A Question of Beliefs?

My mother called me yesterday and said, “get on your website and start writing about the Pledge of Allegiance, and make sure you tell that man in California to give away all of his money because it has “In God We Trust On It’”. Before I could even address her frantic plea, I hear a pounding on my door. I told my mom to hold on, I had to go and see what was going on outside. To my surprise, it was Kristen Anderson from “news that’s more local;” she and her cameraman saw my flags and God Bless America sign in front of my house and thought I would be the perfect person to interview about the 9th District Federal Court of Appeals ruling the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. Thus began my one and only chance to lead off the news. I was stunned to be sought out for my opinion, but pleased to offer it. Now, I will post the unabridged version of my opinion here for the curious (and yes, for my mother as well).

The Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional? Aren’t we at war, aren’t we in a recession, aren’t people trying to kill us? With all our country has been through in the last 200 years, more specifically in the last 9 months, don’t we have more important things to worry about? I am sorry Mr. Newdow’s second grade daughter was injured by her classmates recitations of the Pledge (he does not allege that his daughter’s teacher or school district requires his daughter to participate in reciting the Pledge, rather, he claims that his daughter is injured when she is compelled to “watch and listen as her stateemployed teacher in her state-run school leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming that there is a God, and that our’s [sic] is ‘one nation under God.’ ”), but you can not remove all references to God from our country just so she is never affected. God is specifically referred to in our Declaration of Independence, it is a part of many of our State mottos and seals, most notably, it is on every piece of currency we spend. Even if you could wipe away all of those references, his daughter will still have to at least acknowledge the concept of God exists in our culture. God is in our dictionary; our country’s landscape is dotted with churches, mosques, and synagogues; people preach the gospel on street corners; even the non-religious study the Bible for its historical signifigance. God is an unavoidable part of our culture; it makes no difference whether you believe in one or not. I don’t believe Mr. Newdow or his daughter should have to worship any God or even have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance if they don’t want to, that is their right as Americans (and a big part of what makes this country great), but what I do believe is The Pledge of Allegiance is not about God, it is about country. It is about honor and respect for our nation and the freedoms we are so fortunate to have been given by the countless numbers of Americans who have sacrificed their lives to defend our country and these same freedoms we hold so dear.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation UNDER GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

2 Responses to “A Question of Beliefs?”

  1. Neo Says:

    To summarize:
    The judges are correct, and the Pledge of Allegiance is highly over-rated.
    The Pledge is poorly composed, not legally enforceable and therefore toothless.
    The phrase, “under God”, was NOT included as part of the original Pledge.
    It is neither required nor desired and has no place in any national pledge.
    The USA is a secular democracy based on reason, not a theocracy!
    (For more information, please see below:)

    Government and Religion

    I find it amazing how little time is required to rewrite history! The zeal with which this “new” history is accepted and proclaimed as truth is absolutely Orwellian. And just as dangerous.

    The latest historic rewrite addresses the Pledge of Allegiance and its reference to “One nation, under God…” It may be interesting to note that although a Baptist minister wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892, it did NOT include any religious references! None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

    The Pledge really does not deserve the amount of attention it has received. The language of the Pledge was edited in 1924 (changing the phrase “the flag” to “my flag”), and Congress finally endorsed the Pledge in 1942 -– 18 years after it was written. The words, “under God,” were added as recently as 1954 — 30 years after it was written — under pressure from religious groups during the hysteria of the McCarthy era. To reiterate, the phrase, “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance because Congress kowtowed to religious groups during one of the darkest periods in U.S. history!

    The Pledge of Allegiance has other problems, not the least of which is the God reference. Even the opening sentence of the pledge should be changed. “I pledge allegiance to the FLAG…? ” Although this is another hot topic for some misguided people, a flag is just a symbol — it is NOT the object it symbolizes. No American should ever be required to pledge allegiance to a flag. Furthermore, our nation is not based upon, nor does it endorse the notion of, sacred objects or symbols. That sort of nonsense belongs in the realm of religion.

    I would gladly pledge allegiance to my country, but not to a symbolic scrap of fabric, and never to an imaginary being. The soldiers and patriots who fought and died for this country did so for America – not for a symbol of America. The American flag is a symbol that merely represents or identifies our Nation – the flag is not our Nation – they are two separate things. And although school children were never required to recite the Pledge, choosing not to participate in the mindlessly repetitive unison speech creates unnecessary anxiety and conflicts that most teachers are ill equipped to explain.

    The concept of unison speech alone should raise concerns of promoting jingoistic propaganda. America is based on rational thought and understanding, not fascist indoctrination. Leave such practices to regimes like the Taliban.

    The history of this country and its dependence on god (or absence thereof) needs to be examined objectively. Too many of our citizens seem to blindly believe that this country was founded as a sanctuary for Christianity – it was not! This country was founded, not to provide freedom OF religion, but freedom FROM religious persecution – such as the requirement of citizens to proclaim (or pledge) a belief in any religion. Requiring a national pledge that asserts a belief in the country’s relationship to someone’s notion of a deity is blatantly offensive and clearly unconstitutional!

