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In God We Trust: Roe vs Wade

As the Roe vs Wade decision and public prayer slice across the US as the Voice of God, the ghosts of our Founding Fathers are scrambling for some old-fashioned spirits while shaking their spectral heads.  In common with God, their names are routinely being used “in vain” and with considerable Pride.  A proverbial “Deadly Sin”.  Obviously, none of them can add their two cents to the conversation due to a short-sighted lack of an internet connection.

The concept of 7 Deadly Sins predates formal Christianity and was essentially defined by Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (aka Horace) in 65 BC and heavily debated regarding definition and meaning by Aristotle before his death in 322 BC.  BC as in, Before Christ and Mary Magdalene.  Pride and Vanity prior to being promoted to  C-Level Sins,  were regarded more as Middle-Management Thoughts.  An early stab at psychology and medicine.

History can be so very inconvenient, right? 

Don’t worry.  To counter this annoyance, we have time-honoured political and religious purging methods. Judicious book burnings and censorship mandates are excellent tools to corral and flush out independent thoughts and facts. Witch hunts and lynching have also proven to be very engaging and exciting forms of religious entertainment. Very useful for rooting out those vexatious writers who persisted in pointing out irritating facts.

Back In The Day, when philosophy and debate (vs screaming arguments) ruled society; thoughts were believed to be products of nutrition, sexuality, and acquisitive desires. Emotions were linked to depression, anger or, conceited feelings. Mental shenanigans that initiated physical actions were directed by jealousy, envy, and arrogant states of mind. Sound vaguely familiar?

It has not been recorded by any unvalidated second-hand sources that God participated in these conversations. Perhaps he was chatting with his Prodigal Son Lucifer or simply busy elsewhere. There are also no historical records of any smiting’s having occurred during these discussions. One may tactically assume “HE” didn’t object to some Lively and Intelligent Debate. This has only recently been designated as a Second Class Deadly Sin. It is now followed closely by the Sin of Intelligent Thought.

The reasonable basis for establishing fine yet strong lines dividing Church and State were clearly understood and defined by our original, clever Constitutional writers. (Damn writers!) Over copious amounts of Madeira and whiskey, they debated the dubious marriage potential of religion and politics. They referred to history, supported the local pub economy, and blotted their copybooks with all the pros and cons. It didn’t look good.

John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson in particular, further expanded their ideas and research with some strong Burgundy in France,  well-aged whiskey in the UK, and beer sloshing in Germany.  Eventually, they come home mentally sobered up.  They had mutually established and agreed, politics and religion were best kept separate, for everyone’s sake.

Separate bedrooms, so to speak.  They could sneak around as lovers at night but were definitely not getting a public marriage ceremony.  It was concluded that there were simply too many aspects of God to fit into a single-label box. God, like family, was your private business.

Feather quills scratching across Constitutional parchment put their thoughts down as a foundational directive for this new experiment of democracy in a spanking new country. Battling hangovers and travel lag, they did their best to ensure this conclusion was both clear and precisely written towards future generations.  Talk about positive transparency- they simply oozed with it!  And all this without social media to guide them. The mind boggles.

Ah, our deeply beloved and now much maligned Constitution. With the dregs of wine bottles littering the floor and days of grammatical corrections, could our Founding Fathers begin to conceive how many times their words would be literally taken out of context and propagandized by “Sinful” politicians?  Did they foresee that Pride and Greed would become Red, White and Blue “Virtues”?   That Capitalism, the chosen economic system of free-enterprise, free markets, individualism, and a laissez-faire (Damn French again!) government policy would be undermined by – God?

One can almost hear a ghostly, blurry chorus of “what the Hell”. There would certainly be a Cold Supper served up by their wives when they found out..

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States has two clauses dedicated to religious freedom. Note, it is the FIRST Amendment with TWO clauses.  It was That important to our Founding Fathers. (Pretty sure even if the wives couldn’t vote, they still had some hard-core input on this one). Based on their experiences and available information, they thoughtfully gave us the,  Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.  Do I hear a round of applause and a “Totally Awesome! Thanks Dudes”?  Anybody?

The Establishment Clause was conceived and designed to prevent the government from establishing and creating laws leading to the ” establishment of religion”. We can argue (with or without wine/whiskey) that this is a directive for politically not supporting or endorsing any particular religious institution or, just religion in general. Either way,  it is a mandate to avoid a nasty entanglement of politics and religious activities.  Separate bedrooms, remember?  This clause decrees a clear separation of Church and State.  A solid Republican value of “keep your nose out of my personal business” with a nodding agreement from the Democrats. Glasses were clinked and dinner served.

How we define God as our personal guide/mentor is up to each of us as private individuals. It is not the purview of the government. This is a foundational belief of both American democracy and, Capitalism.

It’s good business and is backed up with legalise loaded guns and the Free Exercise Clause. (Just in case future generations got confused).  This clause directly prohibits the government from interfering in the free practices of an individual’s religious beliefs. A written punch at any government sticking its nose in that bedroom. Thou Shalt Not Interfere With Personal Shit. Shove off Government Regulator.

What, the hell has this all got to do with Business/ Capitalism you shout? Relax, my friends. Avoid the Deadly Sin of Wrath.  Breathe, in and out…  Calculate for a moment please, as a business. You are selling Something.  If anyone can buy your Something vs only a few,  how pray tell, will your profit margins tally up? That’s not Greed, it’s just- good business. Again, a round of applause for our exhausted Founding Fathers! They wanted us to pursue the dream and succeed, both as individuals and, as a Nation. (Don’t forget a little bow to France for providing the liquid inspiration and our Statue of Liberty. French Fries debacle aside, they still think our little experiment was a good idea. Vive la France!).

So what the hell just happened? The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade is not just a harsh blow to women and Their Individual rights but a darker shade of violating politics.  It has opened the floodgates for fundamentalist Christianity and extremists to direct both the immediate future of the US and business. It is puzzling to consider what companies like Coca-Cola, GM, Comcast, AT&T, CVS, Walmart, Amazon and Verizon expect to gain by supporting this to the green tune of over 15 million dollars. Are they calculating a future population of workers?  A new wave of poor, uneducated slaves sweating in the factories and fields with only an invisible God by their side? A terrifying prologue to a “Soylent Green Solution” [1]?

This legal decision, supported by corporate America will direct further dominoes to fall against all our individual rights and freedoms. A religious agenda, driven by the Sin of Pride, is seeking to direct the government and regulate, as a country, our personal beliefs, and choices.  Where is our defending militia now? Hunkered down in the dark woods as wives, sisters, and daughters are led to the slaughter. All in the Name of God.

As our nation reels from further Supreme Court decisions,  one might privately consider offering a few beseeching prayers to God, The Universe, or anything out there with a lick of common sense to step in before the blood bath begins. It won’t be Lambs Blood we are washed in.

The Supreme Court further ruled in favour of public prayer following a Washington state legal case. A local coach led his team in kneeling prayers after the game.  The words “peer pressure” and “bullying” come to mind. The local school district (per our Constitution) requested prayers be private and, off-field.   Being a full-blooded American with “Rights”, (which obviously over-ruled a silly thing called The Constitution and the Rights of others), he sued the state, via the First Amendment. That would be the one that has been now totally shredded and refers to Free Speech.  This Amendment seems to be currently defined by supporting bad grammar and the Freedom to call anyone names and beat them up if they disagree with Your Free Speech.

Our coach in question; Joe Kennedy’s  ”free speech and prayer”  were deemed by the Supreme Court to be the only ones that mattered that day.  His team, regardless of personal religion or choice, knelt in coerced prayer. One might assume that God and our spiritual Founding Fathers were equally confused and silenced.

With a heavily weighted religious Supreme Court, we can, based on these decisions, expect more legal bombshells. They will come disguised as protecting our “Rights” even as we watch them vanish one by one.

Over the years, Public Prayer has become so popular, it’s now a regular show event at presidential inaugurations. Somebody forgot to close those bedroom doors.. Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden, they all called on the Almighty to guide them. It seems to be the only common element in our recent political history. That and the debris of broken campaign promises. What does God say about lying?  Commandment or Sin?  Dear Politicians, take your pick but leave God out of it.

Which begs the question, when was the last time anyone referred to The Constitution as an entire document, versus piecemeal scraps to feed political agendas? Perhaps we need a new Sin added to the list.  The Sin of Brutal Ignorance. Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, you can all chime in on this one as you roll over in your graves.

On the muddy, merry path to a US presidency, promises are made, prayers prayed and a whole circus of pretty lights  and parades entice us over the Right Side. It can get confusing sitting on the proverbial fence listening to it all.

Both sides are Right and both sides point their bony fingers at the Other Side who are Wrong.  One can hear the chuck-chick sound of shotguns loading as Americans aim at Americans. Turn around on the fence and Wrong becomes Right.

This has nothing to do with God. This is about us.  It is about truly defending our Constitution and the individual Rights of all Americans to be free in making their own personal choices.

Bullets and prayers won’t save us from ourselves.  “Love Thy Neighbour”  (1 John 3:18) may be the only uniting directive that both our Founding Fathers and God agreed upon as a founding faith for our nation

I bow my head and raise my un-consecrated glass of wine to all of them.[2]

[1]   1973 American ecological, dystopian film. Directed by Richard Fleisher. Based on the 1966 science fiction novel by Harry Harrison; “Make Room, Make Room”.  A future of dying oceans due to greenhouse effects that result in global pollution, poverty and depleted resources.

[2]  Leviticus 19:18,  Matthew 22:37, Leviticus 19:34, Mark 12:31 etc.


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Karin vonKrenner
Karin vonKrennerhttps://kvkrenner.com/
Karin vonKrenner is a journalist and photographer. She has worked globally for over 20 years, in times of peace and conflict. Karin directs her pen and lens to document the contrasting narratives of the human experience. Her work invites you to engage the world from new perspectives.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Karin, I enjoyed this piece very much, and could actually chuckle at parts if this were not such a disturbing synopsis of our country right now. I wrote recently my own thoughts about the Roe decision and the ability for any 18-year old to march into a gun store and buy a military style weapon and enough ammo for a day at war before heading over to the local elementary school, grocery story, cinema, night club, concert, (fill in the blank). It was (and still is) difficult to wrap my head around the level of hypocritically rationalized and justified some have reached. On one hand, the Constitution is there to protect our RIGHTS – our right to buy assault weapons, our right to pray, our right not to wear a mask… Nevermind those RIGHT to live in safe communities or the RIGHT to make choices that are best for our families, or the RIGHT NOT to pray, worship, or proselytize according to our own spiritual convictions.

    When I learned about the latest SCOTUS “let-us-shove-religion-down-your-throats” decision, I thought about all of those using God in their arguments that they should decide what’s best for my body. I thought about the Jewish 16-year old boy being forced to participate and pray to a God he doesn’t believe in. I thought about the “choice” he has: stand silently while everyone else prays or take a stand for his religious RIGHTS. Tough choice for a kid.

    Our country is becoming unrecognizable. Our Founding Fathers are rolling their eyes and reaching for the whiskey, indeed. To those who made SCOTUS picks their voting issue: you got what you wanted. In your reality, certainly none of your loved ones will be impacted by the RIGHTS you so fervently want to protect… or is it impose?

    Thank you for writing, Karin. Sadly these decisions will affect generations to come.

    • Thanks Melissa, always good to hear your perspective. The question of Constitutional Rights brings us, in our current political situation to query any legal definition of “rights”. Where do personal rights begin and, end. How do we define “personal harm” experienced when the “rights” of others cross ours? The recent decisions by SCOTUS will re-define the very foundations of our legal and political systems and, our Constitution.
      Interesting fact, we are currently experiencing the largest exodus of Americans not only leaving the country for good, but in a new “first”, giving up their citizenships. Our “faith” in our country has been deeply shaken.

  2. Karin: What a delightful and refreshing way to start my Monday & week. Even as I wrote that last part it dazzles me somehow that we have come to accept Monday—the day after Sunday—to begin each new week! Yes, we are thoroughly indoctrinated, and apparently regressing as well. Thanks for the much needed focus on our slide toward theocracy, I only wish certain members of our tribe would read it in good faith, and understand our hesitation to embrace their version.
    Thanks for writing.

    • Why are you dazzled by the new week starting after the weekEND, Byron?
      I have started the week on Mondays my whole life – until I moved to the US where it surprised me that “the 7th Day” was Saturday. I wouldn’t be surprised if the week starts on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, but I really have no idea. And what do they do in China that is not even out of the Abrahamic tradition?

      • Charlotte, as always, a pleasure to hear your insights. In MENA ( I spent a majority of my life there) the weekend starts on Friday. And Sunday is their Monday. On a more interesting, historical side note, in the Islamic calender it is year 1443AH and in the Chinese calendar 4719 and the Ethiopian calender it is still 2014.
        Which begs the question, how are time and religious history related? Have a great day!

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