Monday, October 18, 2004

One Nation Under God?

Okay, we've all seen it.

The e-mail says that 86% of America's population believe in God, and if you're a good person (read "true American"), you should have no problem with the "One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, etc." part of the Pledge of Allegience. Well, whether I believe in God or not is nobody's business but my own and my family's.

Our country was primarily founded on the principle of freedom of religion (or not). The Pilgrims escaped to the new world to flee religious prosecution. What is God doing in our Pledge? And who are you to say that I'm not a good American if I want to pursue my right to practice, or to not practice, any religion of my own choosing.

I am a good American. I only buy American automobiles, and "Made in the USA" goes a long way in my decisions of any and all goods and services that I buy. (Another whole blog for that one.) I know that several American name cars are mostly made overseas, and I know that several 'imports' are made right here in the good old USA by American workers, and I decide accordingly. I pay my taxes, I vote, I support the US Olympic team. I fly the flag, and I know (and observe) the rules for it. I contribute to Veterans' charities. I am well read, and I know my current events and political issues.

I have no problem with the President saying "God bless America" at every opportunity, just don't force me to incorporate it into my vocabulary. It's my right to do as I choose.
In fact, it's my right to do as I choose in many more ways than this, but that's a topic for another day.

Francis Bellamy, a Baptist Minister, wrote the original Pledge of Allegiance in 1891, and did not bow to pressure to include a line tipping his hat to God. He felt that the separation of Church and State was more important than his own personal inclination. The Knights of Columbus persisted in a 3-year campaign until the "under God" line was added in 1954, under President Eisenhower.

I say the Pledge as it was taught to me, including the "under God" line. That's the way it is. I'm not an extremist who has to change the world, I only resent the fight surrounding it. If our legislature agrees that the separation of Church and State should be preserved, and rewords The Pledge, then don't start a war over it. The Crusades are over. Live with it.

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