I must preface this by saying that I am presenting the perspective of a man who studied the Christian Bible with every intention of going to seminary. I have since left the church as it is filled with politics and over-zealous judgmental Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson fans. I am comfortable in my current belief system. It has a great deal of it's roots in the very best of the Christian ideal with an understanding of the reality that the Roman Empire destroyed much of the Bible and kept/fixed the parts that were the most conducive to their belief in what Christianity was all about. You now have an inkling as to where I stand.
I know the Christian Bible, and I can say with some authority that God doesn't care one iota if the words "Under God" are removed.
21 "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them,
24 "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?"
25 "Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
God does not care what you say in your pledge of loyalty to your nation so long as it is not against Him. Give to the nation that which belongs to the nation and give to God what belongs to Him.
5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
God prefers that the pledging of your allegiance to Him be done as a personal, private thing. Preaching and evangelizing are different since they are spreading the knowledge that you can have what the person who is delivering the message has. The sort of devotion that is presented in the Pledge of Allegiance is not the sort that God would prefer to be done in public anyway.
The profession of faith in God is a personal choice that the government can not ordain. Pledging allegiance to the flag and to the republic is outside of the boundaries of personal faith. The U.S.A. can not have a federally mandated profession of faith in a monotheistic belief system. If you do, then you have to say, "One Nation, Under God/Goddess, Gods/Goddesses, or none of the above."
I also feel reasonable certain that God does not want all of the people whom do not believe in him to profess an empty faith in him. Having an atheist recite the Pledge in its current incarnation would not please God, I would imagine.
Saying that we are a "Nation, Under God" means that we are ignoring what this country is. This country is a melting pot of all religions. Everyone is free to have his or her own religion and the government can't do one thing about it. They also can not pass laws that promote any religion over another.
When the people who make up our government stand up and say that this is a Christian, God-fearing nation, they are forgetting that the entire nation is not. They are dangerously treading on shaky ground, constitutionally speaking.
It is true that the majority of the country is Christian in some way, shape or form; that doesn't make this a Christian country. By saying that it is due to the fact that the majority is Christian is inviting mob rule. What if a state were to slowly build a population of Buddhists, would it then become the Buddhist State of Alabama? That wouldn't sit well with the powers that be now, would it?
The U.S. set itself up in the 50's as a Christian regime in much the same fashion as any other religious/political regime today. We are now dealing with the aftermath of that and we are cleaning up the mess left behind a piece at a time. To claim that it is a part of our heritage when most of this has been around for only 50 years is tripe.Posted by at July 02, 2002 02:40 PM