Does anyone ever win?

One of the boards that I read is experiencing a bit of an argument. A teacher in Michigan has had a book she uses for her AP English class declared ‘trash’ and ‘perversion’, and a few vocal parents have challenged her high school and the school board to have the book removed from the curriculum. But that’s not the argument…the argument is about someone posting on this message board that the ‘religious right thinks they can run the country’.

Boy howdy, didn’t THAT open up a can o’ worms!

I was raised without any kind of organized religion. It’s neither good nor bad, simply the fact. When arguments like this get stirred up and religion becomes involved, I tend to run for the hills – loudly proclaiming that I am Switzerland. This particular discussion then evolved into different opinions about what the separation between church and state means. One woman said that it was to prevent the state from harming or impeding the churches. The other woman said that it was to stop the church from interfering in the government. Both made logical, sensible arguments for their positions. Each made the other side seem rather dense, each wanted to have the last word, and each wanted to appear to take the high road by asking to ‘agree to disagree’.

I was intrigued, as I often am, by the passion and inflexibility of people who discuss these kinds of topics. Are these ideas too close to who we really are in the inside to be talked about out loud? Should we cry ‘Switzerland’ to avoid conflict? Should morals/religion/ethics dictate how we interpret our Constitution and laws? Are we as humans ever truly able to separate what we do from who we are? Are there really sides, and can any side ever be victorious?

I have no answers. I just want everyone to get along – to be resonable, to use the brain cells between their ears, to have compassion, and mainly to think for themselves and not recite someone else’s ideas by rote.  If you’ve done those things and still think that the world is square, the sky is green, and the Tooth Fairy is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce, so be it.

I’m Switzerland.

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