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God to the state of New Mexico: Shape up

Ned Cantwell: Local columnist

I heard a lot of you talking about me last week. That was good. No surprise, though. You always do during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday. As well you should. Look what I did for you.

Some of you folks, Easter Sunday is about the only time I see you. You get all prettied up and dandified. I guess you think I’ll notice you more if you get all gussied up in your fancy clothes. I don’t. Frankly, I’d like to see you more often, even if you are wearing tattered jeans and flip-flops.

(STOP that. Excuse me. The Archangel Michael got himself a fit of the giggles. He thinks I just made a John Kerry joke. I didn’t. I am taking no position in that race no matter what you might hear from the pulpit.)

You New Mexicans are good people. I pay a lot of attention to you. Sometimes you puzzle me, though. Like, why in the world won’t your state Legislature pass a law saying schools are allowed a minute of silence?

I mean, every time it comes up, like it did when Sen. Vaughn of Alamogordo tried to push it through, you let those folks from the American Civil Liberties Union babble on about unconstitutional this and unconstitutional that. Give me a break.

You have a moment of silence and a kid prays to me. Where’s the harm in that? My problem is that most of the youngsters’ minds will be wandering all over the place. But let me handle that. I’ll work with those kids. Although, to be honest, teenagers are tough. Sometimes I think I am talking to the wall.

By the way, I don’t hate the ACLU the way most of you do. Separation of church and state makes sense. The place to learn about me is in your homes and in your faith communities. Arm a kid with the truth, and he’ll pray at school whether it is official or not.

All this stuff about “under God” in the pledge amuses me. You guys have been reciting “under God” for 50 years, a half century of degradation. When it comes to major league sinning, you make ancient Babylon look like a church picnic. What good has reciting “under God” done you?

I mean, look at your TV shows. When “under God” started, “Happy Days.” Now; after 50 years of “under God,” you have “Friends.” Like, duh.

Having “under God” in there isn’t going to hurt anybody, but it isn’t going to save anybody either. You can say “under God” all day long, but if you don’t preach and live moral principles, it is all form rather than substance.

Same with this business about the Christmas Nativity scene hassle. My heavens (pardon the pun), but all the Nativity Scenes in the world aren’t going to transform your world if your people don’t walk with me on a daily basis.

Now, as to your questions about that column fellow, Cantwell. I don’t know what to tell you. I just look at him and wonder: What was I thinking?

Ned Cantwell is a retired newspaperman living in Ruidoso. He is prone to imaginary conversations. Contact him at:

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