March 01, 2010

Pledge fans vs. 1st Amendment

Someone on Facebook posted the following:Save "Under God" in the US Pledge

The cause now has 802,653 members.

Their mission: This cause is to keep God in our country, on our money, and in our pledge!
My response was, "No thanks!"

The original poster asked me to explain my "no god" position, so I did:

"Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 to protect us from the godless Communists. The Union survived for 178 years without it.

If God exists, he doesn't care whether the Pledge contains those two words. All he cares about is what's in your heart and whether you act on it.

In fact, the Bible condemns public shows of piety to prove how virtuous you are. Matthew 6:5 says, "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."

The debate takes off

Someone else named Leslie chimed in, and the debate was off.Why are people so afraid of God? Be not afraid...A better question is why Christians are afraid of the lack of God. Do you think he won't recognize your faith if you don't put it on every building, coin, and bumper sticker?My, my, Rob, awful defensive aren't you? I wil say some prayers for you.

BTW, no one I know wants our faith on everything, don't know anyone who does, you sound alittle paranoid. Why do you want God removed? Does it some how hurt you? Believe it or not the founders of this country were Christians, and that is something that you can never erase, they came here for religious freedom and for your freedom to not have any religion, so just be happy and don't worry so much. God will take care of everything, Let go and let God!
The defensive ones are the 800,000 people who have joined the "Save 'Under God' in the US Pledge" group even though that's the status quo and it isn't under any serious threat. What the heck are y'all so scared of that you feel the need to join a group? Are you really shaking in your boots because you think some secularist has the power to destroy God?

Why do I want "Under God" removed? Because the First Amendment guarantees that Congress will make no law establishing religion, which "Under God" clearly violates. Because the Founding Fathers wisely envisioned America as a diverse country where people could believe in the Christian god, another god, many gods, or no gods. Because everyone's freedom is compromised when we have to stand up and pledge to someone's idea of God.Ok, Rob, relax, calm down, we understand you are afraid of God, that is very clear. Don't get your panties in a bunch!I'm quite relaxed, thanks. In fact, I'm laughing at the 800,000 scared little Christian lambs huddling together for comfort. And at your inability to address my arguments. Funny!

What the First Amendment says

Another commenter named Tony asked a question:I am unclear as to precisely which religion the words, "under God", would apply to. Can anyone enlighten me as to the religious significance of the term?"Under God" applies to any religion with a single god rather than multiple gods or no god, Tony. And when Pledge advocates also insist on mandatory prayer in school and the Ten Commandments posted in government buildings, it's clear they mean the Christian God.

The First Amendment doesn't talk about establishing a (particular) religion. It talks about establishing religion--i.e., in general. A government-sponsored belief in God is a central component of religion, so it's banned by the First Amendment.

I trust it's obvious how this applies to Native issues. In a multicultural country, no one should be dictating whether we pray and whom we pray to. If we want to pray to Allah, the Hindu gods, the Great Spirit, Wicca, the Devil, Mother Nature, or nobody, the government shouldn't interfere. It shouldn't do anything to establish religion in any way, shape, or form--as the First Amendment says.

Testing the Christians' belief

Here's a simple test to show the phoniness of the Christians' position. Allah is nothing but the word for God in another language. If you're not worshiping a particular god, you should have no problem using different names for the one true creator.

So how about if we alternate between "God" and "Allah" in the Pledge and on our coins? Is that okay with everyone? No? Why not?

We could perform the same test with Wakan Tanka or another Native name for the "great mystery." Wakan Tanka has inhabited the land longer than the Christian god and is more truly American. So can we alternate between "God" and "Wakan Tanka" in the Pledge and on our coins? Again, why not?

I'm confident that few Christians will agree to these proposals. Unless they do, their hypocrisy is exposed. They want the government to promote the English word "God" because they think it refers to their Christian deity.

For a previous debate on this subject, see I Pledge Allegiance to the Constitution. Not surprisingly, I won that debate too. <g>