With the recent declaration of Pope Francis that the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang are, in fact, correct, there is perhaps no better a time to discuss the idea of Faith as it pertains to our everyday lives. His declaration, to many, has come as the Vatican’s response to the ideas of Creationism and Intelligent Design, and the offering of an olive branch to the scientific community. For others, this is the beginning of the Church's declining relevance, as it waves a white flag in the face of amassing evidence: a chance to simply try to incorporate otherwise empirical ideas into religion’s scope as a last ditch effort for survival. It’s a confusing state of affairs when you have a community whose scripture and teachings would promote blind faith and then also take a stand for evidence. So it would seem apt to strike while the iron is hot and dig into the subject of Faith, religion, and secularism now more than ever.
Of all the wonders that this world possesses, I would posit that the greatest is the mere fact of its existence. We take so for granted that this universe Is, Was, and shall always Be. We comprehend an unchanging system, static and dormant now as it has always been. Yet, we know this to be false; we know that the stars are born and die, that the galaxies spin with reckless abandon into the infinite void, and that even this little world will not be tomorrow as it was today. That this fallacy of permanence should so permeate our very existence I find so ironic when so many of us fail to live in the moment. We ignore the fundamental sensations of living. We ignore the warmth of the sun on our skin and the sound of the wind. We ignore the beauty of trees and even the coarseness of the sidewalk. We ignore the dazzling sparkle of the light against windows, and the determination of a procession of ants. All these little aromas and sights and textures… All of these perceptions lost to a passive ignorance.
This is a research paper I did for my AP Government and Politics class about a proposed congressional bill that would ban the physical desecration of the United States Flag. It is written from the perspective of the ACLU, though I elected to represent them because I am passionate about civil liberties. Hopefully that passion shines through.
My name is Jeffrey Hepburn, and I'm a young writer, graphic design artist, and aspiring filmmaker.