Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dear Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

You left the following comment on my blog, in response to my post on the visit of Francis Cardinal George coming to speak and I wanted to comment on a few things:

Original Comment from Anonymous:
“It's nice to think of people coming together in solidarity and recognizing the hand of god in things. But what if people don't believe? There is a reason that there is no state religion for example. Religion is a choice. It would be nice if congress sang about god together, but the fact of the matter is, not everyone believes in god, or those who do believe believe in different ways. Let's say I'm an atheist, and I find refuge and solidarity by getting together with other non-believers and talking about what we believe in. Does that mean that if you and I are both in public offices that we should go about building such solidarity my way, not yours? Surely you would object. Stop trying to force religion in areas that are meant to remain neutral to it. It doesn't mean that individuals, or even large groups, can't act in a way that squares with their beliefs, but you have to see the problems when you try to prject that onto the political arena. It's not the place. No matter how much you think it should be. Why don't we try to find common ground that we can build on. Instead of hoping and wishing that congress would sing "God Bless America" (And ******* and moaning when they don't) try to figure out a way to accomodate each other so that we can all have a sense of comradery regardless of our religious backgrounds. Your thoughts are naive and way too compartmentalized. Leave the mountain west and see the world for what it is.”

My Comments:
Thank you, Anonymous. I appreciate the gentle reminder that no two people are alike; exactly how God created us. With that said, I respectfully remind you and any other readers, that this is my personal blog. I have the freedom to write and share my opinions however I please - I may write things with which you disagree - this post being our case in point.

Personally I believe that, (I don’t think you will agree with this, and that is absolutely your prerogative,) this nation was founded by men who were led by God. If people don’t believe in God, that is their choice. I believe in God. He still leads us today – however, men and women have chosen not to believe that or listen to Him. I hope, again, this is my personal belief, that one day our nation will return to worshiping Him and recognizing His hand in all things. That is what I believe. That is my right. I do not believe that I am closed-minded, naive or that I compartmentalize things too much. I work very hard to look at situations from different perspectives - but when I believe something, I believe it, and I don't stray from that. I do think we are arguing a moot point – you believe one thing. I believe another. We both have that freedom. We’ll agree to disagree, but we both have the right to voice our opinions – and that is exactly what I was doing on my blog.

Also, I respectfully disagree with you that I should have to leave the mountain west to see the world for what it is. Why should it make any difference where I live? The world is the world. I’m watching the same news channels and reading the same NY Times articles that you are. (Unless they print two different copies and I get the “censored” version. I highly doubt that.) It is up to each man and woman to educate themselves. Should everyone move to the east coast (the supposed promised land)to receive their education and upbringing? Hmm, I would presume that there are differing opinions on that question. I would say no. I spent nine years growing up in northern California, studying a month in Italy, working and serving a year and a half in Germany and have spent the accumulation of my high school and college years in Utah. There are two sides to this debate: do we need to see blood, murder, sex and violence to appreciate what we have? Yes and no. How can we appreciate good and happiness without experiencing bad and devastation? We can't. However, there is a point where we come to understand how much bad is out there and we don't need or want to participate in it or see it to appreciate the good. So, I think I will stick to my west coast ways. Los Angeles has murderers just like New York does.

Again, Anonymous, I’ll state that we’ll agree to disagree, but we both have the right to voice our opinions – and that is exactly what I was doing, and will continue to do, on my blog.

You cool with that, friend? I am. If you don’t like what you’re reading on my blog, you also hold the freedom to not read my blog anymore.

Your imperfect friend who tries to be a little better and a little more open-minded everyday,

Ashley E. Jones


  1. Mm, I live for these kinds of blog posts. You also might want to remind Anonymous that there are regions of the world where state religions DO exists, and exist rather blissfully. Religion can be a means to a politically sound end, but obviously, a politically stable state should be the result of true religion.

    Anonymous seems to believe that the United States is the only country in the world. He/she limits his/her thinking in that regard. There are beautiful examples of governments with state religions in countries like Finland, Greece, Germany (to certain extents), and my favorite--Vatican City. In these countries, tolerance abounds, but religious morals are given precedent.

    Ultimately, religion and non-religion both belong and ideals associated with both should be present in government. Eliminating religion from state is just as criminal as eliminating science from state. To choose one over the other wouldn't favor everyone, and to incorporate both allows the highest possibility for national 'comradeship'--accepting and acknowledging both value sets.

    I am always astonished to find that those who scream loudest for tolerance, usually are the last to grant their universal acceptance of others.

    I appreciated your comments, Ashley. Well handled.

  2. Thanks Ryan - I too appreciated your comments. Well spoken.

  3. I have nothing to say besides well said, my dear!

  4. Ashley,

    What a wonderful response to something that could be taken as not-so wonderful. Having grown up on the east coast I dealt with this same idiocy, I mean, ideology every day. People believe that if we as a faith are rather conservative that we are also closed-minded. I also believe that your response was a very eloquent and respectful reproach to someone who encroached on your domain (excuse the pun). Reminded me of how we should all respond to opposition: much like Pahoran did with Captain Moroni.

    Thank you Ashley Pahoran Jones.


  5. I'm choosing to express my thoughts through applause so as not to detract from the superb points already stated.
    (... insert desired amount of ovation time here...)

  6. For some reason, blogspot isn't allowing me to publish this comment from Spencer:


    Without getting into whether I agree with you or not- every session of Congress is opened with a rather Christian prayer. In fact today's prayer smacks of conception of God quite different from the one probably held by Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Williamson etc. While I'm sure an argument can be made that christian religiosity is perhaps "missing in politics," I think an equally as pesuasive argument has been continually made that we have never seen God as politicized as much as we have in the last 10 years."

    Thanks for the comment Spencer - good thoughts.

  7. I always have to laugh at the "anonymous" posters. Why are the anonymous? Could it be that they don't have the courage to state what they believe with their name beside it? If you really believe in something, then own it! AEJones is owning what she is saying and even being respectful with her responses to your "anonymous" view. Can't say that I'd be as respectful towards your commentary. Own it, anonymous!

  8. Great job, Ash. I like reading opinions, and I definitely like reading yours. Keep them coming!

    As for Mr. Anonymous, I would like to see your response, please.


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