Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jesus es todos lados!

Jesus is everywhere! I haven’t been exposed to as much religion since I was in high school. I am staying in a house with many crucifixes and many images of christ. On the roadsides there are billboards reminding you about god. A great many people wear a cross around their neck.

This is not meant to be critical. It is simply meant to be an observation. In Austin, I interact with people from a wide range of belief systems. Here in the Valley, it is interesting that I interact with so many Catholics.

I remember the day I was confirmed as an adult member of the Catholic Church. I was standing in a pew with Kim Huber behind me. I wore a purple dress with tiny flowers scattered over it. I even remember it tied in the back. I know my parents bought that dress especially for the occasion.

What I remember most vividly, however, was thinking I needed to bolt. I remember listening to the priest and wanting to respond “No!,” when he asked if we believed in god, the father, creator of heaven and earth. All I could think was my own father would be extremely displeased if I actually did bolt. So, I stayed in my place and answered yes like a good girl.

The image of that younger version of myself in the purple dress jumped to my mind yesterday morning. I was sitting in the Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court for a hearing. Individuals from the community were there to discuss work to be performed on the local levees. A group of us from the office attended the meeting to observe.

Much to my surprise, at the very beginning of the meeting almost everyone rose to say the pledge of allegiance. I felt as if I had entered a time warp to elementary school. Afterwards, I plopped myself back down in the chair only to almost fall out of said chair in the next moment.

We were going to pray!

At a state proceeding!?

A woman in the front of the courtroom asked god to guide the proceeding and to grant the Commissioners wisdom in their decision-making.

Well that sounded nice, but what ever happened to separation of church and state? I know I read that in one of my textbooks. No really! It was in Constitutional Law, I promise!

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