I have been trying hard to avoid commenting on any political budalastina subject...for both my own sanity and the fact that I have what I consider to be too many opinions on many subject matters. I'm trying to hard to have less opinions. Or at least caring less about vocalizing them. Nekad ide, nekad ne.
An ugly word at the moment in the Federation and even more so in Sarajevo.
The following is not an opinion. It's a story of a young american boy. So it goes.
I grew up in a largely Italian and Irish neighbourhood. It was, and is, a Long Island Levittown development, so, of course, there was a little bit of everything and everyone there. Though upon reflection it was largely white.
When I went to school my best buddies were Jimmy Hulbert and Theodore Theodoropolis. One of my oldest and dearest friends was Erica Lazarus. When I got older I dated Michelle Delman for a spell. We went to school together. Played ball. Got in trouble. Studied. Had fun. Wrote notes in class instead of listening to Ms. Maynards biology lesson. I never really saw Erica or MIchelle on Saturdays. Never thought much of it. On Sunday's, I was always at church with my family. Jimmy is a protestant and went to his church. Teddy is Greek Orthodox and he went to mass with his mom and dad as well.
Never. EVER...did our ethnic or religious backgrounds ever come up in conversation amongst ourselves or with our parents. It was a non-issue. The only time it did is when Jimmy's grandmother made some delicious German bread or Teddy's dad made some wicked Greek dish.
My schooling and social life in the neighbourhood were completely separate from my family's religious traditions. Our religion was just that, intended for us and our family. We celebrated and worshiped as we chose...at our own time and place. It was a private, intimate and sacred thing. It wasn't meant for school or the playground.
People can kick and scream about separation of church and state. The bottom line is that for any multi-ethnic society to work it is a model that I am not only proud of - but am witness to that truly and honestly works. Never for one second did it take away from my traditions or belief system. That was always mine and my families - and the state fairly protected that right. Still does.
I knew Erica didn't celebrate Christmas. I always wished her a Happy Hanukah. I didn't know or understand the differences until much later. And much later - they didn't matter. They didn't matter because i grew up knowing and loving Erica and Teddy for who they were.
The religious communities here are calling SDP evil communists. If America has any phobia (we have many), it would be communism. America hates communism more than anything. We separate church and state. And it works. We are not communists.
Let God remain where need be - within ourselves. Let us learn about our beliefs in places most fair and appropriate to do so. Let our schools be for growing up learning how to be good people, good citizens, good students. Let our kids be kids...and let them love each other for who they are.
The roots of America's belief in separation of church and state comes from a troubled Europe...
"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries." - President James Madison