Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Judge: School Pledge Is Unconstitutional

Here I am, an agnostic--albeit one who identifies as being a member of a minority ethno-religious group--an agnostic who believes strongly in the separation of church and state, and yet, when I read that a judge ruled that reciting the pledge of allegiance in schools is considered to be unconstitutional, I don't feel too good about it. I don't feel good about it at all. In fact, I'm against such a ruling!

Let me think this out...

Our country is a product of Western Civilization. Western Civilization is in many ways rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic. This is not an opinion. This has nothing to do with whether you like Judaism or Christianity or not--it just is.

I was always under the impression that the founding fathers favored a separation of church and state in order that a particular faith not receive special state support at the expense of other religions. Because most religions believe in a god of some sort, we pledge allegiance to our "one nation under god" but we don't say which god, or whose god, or what god is, or what god wants from us. We just pledge allegiance to this amorphous higher power. But my concern is, if we attack the innocuous "one nation under god" line, what next? Will we recall all of our legal tender because it too mentions god? I think this is insanity.

The bottom line is this: were it not for the Judeo-Christian ethic, which helped to give rise to Western civilization as we know it, there wouldn't even be a country called the United States. I believe there needs to be an appreciation and respect for our roots as a nation, and to completely erase any and all mentions of a non-religion specific, non-denomination god, is a bridge too far even for this agnostic. We have to remember, some of the most progressive and liberal ideals that we cherish have their roots in the bible. Can't we pay a little homage to that?

I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America. And to the Republic, for which it stands. One nation, under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Why liberty and justice for all? Where does this idea come from? Maybe it comes from the biblical belief that all human beings were created in the image of god, i.e. we are all brothers and sisters, equals, children of god.

An atheist might think that uttering the word God is unfair, but I think that striking any and all mentions of god is also unfair.

And you know what, it's horribly childish of the atheist to make such a stink. I can understand the rationale against prayer in public schools. A Jewish or Muslim or Hindu student might feel like they are betraying their own faith if they pray specifically to Jesus, for example. They might feel that they are coerced to pray like Christians even though they are not Christians. But if you don't have any religious faith at all, how can it possibly be a problem if the pledge of allegiance mentions a deity you don't believe in? It's not like you are betraying your faith--you don't have any faith! What, is the god you don't believe in going to send you to the hell the you don't believe in because you mouthed the word "god"--a concept you reject-- during the pledge of allegiance? Gimme a break.


Blogger airforcewife said...

And, if the guy really feels strongly about it, he's more than welcome to just shut up while "Under God" is mentioned. His daughter is a devout Christian who attends Bible camp. And for being an atheist, he still celebrates Hannukah with his daughter, so it isn't like he himself has wiped all religious vestiges from his own life.

We need to be relentlessly careful of oppression of minorities. But neither should we allow the minority to oppress the beliefs of the majority.

My person feeling on what would come next... church signs would be forced to follow a code in their postings.

10:09 AM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

We need to be relentlessly careful of oppression of minorities. But neither should we allow the minority to oppress the beliefs of the majority.

Well put! I was trying to say just that.

12:24 PM  

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