So as we all know, yesterday was Easter. The high holy day on the Christian calendar (it’s true look it up).
Every Easter I head to my grandmother’s house and hang out with my family. We sit around the table and eat and drink (and drink some more). We exchange ideas and crack jokes on each other. If you can’t talk fast and loud then you are not going to be heard. After years of observing and years more of trying and failing, I am finally at a point now where I can get my two cents in. I feel like a minor league ball player who finally made it with a big league team.
One of the things I love about my family is that they don’t let their differentiating viewpoints separate them. They will disagree vehemently one second, then laugh and hug the next second. A good example of this is the ongoing battle between my uber-religious aunt and some of us lapse catholics in the family. She’ll always ask us when’s the last time we went to church, knowing full well we don’t know the answer. She’ll drop not so subtle hints, like mentioning us in prayer when blessing the food. She knows it annoys us on some level, but that is her way of getting at us. In return we always say borderline things that are borderline sacreligious to test her patience. Like yesterday we were a the table and I said to my cousin, “Man I sure don’t want to go to work tomorrow. Why couldn’t Jesus come back on a Monday?” My aunt laughed and then smacked me in the back of the head.
This is sort of the ebb and flow of things. We may not agree with eachother, but we have all been raised to appreciated a witty or intelligent statement. Regardless of whether or not we totally agree.
My favorite discussion yesterday centered around abortion. (Uh oh. I said the “A” word!) I am not sure how the discussion got started but it got heated pretty quickly. We had a few staunch pro-choicers here, a few anti-abortionists there, a few people in the middle. One of my cousins held that he is only pro-abortion in extreme cases such as ones that involve incest or rape. I sat back and watched as point after point was made and how skillfully each point was countered.
Now I have heard many a discussion about abortion. This one was no less heated than many of the others I have witnessed. What amazed me about this discussion is that no matter what viewpoint was being argued, left, right, or in the middle, I could see merit to what was being said. So often this is not the case in discussions involving hot button issues such as these. It was thoroughly refreshing to see.
There was one question that was posed that I found particularly interesting. This is the question I will ask you all;
Does separation of church and state truly exist?
It really is an interesting question to pose. In my opinion the two are not as separate as they should be. At first I used the topic of abortion to illustrate how certain factions in our government try to base laws on religious beliefs, but I think an even better case can be made for gay rights. See abortion is considered by many to be murder. Whether this is right or wrong, it presents a very compelling argument. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of people against gay marriage use religious beliefs as the foundation of their argument. How can we claim separation of church and state when people are being denied rights based greatly on scripture? Does that sound right?