Third Party & Independents Archives

In God We Trust

The Pledge and the words “Under God” have again made the news as U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that portion was unconstitutional. Most of us know the history of the pledge and that it was not initially created with the words “Under God”. Why was it added? Was this some devious attempt to force religion upon Americans?

I think it's important to look at why not only "Under God" was added but to also take a look at a phrase that has been around much longer and realistically has a larger daily use "In God We Trust". When was this phrase first added to US coins?

For this we have to go much farther back than the 1950's. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase in 1861 after receiving letters, the first one stated to have been from Rev. M.R. Watkinson asking that God be included on our coinage; he suggested God, Liberty, Law as a motto. Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia, to prepare a motto. Congress approved the motto "In God We Trust" in 1886.

Since that time the majority of US coins have contained this motto. This was done in a response to give the impression that God was on the side of the Union and their view on slavery according to most historians. In the years to follow not all agreed with this motto on US coins. In 1907 Teddy Roosevelt is quoted to have written in a letter:

My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege. It is a motto which it is indeed well to have inscribed on our great national monuments, in our temples of justice, in our legislative halls, and in building such as those at West Point and Annapolis -- in short, wherever it will tend to arouse and inspire a lofty emotion in those who look thereon. But it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements.

In 1950 the attitude again made more of a shift towards similar requests. In 1956, the nation was at the height of the cold war, there was a felt connection to communism/atheism at that time. Partly in reaction to these factors, the 84th Congress passed a joint resolution to replace the existing motto with "In God we Trust." The president signed the resolution into law on 1956. It is also during this time period that the phrase "Under God" was added to the Pledge; the words "So help me God" added to the oath for taking a Federal Office.

There have been several lawsuits concerning this issue in the past. So far the rulings have held as stated in Aronow v. United States (1970) as one example:

It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency '"In God We Trust" has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise

I write this not to defend the practice of the use of the motto of "In God We Trust" or even the "Under God" in the Pledge, however I think it is important that as the discussion again turns to this topic we remember how long this has not only been a part of the history of the United States; but how long it has been debated.

These attempts in the past especially, were not attempts to force religion on Americans, it was used as a way to try to give the impression that America was "better" than others. During the Civil War, the Union held the higher moral ground because it was against slavery was the main motivation. During the 1950's it was to give the impression that we were against Communism. So as we once again begin the debate on this issue and continue it in the future, I'd like to suggest we temper that with the memory of the historical perspective rather than trying to make it appear this is an attempt to force religion on anyone.

Posted by Lisa Renee Ward at September 15, 2005 10:07 AM
Comments
Comment #80622

Lisa,
A very good historical perspective of way the words “Under God” is in the Pledge. Yet, I do not think that the people bringin this lawsuit understand the definition of the word “God.” Yes, many citizens define it as their religious Deity; however, does not also the word God mean Ruler of the Universe? A quick word search at Dictionary.com defines the word God as A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, among other things. So if the goal of the American Society is to build the best “More Perfect Union” we can build than is not the word God refering to the Unalienable Righteousness found in The Law Regardless of Race, Color, or Creed?

Because by following The Laws of Nature one can find out what is known to be unalienable Right regardless of the person you apply the law to. If a good looking girl or guy walk by does not Human Nature make us all take notice? Our recations may vary greatly; however, we are driven by a Force to turn our heads and look which is also a way to define the word “God.”

While I’ll hold back my personal views, IMO the 9th Court made a mistake in its ruling because we can define our Laws of the Land as inspiring to be Unalienable Right Regardless which does put them on the same stage as a Deity of any Religion.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 11:34 AM
Comment #80623

Lisa,

Whether these mottos and phrases were intended to force religion on anyone is irrelevant. Whether they DO force religion on anyone is what’s important.

I consider myself to be a patriotic American and a loyal Christian. Personally, I like having the words “under God” in the Pledge. However, I cannot ignore the fact that the law adding “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance is in violation of the “Separation of Church and State” interpretation of the Establishment Clause. As this interpretation is well-founded in legal precident, one of three things has to happen to rectify the situation:

1- The law adding the words “under God” needs to be deemed unconstitutional; or
2- The precidents supporting the “Separation” interpretation of the Establishment Clause need to be overturned; or
3- The Constitution needs to be amended.

