Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
-- Thomas Jefferson to Danbury Baptists, 1802.
God-besotted as I am, I nevertheless think it would be a good thing if we are no longer asked slack-jawed children and sullen teens to say "under God" at 8:00 AM on weekdays.
I do think the Pledge of Allegiance itself is a good thing. Sure, I stopped saying it in high school (I stood up out of courtesy, but didn't say the pledge or put my hand on my heart, and no one ever bothered me about it), but as an adult I have no problem whatsoever with making such a pledge, and I think children need to have that kind of indoctrination in order to make them feel secure.
I finally checked out Integral's new East Village location (93 St. Mark's, between 1st & A) last night and it was a perfect experience of unfolding. It reminded me that a class can be simple and basic and still go very deep.
The new location is in a Hare Krishna temple . I'm not particularly fond of the Hare Krishna organization, but they do know how to create a sacred space. The facility is gorgeous, with that touching mix of garish and simple decoration that chracterizes the HK's.
The teacher happened to be one of my favorite Integral instructors--she's got a very placid demeanor and a nice attention to detail--she made good corrections on me and the guy next to me. My heart was glowing by the end of class.
Then I joined Monkey for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in all of the city, as a prelude to his excellent gig at The Sidewalk. We were joined by some friends afterwards, and had a jolly old time, although I could barely haul myself out of bed this morning to teach in Bay Ridge.
Oh, and it's really hot.
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