Religion and Values
What does one value when leading a secular life? What does one reflect upon when leading a secular life?
When I was young I can remember that Sunday was sacred. My mom, dad, siblings and I went to church, mom would make an exceptional Sunday dinner and the whole family and sometimes a friend or two would make it a point to gather and enjoy eachother’s company. Most stores were closed and liquor wasn’t sold until after noon. For me, Sunday was time to relax before the busy week ahead, especially when school was in session. I valued the peace and reflection that Sunday’s brought.
While my children were young I began to implement a similar Sunday routine. It was different, however, because my then husband really didn’t want to “do church”. He liked that our children had this routine, but he didn’t value the practice for himself even though we both grew up in the same religion. For Sunday dinner I would either cook a traditional meal that my mother would have made or travel nearly two hours to eat and relax at my mother’s house with my siblings and their spouses and children. Unfortunately by this time my father had passed away.
Today the times have changed. Mom has passed away too and my children are grown and living on the other side of the country. Will my children continue similar practices when they have their own children? I suppose this might depend on how much they valued the past practice and if Sunday remains sacred to them. Since 1999 every day now seems so busy. Opportunities to work, shop, and be entertained have increased dramatically since then. As a culture we have taken Sunday and made it as any other day. One has to be very intentional in order to implement a day of rest and reflection…We wonder why our mental health is suffering so! The practice of this day of rest is no longer valued by a majority of folks. I find the secular way of living chaotic and mind numbing. What does one value when leading a secular life? What does one reflect upon when leading a secular life? Is it fulfilling to take a walk in the woods with your electronic device? Is science really an alternative to the wonder that is felt by simply taking out time to meditatively observe the expanse of the universe? Can a Sunday morning political panel explain the complex nature of humanity?
We are seeing increased drug abuse, suicide, murder, homelessness and lack of respect for personal boundaries. I contend that these selfish behaviors are a result from government (AKA secular) interventions that have, on the surface, seemed compassionate, however, in actuality they do nothing to connect a person to the spirit of giving and the value of this gifting. Government programs are no substitute for personal responsibility.
We must get back to valuing a day of rest and reflection which is an intentional path for developing dignity and purpose for living. Think about it…Do you want a government authority telling you what should be your values? Aren’t values subjective? If my government takes away my personal perspective, feelings or opinions of something and interprets them for me by a statement of “these are our values”, then must I comply? And if I think or feel differently and express that opinion am I no longer part of my community? This is not a hallmark of Liberty folks, instead I sense a tyranny beyond belief! My work, my income, my home is no longer my valued domain; instead it is only valuable to the government for its programs and what they deem worthy to fund through their appropriation.
Be wary of Federal Government and political compassion. Do not allow it to be a substitute for your own compassion. Practice responsible free thought and expression by considering its cause and effect. Put your values into service at home and in your community. These are the greatest gifts we bring and they reflect our individually Devine purpose for being.
The U.S. Constitution provides the framework for American values and our elected leaders take an oath to uphold this framework, not to abuse the context and dare to eliminate or reframe the fundamental rights of the people: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.