Ok, I’m sick of the hatred merry go round and I’m getting off. So, here’s the deal from my perspective, and it’s the last I’ll say on the subject. I support the idea of A Great America. I want to live in the greatest country in the world and I can’t afford to move to the Netherlands or Denmark. The idea that this country needs change in many policies across the social structure is dear to my heart. I support putting our country first, before foreign aid. Feed and clothe our own. Keep the jobs here. Take care of our vets and their families. Acknowledge with pride and fairly, the sacrificing they do every day by getting them the help and services they need when they come home scarred from battle. Pay them above the poverty level for their service. They are offering their life to protect this chunk of land and your right to have the freedoms many so flippantly abuse. They give up being with their families, seeing their children born. They miss first steps and first words. They don’t see school plays or soccer finals and a lot of times their only interaction with their spouse and children or other family members is a video call or occasional letter for months on end. They shouldn’t need to rely on food stamps or other services for poverty stricken families when they come home. Our military force, should never be abandoned and left homeless on the streets while we accept, feed, clothe and give free healthcare to immigrants. Don’t get me wrong, by all means if we can help peaceful people in need of sanctuary we should. America was founded based on aiding those very people. Not all those seeking asylum here are monsters. However, our own natural citizens should be first and then sanctuary for others when available. Big government has no place in day to day citizens activities. Government should not dictate my life choices, my parenting choices, what I am allowed to read and see on the media or what traditional values my family instills in its children or lifestyle. It’s none of their business who I love, who I marry or what type of relationship works for my lifestyle. Consenting adults, over whatever the age for consent has been set in their area, should be left in peace to prosper without persecutions for those choices. They should not dictate what grows in my garden or whether I collect rain water to use in my day to day life. Sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, right?! The job of government is to run the country as a whole. They were designed as an overseeing entity to rule with the people’s approval. They were put in place to protect the people enforcing and using the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Their job is not now, nor was it ever meant to be, to micromanage daily life. Church and State should ALWAYS be separate entities. I don’t care by what name you choose to call your God, how you choose to worship, what day of the week, what clothes you where or what type of venue you choose to use. Religion/Church is a private affair between man and maker, in that relationship there is no place for government regulations. The other side of that coin is Church has no place in government, and this is where I make enemies. Each person has a personal relationship with their chosen belief system. That system influences every part of your being. It gives you the grounding foundation for who you are. As a person, even in government, you use those values to make/vote on decisions the way you believe best upholds those standards. That is the crossover between Church and State. Period. Laws should not be created based on the teachings of the belief system of any single religious system. As a nation, we keep hearing we need God back in our country. God never left, he lost his place among all the fear mongering and bickering over which of his incarnations was right and the suddenly overwhelming need to be offended by things that weren’t even issues until hate filled people decided to start using “offended” as the new way to persecute others who do not share the same paradigm as themselves. As far as putting God back in schools, yes, by all means we should. However, in the same statement, I believe, if Johnny wants to say grace before his meals, let him. If Nina, needs an East facing prayer mat when the sun is at noon in the sky, give it to her. If Jodi wears a red beanie while he eats and only eats certain foods, more power to him. You don’t get to dictate which God can come to school. After all, who are they really, truly, hurting with their differences? Your sensibilities? Your outrageous, self righteous idea that only you can be religiously pious by following your choice of deity? Believe it or not, while it may not agree with you, those chilldren are being taught beliefs, conviction, thought patterns and lessons that will ultimately help them be better people later in life. It may not agree with your own ideas of acceptable religious teachings, but it’s still a damn sight better than religious education presented to you by Grand Theft Auto on XBOX. So far, this sounds good, right? Or maybe, I’m making you mad as hell. I know there’s a complainer out there hollering that not all religions teach good, some are violent, some teach what modern society deems unacceptable behaviors. This is true, however, there are very few minority religions that still practice these types of behavior. You hear about them a lot, because sensationalism sells news and generates outrage, feeding hate and fear. Do you see the vicious circle? Religion can adapt changes anytime. People see changes in the world around them that lead to religious reform everyday. The problem is, the few, self righteous, want the freedom of religion, but they want it to fit into their definition of acceptable religion. We cannot pick and choose who gets religious freedom. The very granting, plus acceptance, of that freedom comes with the caveat that not all religions are the right choice for every person. Still, our laws grant that choice. So, while I may not agree with your choice, I’ll stand beside you and fight for your right to have it. In the end, the bottom line for me comes out, if you’re treating me like a decent human being and acting like a decent human being in return, we have no problem with each other. Our views, opinions, skin color, religious background, gender identity, idealism, social standing, political views, sarcastic ability/appreciations, sense of humor, body weight, physical characteristics and any other of a million things that make us unique individuals may differ. That’s ok by me. I can disagree with you, respect your ideals and admire your passion for them, still enjoy drinks and a movie with you and see no need to trash you verbally or physically for those ideals. I will willingly discuss any, or all these things with you in an adult, respectful way. Who knows, we may both get a different perspective and learn something with a new way to think about it. There are endless thoughts and ideas, open your mind to the possibility that exists. Quit shutting down, perpetuating hate, spreading violence and acting like we’re going to revert to the Stone age. Maybe, if we tried a little harder to be basically decent humans and automatically allowed EVERY living creature basic kindness and dignity, the divisive culture we now suffer could begin to heal and we would become the potential waiting in the world around us to see what we can do.