Dick Feagler whines in today's PeeDee
about, ahem, "God-haters". I take a few issues with parts of his, ahem, thoughts.
Let's talk sense. In the first place, there is no such thing as a 9-year-old atheist. I mean, really, is there?
Yes. Also, there are newborn atheists every day. Most of them require extensive training to become otherwise. Next question?
But God belongs to no particular church or state.
So the problem is that he doesn't believe in God, and your response is that God is stateless. You seem to be leaving out a key point here, namely, whether God exists or not. Hrm
God doesn't care whether He's in the Pledge or not. Perhaps He was pleased when, in 1954, His name was added to the Pledge. But, looking back on the decades since, it didn't do Him a hell of a lot of good, did it?
So now you've gone from not needing to prove God exists to knowing specific things about his motivations and emotions. I'm curious what your source is...
But that's not good enough for the God-haters. The God-haters think that, even if a kid doesn't mention God's name, the kid is subjected to second- hand God fumes from the utterances of her classmates. Second-hand God, like second-hand smoke, offends anybody in the vicinity.
I suppose you could have called us puppy-haters. I'm not sure how anyone is supposed to hate anything that doesn't exist. I don't hate the talent behind the movie Gigli, for example. Well at least you haven't delved into non-issue glommed from some anonymous emailer that have nothing to do with the subject you started out talking about...right?
And, God knows, we are a nation easily offended. There are perils to the right and left of us. Perils that didn't used to be there at all.
Not to stomp on your new perils meme, but did you want us to always be facing the same perils? Are you thinking fighting polio, black plague, the Soviet Union, Police Academy Sequels, or what?
I'm indebted to an anonymous e- mailer who sent me a list of things we never used to worry about. Part of it goes like this:
Is he your source for God being pleased with the change in the pledge? I'm just asking.
"People over 40 should be dead! According to today's regulators, we never should have survived.
"Our baby cribs were covered with bright-colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets. When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
OK, so no on e has died from these things? Or there is too much regulation for these things? Every regulation is a cost-benefit question, obviously. and perhaps we are over-regulated....I'm trying to think of what this has to do with your God-in-the-pledge column. Are you saying if we lick your column, we may die?
"We drank water from the garden hose and not from a plastic bottle. Horrors!
"We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth. And there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were just accidents. Remember accidents?"
Yes, accidents. Where nothing is preordained or controlled by some outside entity, it just happens to occur. Yep, where no one at all is looking after us, or deciding our fate....this may not help your God argument so much.
"Little League had tryouts and not everybody made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
He continued, "We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones. Unthinkable!"
Here I'm wondering what part of the God-Pledge lawsuit dealt with issuing cellphones. Here I'm afraid you've lost me again. Must have been my brightly coloured crib when I was a child.
"Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that! "
"Please pass this on to others who had the luck to grow up as kids. Before lawyers and government regulated our lives for our own good. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors."
Well I have to agree with you here, Mr. Feagler. Let's keep the regulators out of the business of telling us what to do. Say, by forcing us to read a list of rules to follow everyday. Imagine that!
The anonymous e-mailer is right. God and our parents kept a stern (but detached) eye on us.
I'm picturing a detached eye and it's frankly giving me the creeps. I'm also wondering how your got from cribs to a detached but stern eye. Perhaps the non sequiturs are too old-school for me to comprehend? Did you keep this one in a file marked "in case of idea shortage, toss in this"? It's probably time to blame the "current" generation about now.
Now, in this generation of the easily offended and the fancied slight, our Supreme Court is going to rule on God. Is He legal or illegal?
Well, whatever the ruling, He'll be around.
Now I'm slightly confused. The Court is ruling on whether he exists, or whether my tax dollars will pay to say he does exists in a specific form dictated by a certain religious group, even if that contradicts other religious groups, or non-religious groups. OH wait, I see - it's a holy war. We all know how well those turn out.