The Difference We Make

Sometimes, it is hard to know how we can really make a difference in a world where everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, seems to be set against us.

Let me tell you a little story to illustrate my point.

ConstitutionBooklet

A few weeks ago I read a short news item mentioning that Steven Palazzo, a Congressmen from the state of Mississippi, had sent a Bible to every member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives.  A copy of the letter Rep. Palazzo included with the Bibles is included below…,

Palazzo Letter

“Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision making,” he says.

Well, my first thought was – can you imagine the uproar if he’d sent out copies of the Qur’an.

After I stopped laughing, it occurred to me that maybe everyone should send a copy of their favorite religious or philosophical text to their local members of Congress, to guide them in their decision making.

But the problem is, I don’t want our lawmakers to be guided by any religious text, not the Bhagavad Gītā, the Nine Noble Virtues of Ásatrú, the Analects of Confucius, and certainly not the Holy Bible  in any of its various translations.

When our elected representatives are considering policy decisions that will affect people of all religious persuasions, the only document that I want them to use as a guide is the Constitution of the United States of America, whose first Amendment reads…,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

And that’s when I had the idea.

I knew what I’d do to express my concerns to those in power over using the sacred text of one religion as a guide to governing people of many differing religions.  I would send every last one of them a copy of the Constitution, along with a handwritten letter explaining my concerns.

Moreover, I would encourage everyone who was concerned about this issue to do exactly the same thing.

If enough of us did that, even if we restricted our efforts to the Senators and Representatives in our own states, such an undertaking would have to be noticed.

The pragmatist within me cautioned that such an endeavor would be expensive, but a quick search found copies of the Constitution, complete with the all important Bill of Rights, available for just a little over a dollar a booklet.  I quickly ordered a handful and began making plans for my letter writing campaign.

This was going to be great!

Or maybe, it would just fizzle, but at least I would know that I’d made the effort.

A few days later the pamphlets arrived.  Looking through them, everything seemed to be in order, although there were a lot of quotes listed before the text of the Constitution itself, talking about the “Hand of Providence.”

“Hmmmm…,” I wondered, “who published this edition?”

According to the fine print it was ‘The National Center for Constitutional Studies’, which sounds innocuous enough.

There followed another brief internet search, which quickly revealed that the NCCS is a group of rabidly conservative Mormons who believe that the founding of the United States was a divine act, that the Constitution is based in Biblical principals and that the government will falter without religion (and not just any ol’ religion, mind you).

So in my desire to do good, I gave money to the enemy.

What’s worse, is the knowledge that they’ve turned the founding documents of our nation into a vehicle for their propaganda.  What good is the ‘freedom of speech’ when your opponents assume control the very words you would use to make your point?

On the surface, I suppose this seems like a small obstacle to a small protest.

And when I look at what has been going on in Furguson, Missouri…,

The hopelessness…,

The rage…,

Journalists Attacked

When we see members of the press arrested, tear gassed and shot at with rubber bullets by the men who are supposed to protect and to serve, but who choose instead to boldly trample upon that sacred 1st Amendment, how can we help but feel frustration and a certain amount of loss.

My own complaints seem so very small in comparison.

How can we ever hope to make a difference in the face of such terrible injustice?

Wouldn’t it be easier to just give up and let them have their way?

What is it they say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

…,

Wait, who said that, and why?

What if there ARE no small protests?

What if the the best thing that we can do is to hold true to our beliefs, and to remind those in positions of power that they were not placed there to serve either their own interests or the whims of a particular deity (or corporate master).  They are there to serve us and that the only guidance they need in this holy task, begin with those sacred words “We the people…,”.

If nothing else, let that be the difference we make.

Now then, I know I’ve got some postage stamps around here somewhere.

5 Comments

Filed under Culture, Modern Life, Politics, Religion

5 responses to “The Difference We Make

  1. Me thinks there is going to be a lot of doorstops suddenly available to our governmental employees! ROFLMAO

    My mom (atheist) was long time secretary in the House (state government level). Trust me – those bibles would be filed under 13 by the majority of secretaries who will roll their collective eyes. They have a lot more to do with their time when it comes to sorting mail than pass on a bible.

    Of course most Christians don’t read or follow the bible so what does sending it to anyone matters? They make it up as they go along —

    • True enough, about the door stops. It is, I think, less about what will be done with those books than it is the intent behind the action – the complete disregard for those who fall outside the majority. As I said, had it been some other “holy” text, the sh*t would have hit the fan. The Bible gets a pass, because it’s the Bible.

      • Oh completely agree. Put a COEXIST sticker on one car and we received a bible tract on my windshield a few weeks ago. If I had turned around and put something about Buddhism or Islam on their door, I’m sure Homeland Security would have been called!

        OTOH policymakers in this country are not going to be influenced by religion. The only spiritual belief they have is the one that worships the Almighty Dollar.

  2. Reblogged this on Biblebelt Witch and commented:
    I wonder if the Target “teacher corner” Constitution booklets are still available. This isn’t a bad idea…

    And if I could line the inside of each book with $100 bills, I may actually get an answer…

    Those with economic power pull the strings of those with political power. And those who should be heard and ignored. By the people [who can afford it] for the people [who can pay for it].

    We need a revolution for things to change…doesn’t have to be with bullets, but it does have to be with bodies. It’s going to take a whole mass of citizens to force the government to stop and look and listen.

    10,000 fists in the air.

    If the target copies are still available, I’ll send them to my reps with the original bible letter and explain my grievances. I’ll even highlight separation of church and state in the Bill of Rights, to make the best use of their time.

    • Agreed on all points, particularly regarding the numbers it is going to take to ‘get noticed’. And that’s why I was excited about the $1 constitutions (until I found out who was printing them), because sadly, people are more likely to put in an effort if it doesn’t hit the pocketbook too hard.

      I do like your idea about including a copy of the original letter along in the package. I’m still putting together the first batch to be sent out (and hand-writing the notes, ugh!), so I can still include those. I only wish Texas didn’t have SO many Reps.

      Thanks for the support and the re-blog!

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s