With Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day just under our belts and Christmas on the way, coupled with the fact that my column can be reached on the World Wide Web, I sometimes get email requests from concerned people around the world.

The number of times that the following words from Andy Rooney have crossed my desk, echoing my thoughts, leads me to believe that perhaps they, my thoughts, could be expressed in words of no better assortment. It goes, in large part, like this…

“I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but I’m not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don’t agree with Darwin, but I didn’t go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.

“Life, liberty, or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered in any way because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what’s the big deal?

“It’s not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They’re just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

“But it’s a Christian prayer, some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, and Canada, countries founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200 to 1. So what would you expect, to hear? Somebody chanting Hare Krishna?

“If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer. If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer. If I went to a cricket match in India, I would expect to hear a Hindu prayer. And I wouldn’t be offended. It wouldn’t bother me a bit. When in Rome …

“But what about the atheists? That’s another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We’re not going to pass the collection plate. Just humour us for 30 seconds. If that’s asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of earplugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer. Or just exercise your right to leave this country.”

Christians have become sick and tired of turning the other cheek while a handful of people and their ill advising lawyers are continually pressuring the courts to strip us of all our rights.

Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bibles tell us to pray at any time. The silent majority has been silent too long. Is it not time that the vast majority stand up and tells those screaming minorities that we don’t care what they and their misguiding lawyers want?

It is time that we tell them, “You don’t have to pray. You don’t have to say the Pledge of Allegiance. You don’t have to sing O Canada or attend the services that honour those who have fought and died for the freedoms that we enjoy today.

“That is your right, and we will honour your right, but let it be known that we have little intention of allowing these rights to be taken away. We will fight back and we will win.”

Take care, ’cause we care.





Barrie Hopkins