The Separation of God and State

Written by Ed Howes

We might imaginerepparttar United States Constitution is intended by its language to prohibit interference in religious matters byrepparttar 125489 national government. What we have today is far closer torepparttar 125490 conventioners' hearts thanrepparttar 125491 language implies. When convention President, Franklin grew weary of a convention deadlocked for many days, he proposed that it was not without divine intervention they had so recently won a difficult and bloody war. Therefore, it only made sense they should call upon this power each day to assist inrepparttar 125492 building of a nation. His compatriots voted no.

There was no place for divinity inrepparttar 125493 creation of this nation. Each member ofrepparttar 125494 convention was free to pray each day as he saw fit. The deadlock would be broken by compromise. The Constitution was all about compromise thereafter.

Knowingrepparttar 125495 state legislatures would never ratify a document that usurped so much sovereignty from states and their citizens,repparttar 125496 conventioners did an end run aroundrepparttar 125497 legislatures to getrepparttar 125498 document ratified by sympathetic, hand-picked committees. We got a secular framework by whichrepparttar 125499 sovereignty ofrepparttar 125500 citizen andrepparttar 125501 state would slowly transfer torepparttar 125502 national government. This was a process and it tookrepparttar 125503 War Againstrepparttar 125504 States to completerepparttar 125505 power grab, intended fromrepparttar 125506 beginning.

Though its deficiencies are legion, my attention was recently called torepparttar 125507 supremacy clause. Whenever state law opposes national law,repparttar 125508 national law will be held to berepparttar 125509 supreme law ofrepparttar 125510 land. That is, an arrogant group of nation builders decided that all wisdom was vested in their work andrepparttar 125511 wisdom of any state opposing theirs was null and void. That should tell us a little aboutrepparttar 125512 attitudes ofrepparttar 125513 ambitious, who know what is best for everyone else, in all cases. The nation these men created has conformed to this spirit and this is why it is universally hated and despised aroundrepparttar 125514 world.

In 1954,repparttar 125515 words, under God, were added torepparttar 125516 Pledge of Allegiance. It only took a week or two to remember them each day inrepparttar 125517 classroom. But then, what is a pledge? What is allegiance? Why pledge it to an object such as a flag? What is a republic? What isrepparttar 125518 difference between a nation under God and one not under God? How does one put a nation under God or remove it? Twelve years of government approved education never answered these questions andrepparttar 125519 pledge seemed a silly thing to me, all those years. I had to joinrepparttar 125520 military to see howrepparttar 125521 pledge prepared my mind forrepparttar 125522 Oath of Allegiance I was now required to swear. That oath was more confusing still. It spelled out my duty to defendrepparttar 125523 Constitution from all enemies and left me without a clue as to how that is done.

It was with great confusion that I would next need to learn that we could no longer reciterepparttar 125524 Lord's Prayer in "government" school, just eight years after adding under God torepparttar 125525 pledge. This was not even a Christian prayer. It made sense for anyone who believed their relationship to God was father and child. I did not know about how offensive that was to atheists and agnostics because I did not know any. Even today, my mind is troubled that an atheist or agnostic would not wantrepparttar 125526 blessings that could come from this prayer, whether they believe in a Father God or not. If they could possibly be wrong,repparttar 125527 rest of us would cover their bases.

The next year, after all America's public school children ceased praying forrepparttar 125528 nation every school day, J.F.K. was assassinated. J.F.K., I would later learn, was threatening to issue currency instead of borrowing from banks at interest, as Lincoln had also proposed. He also wanted to stay out of Vietnam, so now it's obvious why he had to die, as did Lincoln; who had just foughtrepparttar 125529 warrepparttar 125530 money power wanted. So much for money power loyalty!

Since I was now free from praying in class every day, it never occurred to me to pray independently and I imagine most other students were happy to be done with this daily requirement. It would be many years before I would see thatrepparttar 125531 daily bread no longer came so easily and soon required both parents to work for it. It took a long time to see that while I was delivered fromrepparttar 125532 evil of direct involvement in Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of others were not so fortunate. Now I can't help but wonder how many national trespasses remain unforgiven and will be punished. In fact, I often think every American life needlessly lost, is a payment on an ever burgeoning debt of a people no longer under God, regardless of daily school pledges.

Music Reviews - Bard Of Ely

Written by Ken Mowery

Good writing has a transcendent quality and possessesrepparttar power to transport through time and mindset. Even if it is done purely forrepparttar 125488 sake of entertainment, good writing enables us to see and experience life from vantage points much different than our own. Steve Andrews (aka The Bard of Ely) offers a complex and varied array of songs that are in short "good writing".

