Please notice, friends, that he does not say “in your own homes,” but “publicly!” Like, maybe at a graduation? or a ball game? or a “prayer Breakfast.” I know this is a real sticking point for those among us who call themselves Atheists – believing in no God. I have no problem allowing any who choose Atheism to worship in public, as Mr Adams says, as long as I, too, may pray, or recognize my God as I see fit in the public sector!
To deny the worship of Christ at Christmas, for example, is ludicrous since He is the reason for the season in America. I enjoy also the lighting of a Menorah in memory of the miracle of the Oil. These are, for many of us, historical events, part of our heritage not to be denied to our children and grandchildren.
“It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons,
to worship the SUPREME BEING,
the great Creator and Preserver of the universe.
And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person,
liberty, or estate, for worshipping GOD in the manner most agreeable
to the dictates of his own conscience;
or for his religious profession or sentiments;
provided he doth not disturb the public peace,
or obstruct others in their religious worship.”
John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
Neither should our children be restrained from sharing traditional greetings to their friends and classmates by the exchange of cards, participation in pageants, the singing of traditional and meaningful carols and spiritual songs. These are, in fact, part of our worship and not constrained to be enjoyed behind closed doors. No one forces a shopper to stop and listen when a choir sings in the local mall. No one requires participation in school pageants or choral programs. No one mandates a valedictorian to preface his statements with a prayer, yet in many case, these “religious practices” have been halted … for fear of offending someone. Really? The only “religious” practice I find offensive is Jihad!
So … worship as you wish, my friends and patriots. Whether traditional or not, whether Solstice, Chanakkah, or Christmas. (Sorry … Kwanza hasn’t been around long enough for me to observe as a historical event, but if it’s YOUR thing … ENJOY IT!) John Adams says it’s cool with him!