Until one of those three things occurs, our laws are in violation of Constitutional precident. It’s that simple.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 11:39 AM
Comment #80624

That’s where we will probably agree to disagree Rob, I feel if there is no intent to force religion there is no intent to harm.

If it were an attempt to force religion then it would be a different issue.

That is the way I’ve interpreted the rulings from the court to have drawn the line as well. Stating I am not a lawyer so that’s my opinion of what I’ve read at this point.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 11:46 AM
Comment #80625

Henry,

For your interpretation to work, we must first establish a “separation of God and church” precident to coincide with the “separation of church and state” precident.

The Establishment Clause makes no reference to organized religion. Even your interpretation of “God” doesn’t separate it from religion in general.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 11:48 AM
Comment #80627

Lisa,

Just because there is no “intent to harm” doesn’t mean that there is no harm. Violating the law out of the kindness of your heart is still violating the law.

Have you ever told what you thought was an innocent joke, but offended someone else with it because they interpreted it differently? If so, then you understand the concept. Just because you didn’t intend to offend them doesn’t mean they weren’t offended.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 11:53 AM
Comment #80628

Henry, I would not disagree with you that part of this stems from the definition of what the word “God” means in this context.

I’d also point out from a historical perspective the Declaration of Independence does contain the word “God”

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This of course does not change what the Constitution states but I think it’s important to remember as far as perspective. One can also look at some of the early state Constitutions that did include direct references to “God” in one form or another.

To me it points out how long we have discussed this as a nation.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 11:57 AM
Comment #80629

Rob, there is no constitutional protection from anyone being “offended” that I am aware of else many of us would probably be in trouble from time to time.

:-)

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 11:59 AM
Comment #80630

Lisa,

Excellent post. As to whether the phrase violates the establishment clause it seems to me that it does under certain circumstances. I believe it to be coercive of the “state” to have children in school have to recite the pledge with the words under God in the pledge.

I don’t believe the pledge itself is unconstitutional because it is not a governmental law, rule or any other type of governmental influence that it levies on its citizens. It is an oath. And if I recall, it is a voluntary oath. So, to me, it doesn’t pass the sniff test of establishment of religion by the state.

If the state sponsored function (i.e. a public school), forces through some sort of pressure a recitation of the pledge and the subsequent maltreatment of those who do not recite the pledge, then I believe it does violate the establishment clause.

So again, I believe it is in the nature of the use of the pledge in terms of whether it is unconstitutional.


Posted by: Dennis at September 15, 2005 12:16 PM
Comment #80632
ARTICLE [I.]

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It’s clear to me that the only way to properly resolve this is to allow each individual reciting the pledge to decide for himself whether he wants to say the phrase “Under God.”

To prohibit everyone from saying the pledge because the phrase is there infringes on people’s rights to 1)acknowledge God if they want and 2)say what they want to say.

To force everyone to say the pledge (with or without the phrase) fringes on their rights to 1)refuse to acknowledge a religious being, God, if they want and/or 2)refuse to say what they don’t want to say.

The only way to resolve this is to do what the Constitution says, that is, make no law about it. Leave the individual free to say it or not say it if they want.

Posted by: Darrius at September 15, 2005 12:33 PM
Comment #80633

I could care less if it is an establishment of religion or not. My objection to ‘in god we trust’ comes from the fact that it is a lie. The ‘we’ in that statment is the collective ‘we’ of all americans and all americans most certainly do not trust in god. Many follow one god or another or no god at all and are all over the map - making such a statment completely false. But I realize that most folks could care less about that aspect, as most of our national mythos is more idealistic illusion than reality.

As far as the pledge goes - you will nenver convince the majority of americans that they do not have the right to use the government to force the children of others to swear allegiance to Jesus. The words of the men who added this phrase to the pledge in the 50’s made it perfectly clear their intent was to promote Christianity. All this nonsense about the word ‘god’ being some meaningless amorphous non-word is just stupid. It was clearly intended to mean Jesus and 99% of the folks who support its continued use would tell you the same thing.

Posted by: John at September 15, 2005 12:40 PM
Comment #80637

I’d disagree it means Jesus, John, since most of the early references to God were generally as a Creator.

It is not required for any child to say the pledge infact if my memory serves me correctly that was established back before Under God was even added to the Pledge. (I know someone will correct me if I’m wrong on that one)

My main point still is to remember how many years we have debated this issue. It is not something new brought upon us by the current administration. It has cycled as an issue as our own history demonstrates.

