‘Pledge Case’ Another Test of Faith?

Ironic? Coincidence? Providence? Fate? Call it what you will, it was definitely timely.
The very same day the decision was announced by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declaring that reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because of the words “under God,” I received a package in the mail. Inside, was a t-shirt I had ordered a couple of weeks ago.
The navy blue shirt shows an open Bible, an American flag and the words “One Nation Under God” embossed in bright red across the top.
How much more appropriate could its arrival have been? I had ordered the shirt to wear on the Fourth of July. Little did I know at the time that the shirt and its message just might become a timely political statement as well.
As you no doubt know by now, the “Pledge case” was brought by Michael A. Newdow, a Sacramento atheist who objected because his second-grade daughter was required to recite the pledge in her classroom. Newdow called the pledge a “religious idea that certain people don’t agree with.”
I know a lot has been said and written since the 2-1 decision to remove those two words, and no doubt little I can say or write here will have much impact on anyone’s opinion. However, it just bothers me that a citizen of the United States, who is enjoying the benefits and advantages of a country founded on freedom of religion, is working so hard to obtain freedom from religion.
Some might say that’s what the United States is all about, that the freedom to do and say as we wish, believe or disbelieve as we want, pledge or not pledge as we desire, is the foundation of our great nation.
I’m sorry, but I respectfully disagree.
While we all certainly have the freedom to do, say and believe as we chose, we also are called upon to support and defend the country we live in which guarantees us those very rights.
Congress inserted “under God” at the height of the Cold War after a campaign by those who wanted to distinguish the United States from what they regarded as godless communism. And to me, those words should remain for the very same reasons.
When those words are recited, we are not pledging allegiance to any one religion. We are, however, promising loyalty to a country that recognizes the need for guidance by a higher power. And this is certainly not the time for Americans to be turning from that realization.
It is, however, time the people of the United States stood up and declared we are not a godless nation. Granted, there are a myriad of other religions practiced in the United States, and while we should certainly respect the rights of others to these beliefs, it was the Christian religion on which this country was founded – not Islam, not Buddhism, not Hinduism and certainly not atheism.
After Sept. 11, churches everywhere were filled with those seeking answers, community prayer services were held in small towns and large throughout the nation, television specials rang with religious songs, prayers and sermons.. Now, nine months later, perhaps we are being tested once again.
As for me, even if the appeals should fail – which I don’t believe they will – and the words “under God” were legally removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, I would continue to say them. I’ll bet most of you would, too.
Actually, I think the back of that t-shirt pretty much sums up many of our feelings. In red letters, the words proclaim: “My Faith and My Freedom are One” followed by scripture from Psalm 32:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
And all I can say to that is “Amen.”
Editor’s note:
USA Today is taking a vote on whether the words “Under God” should be removed from the pledge of allegiance. You can vote by going to the following web site: USATODAY
Related Stories & Links:
One Nation Under God
Defending the Pledge of Allegiance
Carman: Under God
Return to Go to Daily Bread

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