    I have no objection to asserting one’s patriotism in a pledge. I DO object to the requiring allegiance to a flag, references to any and all deities, and any other superstitious rhetoric.

    Other superstitious rhetoric includes the so-called “National Motto”, “In God We Trust.” Again, the Orwellian historians would have us all believe that this was always part of our national heritage – it is not! To insist that this country was founded on Christian principles, and that those who framed our government did so on the basis of a dependence on a deity, is simply a lie! Like the Founders intended, our’s is a secular government and it must remain so!

    Aside from the fact that “mottos”, slogans, gems and other such catchphrases are mere pabulum, this national motto is a relatively recent addition to our currency. The first coins with that motto were issued in 1909 (and 1864 on the short-lived 2-cent coin). The Bill to print the motto on paper currency was passed in 1955 — just 47 years ago! This motto absolutely IS a Christian political slogan that a cowardly Congress was coerced into accepting; again during the McCarty era. For more information please read the following:

    http://www.refuseandresist.org/other_fronts/041898igwt.html

    HERE IS AN EXCERPT:
    The Constitution of these United States was ratified in 1789 without a single reference to “God.” At that time, 4 percent (some figures may go as high as 20%) of the populace was church-involved and many statesmen were deists, including the first six presidents.

    The first directions as to mottoes on currency were given in Statute II, Chapt. II, January 18, 1837, “An Act supplementary to the act entitled ‘An Act establishing a mint, and regulating the coins of the United States.’” In it (a) Sec. 2, Sixth read:

    “The engraver shall prepare and engrave, with the legal devices and inscriptions, all the dies used in the coinage of the mint and its branches.”

    and Sec. 13 read:

    “And be it further enacted, That upon the coins struck at the mint there shall be the following devices and legends; upon one side of each of said coins there shall be an impression emblematic of liberty, with an inscription of the word LIBERTY, and the year of the coinage; and upon the reverse of each of the gold and silver, there shall be the figure or representation of an eagle, with the inscription United States of America, and a designation of the value of the coin; but on the reverse of the dime and half dime, cent and half cent, the figure of the eagle shall be omitted.”

    The original American coinage was completely secular; as clean from any mention of God as the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights! The Founding Fathers did NOT include references to God in our government. Misguided religious zealots foisted this gibberish on us well over a century after this Nation was founded. It should never have been permitted. Now it should be corrected.

    We The People can no longer kowtow to the whims of a few loud religious proponents bent on hijacking our government for their own purposes. The current wave of religious insanity must not be permitted to further corrupt our government! America is great, not because of any faith in the supernatural, but because of the strength of its secular nature! Faith is extremely overrated. Faith is merely the conscious decision to abandon rational thought in favor of something for which there is no proof (see schizophrenia). Faith is usually accompanied by blind trust and a strong conviction, often accompanied by arrogant self-righteous zealotry. Such zeal has been known to impassion true believers to fly airliners into buildings and use themselves and their children as weapons delivery systems. Faith is based on Belief, and belief requires “faith” to accept it as truth — very circular reasoning.

    The exploitation the government of the United States of America as a means of peddling religious beliefs must be stopped! Using the government to promote any religion is a clear violation of the Constitution. If the believers of any particular religion feel compelled to proselytize their message, let them do so on their own dime and their own time! These arrogant zealots must NOT be permitted to waste our tax dollars and the time and resources of Our Congress to market their personal beliefs to the rest of us. Especially when such beliefs are so flawed.

    For example, the Bible’s Ten Commandments are poorly composed, and all editions are not the same. The Catholic rendition differs from the Protestant version on several points. Which, if any, are “correct”? The extreme simplicity of several of the commandments leaves them open to debate, whereas secular law defines them more clearly. For example, secular law defines numerous levels regarding the taking of a life, ranging from wrongful death and manslaughter, to murder in “n” degrees. The overly simplistic and primitive approach of the sixth Commandment obviously conflicts with American law and therefore has no business being displayed in our courts! To prefer the simplicity of the sixth Commandment over the American legal system would display an extreme degree of ignorance of the law and illuminate the dangers of the blind faith referred to above.

    When pledging allegiance to “One Nation under God”, which God and whose interpretation are you referring to? And what of those citizens who do not share in your superstitious beliefs? Is it your assertion that non-believers are not patriotic Americans? If so, you are an arrogant arse!

    In summary, all religions are cults although they may not have achieved the wealth, power and tax-exempt status of otherwise socially acceptable religions. All are dangerous and must be kept out of our government, our courts, and our publicly-funded schools (including all voucher systems paid for by government-collected taxes)! American citizens still enjoy the freedom to believe or NOT believe as they wish and are at liberty to do so openly, but government by religious dogma should be left to the likes of Al Qaeda.

    All God references should be removed from ALL government documents and proceedings.

  2. God Says:

    I beg to differ!