It is also one of the areas I feel I can state our Founding Fathers did not give us enough guidance as to their position, especially on Separation of Church and State. It would have been nice if that would have been made more clear as the evidence can be looked at to argue each side.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 12:57 PM
Comment #80639

One issue I have with the ‘Under God’ - is that it was added… not part of the original. If it had been part of the original pledge, then there might be a reason to keep it for historic purposes. It was added during the McCarthy era - when fear allowed the government to force views and opinions on the citizens. I think they wanted to add ‘under God’ to the pledge for the worst sort of reasons, and I think it does force religion on people.

God may not be specific to any one religion, but it is specific to religion.

Also, what is gained by the phrase being in the pledge? Seems to me that adding ‘under God’ to ‘one nation, indivisible…’ seems be specific in dividing out nation.

Posted by: tony at September 15, 2005 1:03 PM
Comment #80641

That is a valid question tony and why I wrote this, because it wasn’t just the addition of the words “Under God” during that time period. It was part of several actions that Congress took and the President approved during that time period. I wanted to provide a small part of the larger picture that made that change happen.

The pledge point alone demonstrates for many years it was said without the addition of those two words, so it is logical it could again be restored to it’s prior verbage.

However even if the words were removed it should still be viewed as something that should be voluntary, in my opinion anyway.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 1:10 PM
Comment #80642

Lisa,

In God We Trust as a motto on our money is a different thing than requiring someone to recite a pledge professing their allegiance to the US and inserting the further requirement that they agree to the nation is ‘under god’.

It was added for the specific intent to cause non-religious peoples (at the time, communists) like me to say this in order to show that we are aligned to the country. You could easily add ‘one nation, beholden to Frank, the guy who cleans the gutters’ to the pledge and it would have the same meaning to me, but it would also have the same affront to me to be required to pledge this to be true.

And if I’m required to state a lie in a pledge of allegiance, what good is the stupid thing? In that case it should never be required to say. And for a long time it wasn’t, which was how it got by for this long. Only now, it is being required once again…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 1:12 PM
Comment #80643

Henry,

What about those of us who do not believe that there are any dieties at all? You state that the word ‘God’ is used to describe ‘a Deity of any Religion’ yet my religion has no dieties. We call no one ‘god’. And if I was an athiest, would I be equally excluded from ‘your country’?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 1:16 PM
Comment #80648
Rob, there is no constitutional protection from anyone being “offended” that I am aware of else many of us would probably be in trouble from time to time.

That is true. But there is a law (the highest law in the land) that prevents Congress from making laws “respecting an establishment of religion”. Whether Congress intended the “under God” phrase to violate that clause is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the phrase DOES violate that clause.

As for the Pledge being voluntary, it is… IF you are a natural-born citizen. Naturalized citizens, on the other hand, are required by law to recite the Pledge when gaining citizenship.

By adding religious verbiage to the Pledge, you essentially turn it into a prayer. Thus, reciting it in schools becomes a Prayer in Schools issue, which opens a big can-of-worms….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 1:31 PM
Comment #80649

Lisa,
If you look at the way The Founding Fathers used the word God, you’ll see that they seperate “The Nature’s God” and “The Creator.” This natural seperation is what they were refering to.

Without getting into Religion and personal beliefs, Eastern Philsophy regonizes The God of Fire Veda and Western Philosophy regonizes The God of Fire Aryan. Both must answer to The Beast of Nature “I the Consumer” for in order for something to exist in our world it must consume.

A rock consume the space where it stands, a Human Breath, Drinks, and Eat and thus is known to consume, even Fire consumes and the universe itself consumes. So through “Pure Reason & Logic” one can say that all that is known to exist is part of a Great Experiement in Consuming. Now who or what designed this Great Experiement is The Creator.

The second and more revelant reason for seperating Church and State is the way the approach and view the Beast of Nature “I the Consumer.” As John points out many religions worship the God of Fire differently; however, as a Nation and Society it is our duty and responsibilty to design and build a world that directly confonts the Beast of Nature “I the Consume” in a manner that it can not consume.

