, and internment camps were not that long ago. But, apparently the type of thinking that allowed those institutions to flourish is alive and well today.