Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 28, 2010

God did not create the government in his own image

Confessions of a Dislocated Texan

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Pauls Valley — In the beginning there was darkness and in that darkness a lone elephant and donkey did battle mightily. At first it was pretty hard to see because light had not been invented, so only occasionally did the two bump into one another and declare victory.

Then the light did come and it was good, well as long as one of them figured out how many of their followers it took to screw in a light bulb. Then they said God, please lead our people to the promised ballot and God did say “Sorry, I lead by example, you’ve got to sort this political mess out yourselves.” Some of the people did agree that worship was a church activity and moved on with their lives, but others seemed to think their spiritual lives were caving if they don’t have a leader represented by only one faith.

Now before the extremist mob burns me at the steak (almost as bad as a burnt steak), I would like to point out that my goal here is not to promote any kind of religious persecution. I am also not here to say you don’t have a right to worship Jesus Christ when and where you want.

If anything, I’d rather think I’m complimenting Christianity when I say that the worst place to put everything about the almighty in place is anywhere near the government. Sure, swearing on a bible to tell the whole truth in the presence of a higher power is not a terrible idea, but why in heaven’s name would we want to mandate anything we do in a sanctuary among the most notorious liars and cheats in the country? I will agree that some of the men who founded the United States were Christians, but they also realized that not everyone believes in the same thing another person does (why some of them left England to pursue religious freedom).

There seems to be a misplaced fear that if our president and congress isn’t singing halleluiah, that they’ll do everything they can to stop people from being openly spiritual. Terror is the name of the game when some discuss a lack of prayer in schools; though forget at the same time you don’t need to have someone come on the intercom to send your thoughts upward.

I’ve heard on far too many occasions people connecting a decline in church membership to the government lack of support for God’s followers and I can’t help rolling my eyes. Here’s a surprising thought, maybe the congregation isn’t doing enough to keep and bring in new disciples. Perhaps if some worshipers spent more time just living their lives in a Christ-like manner and only converting when people asked to be, there might be a few more church willing members.

The hymnal “They will know we our Christians by our love” is possibly the best example of where the focus needs to originate. Instead of worrying whether we will lose the right to worship, we should worry if we are setting the best example.

I do believe that Jesus would be proud to know there are places where it is safe to hear his message, but he did not let a lack of such of place in his time deter him from spreading the word. Besides, I think we can all see that when religious groups get too much control they aren’t any better than those who outlaw any religion whatsoever (Islamic or Irish extremists ring a bell?). Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jew or new aged hippy with the drug induced state thing, we should all be seen as equal as our creator sees his creation.