To translate “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them into Layman’s terms. A reasonable person can logically argue that “We the Consumers” having Domain over all that consumes on Earth is entitled to be governed in such a manner that all the “I the Consumers” who are citizens have what they want and need for that is the Law of Nature. (Katrina is a perfect example just how fast civil behavoir breaks down if that is not meet by their government.) However, it is also our duty and responsibility to build the Nation and Society in a manner that the Beast of Nature “I the Consumer” can not consume. Hence, since he can only consume the Darkness (what is wrong) everything else that he can not consume must be Unalienable Right Regardless according to Nature’s God and The Creator. Even today, more and more Americans are realizing that unless we find a way to haly the destruction of planet our children’s children will not have a place that we call Earth.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 1:31 PM
Comment #80650

Rhinehold, not that I agree with the principle, but there would have been a time when under several of the State Constitutions after the creation of the United States where you would not have been able to participate as an elected official if you did not follow a certain religion or swear “Under God” to serve the duties of your office.

That of course has changed, because as we’ve grown as a nation we have “grown up” in many areas. Some we still have a ways to go on. Other parts will probably never change.

I believe belief or non-belief of God should not be required by a State or Federal government. I don’t view the Pledge as requiring that since it is not a forced requirement.

Would it have been simpler to just restore the pledge to it’s initial creation? Yes.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 1:33 PM
Comment #80651

Under God was added to a loyalty oath to screen Communists who were believed to be atheists at the time. If you want to make it a loyalty oath for employment by a religious organization go ahead. But for school kids of all faiths and no faiths, a captured audience mandated by the law of the land, it is the imposition of faith and religion which the Consitution prohibits.

Sunday School and public academic schools are two different entities with very different purposes. I have successfully resisted my school district here in Texas on the prayer in schools issue, ROTC recruitment without parental permission. It is getting tougher though. Folks who believe in the Constitution preserving our nation will resist at every turn this movement to tear down the separation between church and state which served our nation so well in the last century and permitted us to become the greatest nation ever.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 15, 2005 1:34 PM
Comment #80654

Lisa,

Recitation of the Pledge may not be forced, but listening to it is. In many schools, the Pledge is recited at the beginning of the day. Nobody is forced to say it, but all are forced to sit in the room while it’s said. In essence, they’re required to sit in on a religious sermon. We’re forcing people to sit quietly and listen to our religious opinions, without giving them an equal forum to express their own.

Reverting to the original wording of the Pledge, removing the words “under God”, would resolve the issue.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 1:42 PM
Comment #80655

Lisa Renee,
Great post.
I have read what you’ve been saying and I can see your side but I can see other’s as well. I think that in itself is interesting. Due to the diversity in America the interpretation among americans is different. We back in the day didn’t have the amount of free speech we have today and it was actually taken away from us at one point. That being said we really don’t know what the gen public had to say about the matter. Today though, the we have it set up is in need of adjustment. The pledge can easily be fixed just make that line “under god” optional. I know in my school they told us all we did not have to say the pledge or say under god. People just don’t understand the power that they have in their lives. People want their way to be the way which causes others to go along unwillingly, as far as the Pledge is concerned anyway.

As far as the money thing I may sound a bit out there but, to those that don’t have a belief in god; having God’s name on there is like having Mickey Mouse’s name on there. To them it is a fictional character. I am not saying they’re right i’m just saying. Our money does represent us and is a part of our country. It may not promote one certain religion but it does give the impression that all believe. If we do have a seperation in church and state there would be no promotion of any belief that has to do with God. We in this country are capitalists. That is the only religion our government should promote. I think instead of “in god we trust” we should have “in the dollar we trust”. If you think about it that’s what our society depends on and, what our people need to survive. I don’t really mean we should put that on there but it would apply to a lot more people.

I know the Right says it has to do with morality and the left will say it’s about people’s rights and individuality. While the normal American will just fall victim to the side that recruits the most people.

The majority used to rule in this country but now it all depends on how “Politically Correct” they are. If this issue doesn’t stop it will be like the gay marriage thing and we’ll have to vote about it. I really cannot see a way for this to go away w/o letting the people decide for themselves.

Posted by: chad at September 15, 2005 1:43 PM
Comment #80656

Btw, Henry, I have to ask.

Is your back ok? You’ve made quite a stretch in your attempt to label the ‘under god’ phrase to mean something other than what we clearly know from history to be. It was an attempt to weed out communists by appealing to their lack of religion.

By supporting it you are also supporting the reason for it to be in existence, to keep those who are not religious from feeling comfortable and accepted in a country that was designed to accept all regardless of their personal religious views.