The Bard of Ely carries listeners through various paradigms that range fromrepparttar 125489 earthy and humorous musings of "You're A Liar, Nicky Wire" andrepparttar 125490 bravado spoof "Superhero" to "other- worldly" expositions like "For Peter & for Paul" and "Priest ofrepparttar 125491 Venusians".

Perhapsrepparttar 125492 true heart, soul and conscience of The Bard Of Ely find clearest expression in "commentary" songs like "The Hundredth Monkey v The Beast" and "Insect Inside" orrepparttar 125493 philosophical proclamation "Sound of One".

As you read Steve's responses torepparttar 125494 CreatorsWeb Interview questions below you will see that he sitesrepparttar 125495 influences of songwriters like Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Neil Young. You will recognize their musical and spiritual presence in The Bard of Ely tracks as you listen.

Check it out for free at:

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Music Style And Audience

How do you classify your music? I don't! If asked I say I write songs. I am always fascinated finding out what other people make of my songs but for me I feel that a song is basically a set of words,repparttar 125496 lyrics, and a tune. I write my words first and then find a tune onrepparttar 125497 guitar and that isrepparttar 125498 basic song but how it turns out later is another matter. All songs are open to being arranged differently and can be given different production. They all start out as words and music and in my own creative process I writerepparttar 125499 lyrics first, so inrepparttar 125500 beginning wasrepparttar 125501 word! Do you target a specific audience? If so, who?

Not really, I just sing my songs and if people like them then I consider that to that degree I have been successful as an artist. I do find I get a better reaction from rock fans rather than 'folkies' though. What performance venues are you currently exploring? Mainly festivals. I have beenrepparttar 125502 compere forrepparttar 125503 Avalon Stage at Glastonbury Festival forrepparttar 125504 last 2 years, as well as playing there, and followed this with doingrepparttar 125505 same at It's Jo and Danny's Green Man Festival in Brecon. Musical Instruments - Recording - Computer Hardware - Software

What musical instruments do you play? Guitar and harmonica, keyboards, penny whistle and Jew's harp enough to have used them on recordings. Kazoo too but that is so simple it doesn't really count as 'playing.' I regard my vocals as an instrument as well.

Do you record in a home studio?

I haven't got one, only Cool Edit and a microphone but I have usedrepparttar 125506 home-studios of friends.

What equipment and software do you use?

Various. It all depends on what is available. I have various guitars but I mainly use a semi-acoustic Fleetwood jumbo for practice and gigging. The only computer music software I have used myself is Cool Edit. I must confess that I don't know much about creating digital music and am much happier with a guitar and mic. This doesn't stop me collaborating with other musicians online who are skilled with this new technology, and in fact I have a song called 'Electric Bard,' which is a 3-way collaboration between myself and EXLectiX from America and Catherine Duc from Australia. I wroterepparttar 125507 words and didrepparttar 125508 vocals and my collaborators createdrepparttar 125509 music and produced it. Also,repparttar 125510 highly talented musician, Ed Drury, has added his music and arrangements to a series of my poems. This sort of thing, to my mind, is one ofrepparttar 125511 wonderful things aboutrepparttar 125512 world of music available online.

Musical Background -Influences

How did you get started playing music?

I would have been aged about 12 and I was listening to pop and some rock bands and also soul and Tamla and this would have been when I was first thinking about it. This wasrepparttar 125513 time ofrepparttar 125514 'Mersey sound.' Thenrepparttar 125515 psychedelic '60s arrived andrepparttar 125516 folk protest movement and as a teenager I was inspired by Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, Neil Young and many other singer/songwriters, as well asrepparttar 125517 whole idea of an alternative society. I would say that I fancied myself as following in these singer/songwriters' footsteps if I could. Byrepparttar 125518 age of 16 I was going to festivals and gigs and I made my own start at playing guitar and writing songs and poetry. Initially it was an effort to impress girls because I was painfully shy. I had decided that I wasn't that impressed byrepparttar 125519 Beatles, although John Lennon is one of my 'heroes,' and The Stones were far more my sort of rock band. Neil Young was my favorite guitarist then and still is. Other acts that I really liked and still do are Hendrix, David Bowie, Roy Harper, Kate Bush, Van Morrison, Dory Previn, Jefferson Airplane, Nico, Lou Reed, Donovan, Jethro Tull, Bob Marley, Neil Diamond,repparttar 125520 Incredible String Band, Syd Barrett, Joni Mitchell, Bridget St John, Tyrannosaurus and T. Rex, Roxy Music and many many more. Then inrepparttar 125521 mid '70s Punk and New Wave happened and a lot ofrepparttar 125522 energy ofrepparttar 125523 movement I found inspiring. I saw a lot ofrepparttar 125524 bands then like The Clash, Boomtown Rats,repparttar 125525 Stranglers, Patti Smith and others.

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