display | more...

This phrase was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 because of paranoia over Communism, but in 2002, is a rallying point for the right wing, who decried the Ninth Circuit Court's decision that it was unconstitutional to have a pledge with under God in it. This may be ironic to some who note that these words are embedded in a section saying "one nation _under god_, indivisible with liberty and justice for all" These words emphasize the idea of a unified nation, one in which everyone, no matter what religion they belong or don't belong to, has rights in the greater mass of a nation. It did not say "One nation, divided, with liberty and justice only for those who believe as we do"

There are actually many people who may have problems with the pledge as it is. According to the American Religious Identification Survey which was carried out by New York's City University's Graduate Center, about 14.1% of people don't profess a religion. This includes atheists, agnostics, and people who have spiritual beliefs, but don't believe in organized religions (to see all the results : http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/atheist4.htm ) Also, many people may be of other religions such as Hindus, Buddhists and other religions that don't believe in a single centralized God. Some on the other side of the debate say it can refer to any god, but in America, the capitalized God seems to refer to the Judeo-Christian god. Since Islam shares stories such as Abraham whose son Isaac supposedly produced the nation of Israel (not the modern nation, just Jews in general and whose son Ishmael supposedly produced the Muslims and the inclusion of Jesus as a prophet, I'll say that Allah is one interpretation of this god. However, there'd still be the atheist problem. 14% of the population is a greater percentage than there are of blacks, and noone says that blacks don't count in the national discourse.

Some on the opposite side of the debate say that the United States is a Christian nation. However, not only do the many varied religions of the United States give this the lie, there are also treaties and amendments showing this is not so. The Treaty of Tripoli, authored by Joel Barlow and signed by John Adams, who was then president, says this in article 11 "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries" ( http://www.freethought-web.org/ctrl/treaty_tripoli.html (here is the whole treaty for ones' edification. ) and of course, we have the first amendment stating" Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". A note to people on the other side. Free religion is like free speech. Sometimes you can't say exactly what you want, you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, but you can yell it at home.

There seems to be a time and a place for religion. In a tax free church, with your friends and family voluntarily coming and building a community of faith, a person can truly learn about god. A bunch of kids reciting words by rote really doesn't reveal much of the nature of your god. The words are meaningless, not said out of any true feeling. Even in school, there are religious times. The silent prayer over the math test, the moment of silence for a fallen student, the Christian club meeting, accepting an orange bound Bible from a well dressed Gidoen. These times come from the heart, and show people the true meaning of religion. You don't need the words under god in your pledge to remind everyone. God has not been chased out of the school building if god is in your hearts and minds.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.