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Tim Myers: And life goes on

Myers' Musings

Posted: May 16, 2009 2:45 p.m.
Updated: May 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
An epiphany occurred early this week. A vision of clarity struck me while reviewing the agenda for the May 12 Santa Clarita City Council meeting, specifically the item regarding a plebiscite for the inclusion of the words “In God We Trust” on the city of Santa Clarita logo.

I viscerally oppose this action. My reading of the Old Testament implies that the community openly invites the righteous wrath of God with such “vain oblations” of piety when elected officials show complete disdain and borderline hatred for the poor in the community and the world.

Also, I personally know that one would be hard pressed to find many of the local officials who would pimp for this plebiscite over the next year-plus in a house of worship on a weekly, regular basis, calling into question exactly in which “God” they trust.

And, it turns out, the elected officials decided to go ahead and throw “In God We Trust” on the wall with a 5-0 vote; no plebiscite needed.

The arguments against this action take two main tacks. The first and most obvious revolves around the appropriate separation of church and state.

Interestingly, the city pretty clearly loses in court on this issue, since the conservative-leaning Supreme Court upholds public religious displays that existed for a long time but denies those brought in recently by opportunistic politicians seeking to spark a local culture war for their own purposes.

But luckily the city possesses plenty of money to fight a prolonged court battle over the motto ... right? Ooops!

The other line of argument against the plebiscite runs something like this: The elected officials need to concentrate on the real problems of the city, like a secular and not temporary decrease in sales-tax revenue from car sales due to the permanent closure of dealerships, the problem with further foreclosures exacerbated by a doubling of the unemployment rate in the city, and making law enforcement more robust to hold the line in a troubled environment.

In other words, plenty of things to do without distracting everyone with something so minor in the current environment.

But recently I realized I should embrace this matter.

When the news surrounding us always contains the phrase “the worst ‘fill in the blank’ since the Great Depression,” I believe it very important to embrace the ordinary and the pedestrian, if only to give ourselves a mental break from the dire.

In recent weeks I noticed, particularly in my own situation, that despite catastrophic circumstances, life moves forward.

Our oldest son, who attends UC San Diego, took great pride in obtaining his first apartment, necessary for next term due to the lack of student housing for students past their second year.

Our daughter seemed to grow to adulthood and mature overnight when she obtained her driver’s license just one month before her 18th birthday.

Our eighth-grade son literally grew three inches in four weeks, leaving him slightly taller than his father and with a “flood” promotion robe due to higher growth than projected.

Our grandson will start kindergarten in the fall.

Around us, life moves on. At the end of the month high school students will conspire to smuggle inflatable dolls into graduation ceremonies while eagle-eyed teachers and administrators will seek to capture them quickly, once visible.

Based on recent performance, the Dodgers will stand about eleven games below .500 when the disgraced Manny Ramirez returns to the lineup in early July.

The Lakers will struggle into the NBA finals and probably lose dramatically to Cleveland.

During the third week of September 2008, when Lehman Brothers failed and the credit markets literally froze, our oldest son obtained a student loan from Wells Fargo Bank. I congratulated him on his ability to borrow money at a time when the large banks could not.

Life goes on, and we should not sacrifice the opportunity presented by the city action for a vigorous debate on the issues.

I, for one, will relish the debate. I will attempt to interview every single elected official on his or her specific religious beliefs and theology, and then opine on how it comports with their votes on city matters. (We have a right to know in which “God” they trust.)

And, yes, I plan to ridicule them if they stutter and stammer and reveal themselves as un-churched wanna-be’s who think this satisfied some mysterious local demographic.

I look forward to it, and everyone else should too.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident. His column represents his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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