Might not want to make too many of those stretches, it could be a dangerous thing when it gets turned back around on you to take away that which you support…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 1:43 PM
Comment #80658

Rhinehold,
Actually it dayes back to Masonic and Free Masonic Philosophy that created the first Written Laws of Humanity’s Civilization some 15,000 years ago. Check out the history of Sanskrit Language and The Geart Masonic War of 15,000 BC. Remember, under our Law you must be able to prove something is real.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 1:51 PM
Comment #80660

Rob Cottrell,

That makes no scense at all,”forced to sit in a religious sermon”. Gimme a break. Once again not wanting other’s beliefs forced upon you but, wanting to push your’s upon them. We are a free country if a christain, muslim, hindu, or any other religious person goes to a public school and prays aloud in class on their time; should they be told to not pray because you don’t want to witness a religious sermon? Sure, the school didn’t orchestrate the prayer but, niether did they tell you say the pledge or say under god. It all comes down to degrees doesn’t it what degree of individuality are you willing to accept?
People have a hard time remmembering that we have a freedom of religion and that means that religion is a part of our culture. Which means a part of our people. You may not want to say “under God” but, that doesn’t mean others don’t. If you don’t like this freedom thing MOVE TO NORTH KOREA!

Posted by: chad at September 15, 2005 1:57 PM
Comment #80661

I’d also point out the pledge is not a requirement of the naturalization ceremony. I searched this for confirmation because I was not aware of it as a requirement.

John Klow, deputy director of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service’s St. Paul district, said the pledge is not formally used as part of the naturalization process. Klow said federal judges often like to have new citizens recite the pledge after they have taken the oath of allegiance used in the citizenship ceremony.

I also checked the requirements for the Oath of Alliegance required as a part of the naturalization process, since it does end with “So help me God”. It appears there is a modified version for that as well and some legal cases going back to the 1940’s concerning certain requirements being lifted for in the Oath of Allegiance required. They appear to be related to the “bearing arms” portion but also have been used to remove having to swear “So help me God” as well from what I saw upon a quick search.

So it would seem in, my opinion, those who have demanded the Pledge be stated as part of a naturalizaton process were not doing so at the behest of the Government.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 1:58 PM
Comment #80662

Dennis says: “I don’t believe the pledge itself is unconstitutional because it is not a governmental law, rule or any other type of governmental influence that it levies on its citizens. It is an oath. And if I recall, it is a voluntary oath. So, to me, it doesn’t pass the sniff test of establishment of religion by the state.”

The problem with this “Voluntary” oath is that it is being forced on children in every public school. When I was younger I remember going to school and at 8:15 EVERY morning the class had to stand up and pledge. You can say that the students are not forced to pledge, but when a 6 years old is being told by adults that they have to recite the POA how is this a choice. Do you think that that same 6 yr old is going to tell their teacher, No you can’t make me recite the POA that is infringing on my constitutional rights?

Posted by: JBOB at September 15, 2005 2:02 PM
Comment #80663

Rob Cottrell,
Also, “We’re forcing people to sit quietly and listen to our religious opinions, without giving them an equal forum to express their own.” Are we? How much do you wanna bet that if a parent or child expressed their feelings toward the pleadge as you did, that they wouldn’t be allowed to leave during the saying of the pleadge. Gimme a figure I’ll take that bet any day. You make it sound like we don’t have choice or power in America. You have it you don’t have to take it.

Posted by: chad at September 15, 2005 2:05 PM
Comment #80664

If it is acceptable to have children use money that clearly states “In God We Trust” and that is accepted (as it appears to be thus far) as not damaging, than I would suggest the mere presence of the words “Under God” as part of the pledge that they are not forced to say should not be anything that would “harm” them either.

However as a general principle I would state I do not support the Pledge being required, nor do I think it should be a large issue to just return it to it’s original verbage. However that will not end this discussion as it will continue in various other formats that include money or the ten commandments or prayer in school as individuals. With some adult compromise though we could easily solve the pledge issue. Especially since it was not created to be used on a daily basis anyway. As to the rest of the discussion? That we will probably never resolve as we cannot come to agreement on the most basic question of “Are we a christian Nation” or not. Some believe we are and have evidence they point to, others believe we are not and evidence they point to. The best end result we can hope for is a country where the beliefs or non-beliefs of all is respected equally and not forced on either side.

