Amid all the excessive fluffery of Christmas decorations in my neighborhood, this simple peace sign stood out. Made only of blue garland, it only came alive when the early morning sun shined. It spoke gracious volumes about America and peace, much more so than any gaudy, inappropriate displays of Santa and American flags as seen on many a lawn.
Come night, all the lights and animatronics that now comprise holiday decorations drowned the peace sign out. But it became a special, secret moment on sunny mornings: Peace On Earth and Good Will Toward Man.
Every day during December that I saw the peace sign, I thought of the folks who colonized America, coming here in search of religious freedom. Then, when the Founding Fathers cemented our country, they knew church and state had to be separated in order to maintain both our religious and political freedoms.
If any of the laws that comprise our land need to be changed, it is done in a public manner. That concept – as defined by The Constitution and The Bill of Rights - has worked well for America for 229 years. It is what makes us achingly proud of our democratic system.
That certain groups of people have decided that their opinions can be employed despite these laws - above these laws – is, hopefully, a temporary glitch that can be fixed.
2005 was the year the line in the sand has been dramatically drawn. 2006 will be the year the American public – through their elected representatives – will decide whether to halt the warp, or cross over into the abyss.
Democracy or Theocracy: that is the question.
By the time I was able to capture a sunny morning photo of my favorite public Christmas decoration (above), the peace sign garland was haggard. It has lost its shape, and all too accurately conveys the state our country is in. It’s a bit like a mood ring, in that sense.
For 2006, I hope for a clarity that will save us from calamity, and a sense of purposeful renewal that will lead us back to prosperity, in both a personal and public manner.
Happy New Year.