Separation of Me and State - B.R. Merrick

by B.R. Merrick

Exclusive to STR

July 27, 2009

I listened to Dr. Laura every once in a while years ago, back when I was proudly religious and conservative. She was, and I assume still is, unabashedly conservative. She took a lot of abuse for it, but she stuck with it. (Of course, it did make her a millionaire.) One time when I was listening, a man called in to tell her that a young woman he knew had just had an abortion. What should he tell his children? Dr. Laura, in her typical fashion, practically cut him off: “You are not to gossip.” I was a little surprised to hear this response, but after a while it made sense. Speaking ill of others and their private behavior is indeed gossip. This advice came from a woman who is staunchly pro-life. That’s a pretty impressive and mature way to handle such a dilemma. The simple truth was, the man was asking the wrong question. It is Dr. Laura’s approach that I would like to take here, with these Frequently Asked Questions from the website for Freedom From Religion Foundation, although it could be argued that my approach will be slightly less mature. I may agree with many of their findings as an ex-believer, but their responses to many FAQs leave much for a peaceful anarchist to desire. Feel free to peruse their replies, and see how they stack up against my Dr. Laura-esque answers below.

Christmas Displays on Public Property
Are Christmas displays a violation of the First Amendment?

The whole thing is a bit silly if you ask me. The idea that such a scene should be that offensive to anyone is patently ridiculous. Who doesn’t love a Nativity scene? What is not silly, but deeply concerning to me, is that your question does not address the real dilemma: Why does the government forcefully take property, declare it “public,” and then forbid or favor the free exercise of any individual’s or group’s religious beliefs on that property? Am I free to mention the word “Christmas” when I visit the Grand Canyon , which is also “public” property?
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