Obama and Romney: The Seperation of…? What Do We Seperate?

It has been demonstrated that often times something that derived from one specific request or statement, can often be reshaped and then utilized for a much broader more personal agendum. In order to illustrate my point, I use this rather rudimental example: For as long as I can remember whenever the name Humphrey Bogart was mentioned or the movie Casablanca the phrase “Play it again, Sam!” is always blurted out. Many people including film buffs and persons who have actually seen the movie always remark that this was a great Bogart quote. Allegadly, because it came during a pivitol time in the movie…However, “This is often believed to have been said by Bogart in Casablanca.  In fact, he didn’t the closest Bogart came to the phrase was this: “You played it for her, you can play it for me…If she can stand it, I can. Play it!”  Interestingly, Ingrid Bergman’s character comes closest when she says: “Play it, Sam.”(Movie encyclopedia). The same can be said for the quote “Elementary my dear, Waston” in reality Sherlock Homes never said it, this quote was rather found in a film review in the New York Times on October 19, 1929, afterwhich the phrase was trademarked and popularized. There are many examples where it can be proven that a misinterpretation had become a way of life, the question is when does this theory go from just innoucous film quotes to something more serious? One answer could be when it comes to matters of politics and law, particularly (as it applies to this article) the Seperation of Church and State (The Separation of Church and State is the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state). Lately, the concept of the Seperation of Church and State has lead to the removal of the Ten Commandments displays in goverment buildings, no praying in schools, no more Merry Christmas (I wish they would just lower Christmas tree prices instead, but I digress) and even the suspension of a young man for a week for wearing a t-shirt that supported his religious beliefs. The question now becomes, does the Seperation of Church and State really mean what we have most recently interpretated as meaning?

First let’s start by breakingdown the basics, the term Seperation of Church and State in and of itself was first used by Thomas Jefferson in his 1802 letter to Danbury Baptists. Nonetheless, it actually falls under the First Amendment of the Constitution, which gives the five basic freedoms, they are:  1. freedom of press 2. freedom of petition 3. freedom of religion 4.  freedom of speech 5. assemble peacefully.
Now, if you know your history or are able to do great research you will note that Jefferson’s words and original intention was only for government to be neutral for the religious and nonreligious he stated, “government must be neutral among religions and nonreligion.” (Wikiapedia). We must also keep in mind that originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress not the public. It was only later that, like the aforementioned quotes that the term and its intent where applied to further other agendas and further restricted the public.
In other words, our misinterpretation of the the term freedom of religion mixed with the misunderstanding of where the goal for the Seperation of Church and State actually came from and came for ( if you will) has lead us to the credible beginning of what could be a down fall; if government is not careful with were they lead the people these coming four years. America (Love it or Hate it) has been rooted in Christian beliefs (Love that or hate that). Now we can ask, how far away have we strayed from the political base developed by our commencing govenrment who created our bureaucratic foundation? And does it matter to the future of our government and our country as a whole?
In the end, it has become very clear that America has lost its way; we somehow forgot that “We The People” meant caring for well…the people. Is it possible that we have simply failed to keep the very thing that has helped to sustain our solidarity, our originality, and our innovativeness…and where has it gotten us? Our credit is bad, our people are detached, and our children have no guidance.
Perhaps… just maybe… we have misquoted our founding fathers so often that it has become a way of life. I bet if we looked back at the original documents we would find that we have made decisions based on sensibilities for the people by mixing them with our own personal hopelessness about America’s future.
I leave you with these words from my late grandmother, she said, ” Sweetheart, when you find that you have lost your way…go back and remind yourself of how you started…That’s what a foundation is for my dear, to keep you grounded and on track!”