December 09, 2004
"Under God" Should Stay in the Pledge of Allegiance
Here in Colorado we have a bit of a “Freedom of Expression” issue brewing in the beautiful town of Estes Park.
Here is what is happening (from the Denver Post Online):
Estes Park- David Habecker swears he loves America and its flag. Just don't ask the two-term town board member to pledge his allegiance to either. Habecker declined to stand for the Pledge during a meeting observed by a group of Boy Scouts.
Habecker said he objects to the phrase "under God" in the Pledge, claiming it illegally injects religion into government. He adds he'll stay seated during the Pledge's recitation until "under God" is stricken from use…
“In America, we were never to be subjected to a religious test for public office, but this does just that," Habecker said.
Every few months this “Under God” issue comes to a head again. I guess it is in the ACLU Newsletter, Talking Points Memo or something that spurs people to take protestive action.
Personally I have a bit of a mixed reaction to this. I’m not the protest type, other than my weblog I guess; I prefer structured debate of fact, opinions and principles. I am a firm defender of the right to free speech and peaceable protest. I also believe in the rights of the people to air their grievances in as plausible a method as possible. As every child knows free speech is not without consequence, do you remember your first cuss word around Mom or Dad (sorry liberals with extremely tolerant upbringing will have no clue to that analogy)? Mine, came with significant consequence!
It is not that I didn’t have the right; it is that my actions did not meet up with the values of my constituency. And they chose to express their displeasure of my rhetoric not by recall, but through other means.
Habecker, I think absolutely has the right to express his extreme secular belief in the form of protest, and I absolutely think he should be recalled for his actions! They do not; in a representative democracy, reflect the majority beliefs of his constituency (Remember kids, we are a Republic! Here is a little irony, its referred to in the pledge...)
Ok now that I have that out of my system… Here is my position on the Pledge of Allegiance. A nation in order to allow itself to be governed must bear faithful allegiance to the republic, not the president or the government.
Here is the point I’d like to make.
As a nation we must have “Under God” in the pledge. A majority percentage of our nation’s citizenry is of some religious affiliation (Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhism, Shinto etc…), and a primary element in most all of these religions is that they will not bear false allegiance. Simply stated their allegiance above all else will be to God. By acknowledging God (any God) in the pledge places the needed hierarchy for those of strong faith to without deception truly pledge their allegiance to a nation.
Now, non-faith individuals are not faced with this hierarchal requirement and should be able to dismiss the “Under God” reference as it does not apply to them. There also exist those who cannot or will not ever bear allegiance to anyone, anything, or any philosophy other than themselves. And again the pledge, any pledge for that matter is irrelevant.
The United States Pledge of Allegiance is not a religious test, it is an inclusion of those who are religious, allowing them to be faithful to both a supreme entity as well as a nation. Removing “Under God” would be more exclusionary than keeping it in, as literally millions would no longer be able in good faith pledge an allegiance to a nation that did not clearly establish it’s hierarchal position in relation to the faithfuls’ beliefs and values.
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I wish I had seen this when you wrote this. The logic you use to justify the phrase is wrong. First "God" is a Judeao-Christian belief, Buddhist's believe in Buddha not God. Second, I someone does not believe in "God" and is swearing to a belief he/she (yes John I am a liberal) does not think true then that is called perjury. That is why notaries have an alternative affirmation oath, which is what the Pledge of Allegiance is anyway. And finally, the phrase," Under God", was added in the 1950's to weed out Communists. You are right that we should/ need to pledge allegiance to our republic, our republic is secular which is the strength.
Posted by: Motorhead | May 31, 2008 12:22:18 PM
I'm glad that you acknowledge the fact that it violates the freedom of speech clause of the first amendment. But you also said that it would apply to many religions. Dear sir, you are incorrect. Many religions do not believe in "God," but rather other entities or maybe not just one but many. Therefore it is disrespecting other people's beliefs by making them pledge not only false allegiance, but allegiance to another entity. Not only that, but the words "Under God" violates the "Separation of Church and State" clause of the constitution. This basically only respects the Christian Americans, and violates the rights of other Americans.
Posted by: Edgar | May 27, 2008 11:28:18 AM