Some of my friends are strict constitutionalists and I applaud their zeal. But for me, I am a strict consternationist
I like nothing better than to see Buffalo socked in with 36 inches of snow or lumber scattered over a busy road and a truck in a ditch.
Don't get me wrong. I draw the line at injuries or deaths, but short of that, bring on the turmoil, the strife, the bickering, the Hatfields and McCoys.
If you are wondering why, I don't know. I could say it's because as a newsman deep down I know that unless something out of the ordinary occurs I am out of work, the ultimate personal consternation. But simple questions seldom have simple answers and I know there is some long psychological word I can't spell or pronounce hiding deep in me.
But that being said, I love this California recall even though I am a Democrat. The sight of Gary Coleman and Gallagher running alongside the lieutenant governor and a man who began his career soaked in oil, flexing in tight Speedos warms the cockles of my heart. And the Democratic lawmakers walking out of the Texas legislature and camping out in another state is wonderful.
But for great consternation give me this latest wrangling over the Ten Commandments in the Alabama courts. Oh, I so love to see people who deeply believe one way fighting with those who believe another. It's Ireland without the killing. It is to consternation what the perfectly hit baseball soaring like an Eagle-winged orb over the fence at Turner Field is to a Braves fan.
I should say there are things I deeply care about, but the separation of church and state is not one of them. The pope can blow holy smoke over every courtroom in America and I could not care less. If I walk into a bar in Atlanta and they won't take my $5 I am mad. But the fact that the $5 bill has "In God We Trust" on it, I couldn't care less.
I must admit I am in a psychological way fascinated with the Madeline Murray Ohares, who like a character out of an Edgar Allen Poe short story cannot sleep at night as long as one little baby Jesus is resting in one little crib on the lawn of one little city hall. But I am only fascinated from the obsession standpoint and not the separation of church and state concept.
This whole church and state issue is based on the domino theory. Remember the domino theory from the Vietnam War era? If Vietnam falls to the "stinking commies," Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, etc. will fall like dominoes. The last time I checked the only people invading Thailand are fat Germans looking to buy unsafe sex.
If the Ten Commandments hanging gathering dust in a corner of the courtroom is allowed to stand, then it is only days away before some nun is hiding in your bedroom to beat your butt until you recite the catechism verbatim. Then the government will be drafting you into the priesthood. Then those who don't believe like you will be put against a wall and shot.
The world's problems don't seem to stem from the fact that people deeply believe in religion. It is that they are intolerant of someone who believes in a different religion.
Don't get me wrong. If there is a law or amendment or other order that is supposed to be obeyed, then obey it or work hard and change it. The point I am making is that I don't stay up late at night worrying about whether someone in Riverdale is tearing off that little tag from the mattress they just bought at Mattress King that says under penalty of law don't tear it off.
I have ordered my world according to what bothers me in some sun revolving around the earth concept and I am not about to change. There are things like polluted air that I care about. There are things like this latest wrangling that I only care about because it is great consternation.
The irony of this courtroom controversy is that the Ten Commandments say things like thou shall not kill or steal or commit adultery. Those nice matching leather-bound books on the judge's bench say yikes, the same things.
Bob Paslay is assistant managing editor of the News Daily and Daily Herald and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 257.