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Salonen: Pledge, Rosary kerfuffles reveal real battle

Salonen writes, "It’s not ridiculous to be enraged about such seemingly minor things; not when the devil is at your door. In the end, this isn’t about how a school board in North Dakota starts its meetings, but the spiritual war raging in our very midst that some refuse to acknowledge."

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The Fargo School Board’s decision to reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance was prudent for many reasons, including that the whole kerfuffle was pulling focus from our youth.

Now that the dust is settling, it’s time to decipher reasons for the backlash. At its core, it seems it’s about much more than reciting a patriotic passage.

Though some are in denial, uncharitable forces are working overtime to dismantle the good, true and beautiful of our country and world. It’s a hill some are willing to die on, knowing it’s life and death.

The pledge, though just a short, and not all-encompassing recitation, represents that good. Recent, negative reactions to removing it are in response to those attempts at good being eradicated from our world—including, and most importantly, God. And many people of good will are saying: “Enough.”

It’s not ridiculous to be enraged about such seemingly minor things; not when the devil is at your door. In the end, this isn’t about how a school board in North Dakota starts its meetings, but the spiritual war raging in our very midst that some refuse to acknowledge.

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“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Eph. 6:12)

Another wise prophet, former atheist-turned-Christian C.S. Lewis, once said, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”

To be clear, the generals of this battle are not human, though we are all affected by their plots. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can help each other armor up and do the real work at hand: to fight with God, who gives us our every breath.

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Ugly, vicious, profane and racist emails and phone calls, from all parts of the country, have been sent to Fargo School Board members following the board's decision to drop the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings

Even as the school board was ducking the incoming mail, another form of cultural and spiritual unrest was unfolding with a recent The Atlantic piece, accusing the Rosary of being used as a weapon, suggesting that these Catholic prayer beads could be dangerous.

The pro-abortion segment of our community has often derided those praying for an end to abortion for calling ourselves “prayer warriors.” It’s because they’re missing, again, the truth that the real battles we face are not against one another, but something much deeper than that; something eternal.

A meme on social media showing a circle of religious sisters with their Rosary beads hanging down the sides of their habits, with the words, “Pretty bold of these Extremists to open-carry like that,” points out the misunderstanding.

The Babylon Bee caught on as well with its piece, “Catholics Unveil High-Capacity Assault Rosary.” Yes, we’re giggling about this, not because we believe the claims, but because we have known all along that the Rosary is a powerful weapon for fighting for the good of all.

If you’re looking for more fodder on the topic, search out the St. Michael Prayer, a prayer Catholics often say at the end of Mass. I promise, it won’t bite.

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Salonen, a wife and mother of five, works as a freelance writer and speaker in Fargo. Email her at roxanebsalonen@gmail.com, and find more of her work at Peace Garden Passage,  roxanesalonen.com

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

Opinion by Roxane B. Salonen
Salonen, a wife and mother of five, works as a freelance writer and speaker in Fargo. Email her at roxanebsalonen@gmail.com, and find more of her work at Peace Garden Passage, roxanesalonen.com
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