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The drapes of wrath

Community Columnist

My daughter was forced to take a make-up test on a Wednesday when class periods are cut short due to early dismissal for some students for religious education. Because she had less time, she couldn’t adequately complete her essay.

Freedom of religion also implies freedom from religion. A growing number of Americans have become non-denominational. And yet every president has been a member of a religion that follows the Bible, whether he’s a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew.

What about the Chinese who helped build the railroads, the Africans who helped build the South and the Native Americans who helped build our history? These non-Biblical factions haven’t had much of a say in the government.

For $50 and an email address in New Jersey, you can send away for a license to be ordained a bishop in any religion of your invention. With that license, you can marry people.

Like school without any classrooms, I consider myself spiritual without a religion. I’m not interested in union scale and handing out grades. As Tom Joad came to believe, my soul is a part of a big soul that is present everywhere:

“Whenever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Whenever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there... I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’-I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build-why, I’ll be there.”

— John Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Like Tom Joad, sanctions, drone maneuvers and nuclear bombs have nothing to do with the Bible. Sex and annihilation are two heads on opposite ends of the same snake. One leads to continuous existence and the other leads to non-existence and affect all of mankind equally.

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