Which is why I again state a better clarification from the founding fathers on how they viewed the separation of church and state would have been appreciated. At least then we would have a better starting point as opposed to relying on letters written during that time period.

While I have my own beliefs on this issue, I can see some of the other points made. One of the many benefits of a nation of diversity is also one of the areas that creates the most discussion.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 2:09 PM
Comment #80667

JBOB, I would suggest that is the role of the parent to inform the teacher that they do not want their child to participate in the pledge rather than placing that type of responsibility on a young child.

I’ll give you an example, having five children there have been those who thru out the years of public school education have had classmates that do not celebrate certain holidays due to various reasons some of them religion. It was up to the parent and the teacher/school to handle the situation so the child was not purposefully made to feel they were being disincluded. Most parents chose to not send their child that day or to pick up their child before the party. Others dealt with it as the child going to view a movie with other students or participate in some other activity.

Treating the pledge in the same manner is not impossible IF and that is the big IF here, parents and teachers care about what is best for that particular child and the family’s core belief.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 2:15 PM
Comment #80671

JBOD,
Since when do six year old listen to their parents let alone any other adult?

Lisa,
The reason The Founding Fathers left the seperation of Church and State open is because as we grow as a Nation and Society, each generation must learn and come to understand the Force of Nature that they have no control over or should not control.

We have the technology to know what causes earthquakes. We even have the ability to release the pressure on the “T Plates” before the snap. Yet is it wise for us to do so? Maybe in another hundred years we can answer that question, but for now I would say no.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 2:22 PM
Comment #80673

Yes, definitely, forcing captive audiences within a public school is an entirely different matter (than church or Sunday school or private schools, etc.). One is a choice, and the other, isn’t really a choice. We all pay taxes for public school, and many can’t afford to pay tax, and pay for a private secular school. And, public schools can’t engage in religion…there’s too many different religions, and there are many that are atheist. So, the only option really, is to be secular. Nobody is trying to take away anyone’s religion. Claims of such are truly ridiculous. Ask anyone making such claims if they want prayer in public school. If they say yes, then ask them “Which prayer? Which Religion?” They will say: [fill in the blank] , which of course will be their religion, naturally. So ask them, if in all fairness, if it’s OK to have a prayer each day from a different religion? They won’t like that, but yet, they’ll still refuse to see that their own motivations wrong and imposing on others. They don’t get it. It’s like talkin’ to a fence post. Both, a huge waste of time. It’s absolutely fascinating, dumbfounding, and bizzarely unbelievable. Some people just don’t get it, and probably never will. Such people are disturbing, and possibly dangerous depending on the situation. So, it’s no wonder that those that do get it, become nervious by such blinding, unyielding, disrepect for others’ beliefs.
___________________________
Amendment I [Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition (1791)]:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
___________________________

Clearly, for the individual students, they can still say “Under God”; no one is preventing that or trying to take away anyone’s belief. And, those that don’t want say it, could simply refrain from saying “Under God”.

Actually, I’m not sure about any of these oathes and swearing-ins, and such to begin with. Is all that really necessary ?

How are we ever supposed to get Iraqis, and other countries to see the wisdom of secular government, if we don’t practice what we preach (ummm…bad choice of words in this case, perhaps).

The wisdom of the 1st Amendment still escapes too too many people. It’s not about limiting religion. It’s about respecting everyone’s beliefs. And the only way to do that is to not show preference for any particular belief. It’s just common sense (but, obviously, too many are lacking that one important trait).

Anyone who can’t see the wisdom, and reason for the 1st Amendment, or disagrees with it, does not really believe in freedom. They believe in control. They don’t really respect those with different beliefs. Not even those with similar beliefs that see the wisdom of the 1st Amendment. There’s really something sinister about it. Disrespect of the 1st Amendment is a red flag to those that do respect it. You know the type. They want prayer in the public schools, courts, etc. But, they don’t want just any prayer. They want their prayer. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Hopefully, there’s enough people in this country (regardless of their faith) that respect the 1st Amendment, because if there isn’t, we’re really screwed up, and our pressing problems are worse than even I thought they were. Keep an eye on this one thing, because it has the potential to unravel all of society, and send us straight back to the dark ages.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 15, 2005 2:27 PM
Comment #80684

Henry I’m not sure if they did not include that for the reason you listed or they thought we would have a better understanding of what they intended. Either way, given the use of the Jefferson letter it appears there was some discussion or at least some thought into this.

