Friday, March 1, 2013

One nation, indivisible...

Ah, what do we have here in my inbox? Why it's another delightful ill informed chain email! Shall I just shake our head and delete the email, or should I respond? I think you know the answer to that question by now. Cue the reply!

Okay, I must admit that I got this email and was deliberating on whether to simply delete it or reply. Well, I figure why not voice my thoughts. I did not send this on and here’s why:

Original email:
"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."

It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God.
Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such
A mess about having "In God We Trust" on our money and having
God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

If you agree send this on. If not simply delete it.

It amazes me how little people seem to know about the orgins/design of their very own contry and government.

First there is the mater of the flawed statistics in this email. The stat about how many Americans believe in God actually originates from an NBC pole that asked if “In God we Trust” should be removed from the pledge and currancy. The results: 86% said no. As you can see the poll didn’t ask, “Do you believe in God?” so these numbers are not an accurate representation of religiosity in America. Actually, the most recent Pew survey shows 78.4% of Americans as being Christians. Another 4.7% are classed as 'other religions'. That leaves only those that classed themselves as unaffiliated or refused the question left. So that means that only 80.7% believe in the Abrahamic god referenced in the Pledge of Allegiance(Christian/Jewish/Muslim), and a maximum of 83.1% that we can say with absolute certainty are Theists. Granted, some of the unaffiliated may be believers as well, but just how many can't be said for sure.

But there are multiple reasons for the result of the NBC poll. Obviously the relgious would be in favor of keeping it as is. Some have the “A’int broke, non’t fix it mentality”. Others still, think that’s the way it’s been and think changing them now would be historicly ‘wrong’.

Me? I would support their removal, and here’s why:

• First Amendment to The Constitution. Seperation of church and Sate. It is very obvious that ‘Under God’ is very much in violation of this. If the government is positing the god of Abraham is the god America 'trusts', it is in direct violation on the establishment clause.

• The United States of America was not based on Christianity. Many state that we are a country founded on Christianity. Yet this is not true. One needs only to look at the Treaty of Tripoli to see that the Judeo-Christian myth of America's founding is just that... A myth! Article 11 states: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”. Also the Constitution is a thoroughly Secular document through and through. It only mentions religion when it grants freedom of religion and introduces Jefferson's separation of church and state. Simply reading the writings of several of the founders will show that this omission is certainly no mistake.

• History. “Under God” was not originally our motto, on currency or in the pledge. The original wording of the Pledge of Allegiance was, "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." The pledge was not revised to incorporate ‘under god’ until 1954.

Then there is the matter of “In God We Trust” on currency and as the national motto. You see it didn’t replace "E Pluribus Unum” until 1956. And this very same phrase did not find its way to all US currency until 1957. As you can see the inclusion of 'God' into the Pledge of Allegiance, to the national motto, or our currency and oaths are quite recent additions. Personally I don’t think our founding fathers would be very happy with how their intentions have been simply tossed aside in favor of a 'feel good' PR campaign during the 'Red Scare'. And in my opinion, "E Pluribus Unum” is a far more fitting motto for the USA. It is a Latin phrase meaning "Out of many, one." A beautiful and inspirational motto for the melting pot that is America!

Preserving the intended foundation of this country is one very good reason to put things back as they were. The problem is that people ofen put their personal feeling and beliefs before all else. We should focus on what made this country great and return to the ideals and vision as set by our forefathers. Making the USA a ‘Christian Sate’, will not lead us down that intended path. Rather, it would lead to more religious separatism, and international angst. We have the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose, so let’s not alienate those that are non-christian by continuing down this foggy path.

Furthermore, I find it odd that so many devout Christians are so adamant with leaving the Pledge as it is. After all it says: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America".

But then, the Ten Commandments say: "You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them."

So let me get this straight... Your Bible tells you not to bow down to an idol of any kind, yet you want to fight to pledge allegiance to the US flag on an equal footing with your god? Talk about not following your own 'rules'! Personally, I feel that a true Christian should forgo the Pledge all together, rather than demand that God continue to be shoehorned into it.

Now that is one message I would send on!


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