Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Coexist X - Constitution Day

September 17th is Constitution Day.
This is not a political blog and it is not a religious blog, but as I wrote on August 31, we cannot always separate our beliefs into easy categories. I am a Christian. Why am I a Christian? Well, one factor would be that I was born into it. By heritage and birth I am a Christian and therefore I believe that was in God's plan for me (and at some point I also made a choice to be a Christian). If I had been born into a Jewish or Muslim home it is much more likely that I would choose those religions.
The truth is - we all think we are right. Every religion thinks it is the right one. Every political party thinks it is the right one. If we possess any logic at all we can plainly see that this is a conundrum. Some political arguments tout the notion that this country was founded on Christian principles and beliefs and therefore our elected officials must align themselves to those beliefs - WRONG!
Do you know:
*Our nation was founded as a secular government, based on the authority of "We the people", not a god, king or dictator.
*The words God or Jesus do not appear in the US Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.
*The US Constitution guarantees religious liberty for all religions, atheists and agnostics.
*A US treaty signed by President Adams states: "...the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."
*"In God We Trust" has only been on US currency since 1957.
*The phrase "under God" has only been in the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954.
*US Presidents are not required to put their hand on the Bible and say"so help me God."
So, as much as some of us would like to think that America is a Christian nation and it well should be because we know we are right - the facts show us otherwise. As Americans we are called to COEXIST together. We are the melting pot of religions, cultures, races, orientations, and beliefs. This protects us from totalitarianism, authoritarianism, anarchy, dictatorships and other forms of chaos - if we can just coexist.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Thank you for this. I've been debating whether to do a post on this topic, but hadn't quite made up my mind. I agree with everything you say.

Kelly Jene said...

I choose to co-exist not because I am a perfect person with perfect values, but because my God has commanded that I love Him first and second to love my neighbor as myself. That is my definition of co exist.

bonnie said...

What you have to say here is so important. I was raised a secular humanist which left me floundering in my own struggle for spirituality which is as ongoing as the discipline of faith. My husband is Jewish but was "co-raised" in the Ethical Society. His father sang in the local Presbyterian choir so they could have a tenor. I've always celebrated Christian holidays, but with creative irreverence. I just found out this year that Israel is a secular culture. I always assumed they were a religious people.

Liquid said...

Beautiful post!

Choralgirl said...

YES! Makes me nuts when anyone tries to co-opt the Constitution or Divine Right, especially when they try to do both at once. Blaa.

SandyCarlson said...

Great post, Diane. I think we often forget that the framers of our liberties were deists. They held destiny in their hands, they believed in perfectability as something that could be derived from within!