I never get tired of stumbling upon something that makes me go “huh”. Most of my ponders grow from “huh” moments; that split second when “holy crap, I didn’t know that” fills your head. Theodore Roosevelt is responsible for tonight’s “huh” moment. Still rattling about, I confess to writing this before giving myself a day for the dust to settle. Being a simple “huh” rather than the meaning of life I’m ignoring the dust, adding Roosevelt to my list of heroes, and forging ahead.
Roosevelt; a Republican, for those who liken Democrats to Satan’s army, wanted to remove “In God We Trust” from American coins.This was in 1907; over 100 years ago and people still don’t get it. We all know it didn’t happen, the battle still rages today with Obama in the cross-hairs. Roosevelt recognized the weight of the constitution, bill of rights, and religious freedom. He asked how it was appropriate for legal tender to discriminate against those of other faiths.
“My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege…”
“I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be non-sectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools.”Theodore Roosevelt, Address, New York, October 12, 1915
“Discrimination against the holder of one faith means retaliatory discrimination against men of other faiths. The inevitable result of entering upon such a practise would be an abandonment of our real freedom of conscience and a reversion to the dreadful conditions of religious dissensions which in so many lands have proved fatal to true liberty, to true religion, and to all advance in civilization.”
“To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against the liberty of conscience, which is one of the foundations of American life.” – Roosevelt’s letter on religious liberty.
Teddy; Christian , Republican, and above all American said it better than I ever could.
To be frank — I am of mixed feelings on the whole separation of church and state issue. I say that because I hate revisionist history and I think it’s hard for anyone in the 21st Century to have any concept of how and why the Founders as they did about Religion. And personally I’m bored to death by Atheists and Agnostics complaining about religion.
But as I say those very words I realize that, for example, “freedom of conscience” as Teddy used the phrase is not the best gift the U.S. has ever given to the world or anyone else for that matter. Freedom of conscience can be a pretty darn destructive influence if you ask me.
There’s an Old Testament scripture that I remember from one translation or another that goes like this: “Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint.” and it seems to me that the silencing, or attempts to silence religious voices in public converse ends up with a populace that have no center, no vision, no sense of right & wrong, no values, except for that that illusory and transitory thing known as personal opinion. And I don’t think personal opinion is a very good way to direct a nation, a province, a city, or even a family.
Religion has given rise to fanatics and whackos — surely. But name me any movement among humankind that has not done the same. I think he was right about the idea that establishing religion within a state can be the cause of resistance or rebellion, but given history SINCE Teddy was President I’m beginning to wonder if INCLUSION is such a good idea. Perhaps a world of small countries who have something in common among their citizenry and who are all too small to be a super power big enough to stick their nose into everyone elses’ business might be a much better world than the one we are growing now.
A retired Photographer looks at life
Good man. He was also the first to break up The Trusts which dominated the US.
For probably the first time I agree completely with every single word in you post !!
Wow, that really is something 🙂
ReadEdmund Morris’ three volume biography-well written-easy asnd interesting read, esp. 2nd Vol.>KB
Amen! I was told I should read, “Theodore Rex”, “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” and “Colonel Roosevelt” by Edmund Morris. My already high admiration would be bolstered and boosted by reading them. Now I pass that information on to you.
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