Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Separation between Church and State

is 240,000 miles. Who knew?

I knew of the controversy surrounding the Apollo 8 mission and Madalyn Murray O'Hair's lawsuit, but this is the first time I've ever heard this story.

The comments following the post are entertaining (as is usually the case) and do a poor job representing either side of the debate, but an interesting point is brought up.

Yes, there was enough publicity after Apollo 8 for NASA to choose not to broadcast Buzz Aldrin celebrating the Lord's Supper. But that's where it ended. As much of a publicity hound (pun intended) that Buzz Aldrin is (and I say that with all due respect, having met him on a couple of occasions), it says a lot that not much was made of this.

Contrast with today. The Religious Right fringe of American Christianity (TM) would be up in arms, appearing on every talking-head news show on cable and crying "persecution!" To them, I would offer up this advice:

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven...

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (Matthew 6:1, 5-8)

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