Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Do you actually know what you're saying????

I admit it. I did not watch the Miss USA Pageant on Sunday. I haven't watched it since the year I volunteered for the pageant the year it was held in my hometown in the early 1990s.

Although I missed the whole Miss California .v. Perez Hilton debacle, I have read some posted "backlash" in various places online. My following tirade has little to do with Miss California's or Perez Hilton's opinions. Oh well, it happened.

I am bothered most by the sheer ignorance behind many of the online comments. Here are my comments in return.

First of all, to those of you touting “Separation of Church and State”, I ask you this: Have you read the history of the beginning of this country?

Our First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ” In Britain, the church was sanctioned by the government, with King George as ruler of the country AND head of the church.

The First Amendment was written to prevent the government from exerting control over individual rights of religion - not the other way around. This is why James Madison said: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established,

Good ol' Thomas Jefferson put it this way: religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, [the people, in the 1st Amendment,] declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

It hasn't stopped our government from trying... or even succeeding sometimes. Anybody heard a morning prayer in school lately?

Secondly, to those of you begging for “tolerance” or shouting against “intolerance”: Do you actually know what that word means??

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

TOLERANCE 1: capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina2 a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own b: the act of allowing something : toleration

In other words: “put up with” “stomach” “bear” "face despite fear" "deal with". It does not mean “accept” “believe” “embrace”.

I believe tolerance is quite misunderstood. Tolerance is over-rated. Many claim "to have tolerance" is to "live and let live". That's like telling my second grader that 2+2=5.

Tolerance can only go so far - even with things we love. I can eat an entire 1 lb box of chocolates... but my body won't tolerate it. A river must have its banks, an ocean its shores.

It is ignorance that drives the beliefs and opinions of many in this country. Therefore, all I ask is that you know what you’re saying before you spout off.