So they say having a baby changes everything. It sure does. Especially one’s ability to keep up with the sordid events of the political world. I might be a bit behind the times but I am catching up, slowly, one diaper change at a time. Oh, and Happy New Year to you all too.

Two recent controversies sparked my interest as we near the inauguration of Mr. Obama, forgive me if they are a bit old and not nearly as dramatic as what is coming out of other corners of the nation, but they’ve been nagging at me – thank you for your indulgence.

First, was the invitation given to Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church, to give the invocation at the inaugural festivities. Apparently this has some gay and lesbian groups in a tizzy. Some feel that by asking Warren to say an opening prayer Obama is abandoning the gay agenda.

Really? I thought Mr Obama was just asking someone, a prominent minister, in our nation to say a prayer, which has been a traditional part of inauguration ceremonies from the get-go, not making a commentary on social issues. If there is one day in our four-year calendar that we can put aside our issues and differences, it’s inauguration day. You don’t have to like the guy that’s being sworn into office on January 20th, but you can admire the tradition, the American spirit, the peaceful transition of power and all that is good with this nation on that day. When it comes right down to it too, you can always turn the TV off if you are that offended. I’m going to go out on a limb here as well and assume the people who are upset by this invitation are part of the “we preach tolerance crowd, but only if it’s our version of tolerance”. I think it’s safe to say that we all will never agree on the issues, but we can agree to disagree and move on with life. Realize as well, America is a diverse place, asking Rick Warren to be part of the ceremony is just that, asking him to be part of the ceremony, not a political or social statement, it’s just fulfilling part of the national tradition. If you’re upset by this, it’s time to grow up and realize life is not fair, you will not always get what you want, and get over it.

The second item that made my eyes roll, was the lawsuit filed by Michael Newdow to have all religion removed from the inaugural ceremonies. Newdow, an atheist, claims that by having religious references in the ceremonies the government is choosing sides, and forcing religion on the masses – especially the atheist masses.

Here is why this argument is wrong. Look at this guy’s atheism as a religion, which it is. By asking the government to remove Judeo-Christian references from the inauguration, isn’t he also asking the government to choose sides in the debate on religion? Furthermore, by filing suit, isn’t he asking the government to get involved in religion, which he claims they shouldn’t be in the first place? Again, time to realize America is a big place, and you are not always going to have your way, or agree with the other guy, and get over it.

When it comes down to it as well, this nation is founded on Judeo-Christian values and ideals, but that does not mean that we discount Islam, Bhuddism, or even atheism. Everyone is welcome at the American table. You can have your opinion, just let me have mine as well, and please don’t waste time filing lawsuits to get my opinion silenced. Peter Sprigg, VP of the Family Research Counsel, said it best, “These atheists who are suing to prevent prayer at the inauguration are showing a fundamental misunderstanding of what the First Amendment is all about. The establishment of religion that is forbidden by the First Amendment means the official declaration of an official national church. It doesn’t mean that public ceremonies can not include prayers or acknowledgement of the existence of God.”

Again, in the end if Nedow and his followers, or those upset with Rick Warren are dissatisfied by the program presented on inauguration day, they are free to turn off the TV and not participate, as we all are free to do, if we don’t like what’s playing.

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