Tag Archive: day


If you want to get people riled up in this country just bring up a religious topic.

 

picture by clarita

Being that today is the NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, the fighting never ends. A judge in Wisconsin, U.S. District Court Judge of Madison Barbara Crabb to be specific, has stated that the NDP is unconstitutional, violating the ban on government-backed religion. 

If you want to get all wonky, there is a historical reason for our constitution not wanting to establish a national religion. Way back, the earliest immigrants who came to this land were looking for religious freedom. 

If you lived in Europe and were not of the religious faith of the local ruling person, prince, burger, whatever, you could be killed. Catholics did not move away to a Lutheran region, Lutherans and Calvins stayed in their areas. 

People were forcibly moved. The Russians issued pogroms against Jews and Mennonites. (The Mennonites took their incredibly hardy winter wheat with them). If you were different from the mainstream of your area, you were attacked physically eventually. 

So people started coming here to find religious freedom. Some found it, some perpetrated the harsh behavior. Puritans would brand Quakers, a sect that holds their religious services in silence. 

My guess, and this is a strong guess, is that the founding fathers did not want to see the problems of religion of Europe come to this new land. So they stated strongly there would be no state religion. Here it is from the Bill of Rights. 

Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

But the brilliant writers also stated there would be no prohibiting the free exercise of religion. What does that mean? It means we can join a church worshipping bunnies or whatever. AND there will not be a law prohibiting it. This allows the Nazis and the Waco, Texas people and Westboro Baptist Church to exist. 

It is also quite clear that there will be no state religion. We are not a Catholic Nation or a Christian Nation or a Muslim Nation or a Jewish Nation. We are a nation that allows its citizens the freedom to be religious or not, no consequences in this life for that decision. 

Praying together, picture by taliesanDo I wish more people in our nation would come to God? I do, I really do. I think prayer is one way to get closer to God and Jesus. But I also think enough hypocritical religious people have turned off non-believers. “I don’t want to be that guy,” is what non-believers are thinking. I used to say that myself. I hear voices preaching hate and wonder if we read the same bible. 

But this day, whether it is constitutional or not, is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to pray, to take a step closer to God and feel his love and concern. Visit a religious meeting house of your upbringing or choosing this weekend and talk to your God. Chances are he wants to talk to you but wants your heart to be open to hear his words. 

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.

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As Valentine’s Day gets nearer, the lines at Blockbuster to pick out the perfect movie will get longer. But some movies deserve to be ignores all together.

A word of warning first, I am about to be sacrilegious. “Legends of the Fall” has to be one of the most over-rated films ever. Ever!!!!!

The last time I watched this movie, with the thought of how great to see Brad Pitt in this tale of great love, was many years ago. At some point as the camera pans over the cemetery, talking of how these people sacrificed their life for Tristan, I wanted to scream.

The movie is overwrought with emotion, with meaning, with Tristan’s wild character. In the end, I could not like him or even sympathize with him. It is not that his character is mean or insensitive. I believe Tristan truly cared for his brother, Samuel. But in deserting Susannah, he revealed a carelessness with others.

But worse yet, it seemed that the narrative wanted to blame Tristan for all of the deaths in the movie. Was he really? I always felt he was the blame for Isabella’s end but not anyone else’s.

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps you agree. Perhaps you think another movie meant for Valentine’s Day deserves to be called the most over-rated. Tell me what you think.

Karyn Bowman is also known as Mom Goes to the Movies. She lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook .