Separation - in Several of its Forms

For the next nine days Carol and I are almost a quarter of a world apart while she and our daughter, Laura tour Israel.  This is the first time in our thirty plus years together that we haven't been able to just pick up a convenient phone to say "good night" or "good morning."  Not that we're completely out of communication, it's just that the six hour time difference and our very busy itineraries make finding a time slot a little iffy.

But the situation got me to musing about the word separation, which started me musing about the reasons for it, which made me look at the circles I travel in, albiet peripherally in some cases, and how they often separate themselves from the general population.

Triathletes tend to hang with other triathletes, musicians with other musicians, cops with other cops.  Okay, I'm about to embark on generalizations - always a danger - but these are my musings, so please cut me a little slack.

Tri-folks mostly have fulltime jobs so they pursue their obsession in their off hours.  That means that they spend non-work time with others who train incessantly to maintain their level of fitness.  They train together and party together.

Musicians - the ones who make their living at it, are either touring, taping, or teaching.  The ones to whom it's an avocation are in a position similar to the tri-folks, non-work hours are spent practicing or playing with other musicians.

Cops are, I believe, a little different in that they tend to hang with other cops, not to train or improve their playing by picking up new licks, but more because they are comfortable with other cops, or perhaps less than comfortable with "civilians."  I understand that.  They often encounter ordinary folks in very unfriendly circumstances, and as often, an officer's action is criticized by people who have no personal experience with the situation the officer faces.  These are mostly very good, dedicated people who routinely put themselves between us and danger.  It just makes me sad that their work can corrode their trust in those not "on the job."

Some separations are both necessary and good.  Our constitutional separation of church and state is a biggie.  It is so necessary, and has been so eroded over the years that it scares me.  It is a simple rule: the government must stay out of religion and religion must stay out of the government.  It is being violated repeatedly.  How many people in congress base their arguments on biblical verses?  How many preachers preach politics from the pulpit?  If we let this continue we will end up in a theocracy, a form of government familiar in the Middle East.

Jamie Raskin, a Maryland state senator, once said to a colleague, “Madame, when you took the oath of office you put your hand on a Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution; you did not put your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”

Words we all need to remember.  Enough musing for now.


  1. If we let this continue we will end up in a theocracy, a form of government familiar in the Middle East.


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