That also demonstrates even at the time of this countries very beginning this was also being discussed.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 2:43 PM
Comment #80685

Dan,

It’s not about respecting other’s beliefs, it’s about respecting other’s rights to have other beliefs. I certainly don’t expect anyone to respect my religious beliefs, but I *do* expect them to let me have them without fear of persecution.

Of course, when those beliefs go on to affect (or effect) others in a significant, then we have to step in and prevent that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 2:47 PM
Comment #80687

Yes, thanks for that correction.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 15, 2005 2:53 PM
Comment #80690

Rob,

Perhaps I just don’t understand your argument, but I don’t see where the words “under God” have anything to do with religion at all.

Lisa,
Good article. Thank you for a rational tone and a thought-out conclusion on a topic where some would have gone with sensationalism.

Posted by: TheTraveler at September 15, 2005 3:12 PM
Comment #80692

Rob

…. ?

How do the words ‘under God’ (big G) *NOT* have everything to do with religion?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 3:19 PM
Comment #80698

Dennis says: “I don?t believe the pledge itself is unconstitutional because it is not a governmental law, rule or any other type of governmental influence that it levies on its citizens. It is an oath. And if I recall, it is a voluntary oath. So, to me, it doesn?t pass the sniff test of establishment of religion by the state.”

The problem with this “Voluntary” oath is that it is being forced on children in every public school. When I was younger I remember going to school and at 8:15 EVERY morning the class had to stand up and pledge. You can say that the students are not forced to pledge, but when a 6 years old is being told by adults that they have to recite the POA how is this a choice. Do you think that that same 6 yr old is going to tell their teacher, No you can’t make me recite the POA that is infringing on my constitutional rights?

Posted by JBOB at September 15, 2005 02:02 PM


Clearly you haven’t met my kids. I can’t get them to do a damn thing I want…. :-)

Posted by: Dennis at September 15, 2005 3:57 PM
Comment #80701

Lisa,
While I can not find a document that states what I quoted above about The Founding Fathers, it does make sense which is radicule even by today’s standards once a person applys it to The Domain Laws of America. Although I’m not a Lawyer, do not we have domain over all we consume? Sad to say current Ideology of governing does not allow for that.

Rhinehold,
I went back and reread your eariler post to me. And while I understand your argument in believing in a Religious Deity, but since “The Big Bang Theory” is now a proven fact(?), who created all this consuming? Does not a Force unite us when we all think as one? Although I can not prove that the Righteousness of the Human Spirit is real, are you willing to stand up to the energy given off by a crowd? Even Rock Stars speak about this Energy when they are on stage, now what is behind that Force? Hence, The “Creator.”

As far as a religious God, well that a conversation for another blog.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #80703
You may not want to say “under God” but, that doesn’t mean others don’t. If you don’t like this freedom thing MOVE TO NORTH KOREA!

Actually, Chad, I like saying the words “under God”. I also like beginning each day with a prayer. I just don’t like forcing others to do the same, or forcing them to be an audience while I do so.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 4:07 PM
Comment #80706

Henry,

The ‘energy’ is electromagnetic radiation. We all have electromagnetic fields around us that we have some amount of control over and mimic our ‘moods’.

I’m still not seeing how you are equating this with a ‘God’ in order to qualify it as the basis for keeping the ‘under God’ section of the pledge in place. There is nothing ‘supernatural’ about it, there is no one ‘creating consuming’, etc. Believing that there is more to it is, by definition, a religion, isn’t it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 4:13 PM
Comment #80711

TheTraveler,

Perhaps I just dont understand your argument, but I dont see where the words under God have anything to do with religion at all.

Per Mirriam-Webster…

religion: the service and worship of God or the supernatural
religious: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity
God: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe

The claim that we are “one nation, under God” is, by definition, a religious statement.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 4:19 PM
Comment #80713

Rhinehold,
Who made electromagnetic radiation? While the term I use as “God” is to explain that which by nature humans can not explain to be fact, yet through observation, reason, and logic we now it to exist. Hence, like I stated earlier all things that exist in our reality can be said to consume. Can you name me one thing that exist that does not consume in some manner of another?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 4:26 PM
Comment #80715

Henry,

Who made electromagnetic radiation?

I know who I believe created it, but most athiests would claim that nobody did. Any argument about a “Creator” implies that there was a time before creation, and a Will that caused creation to exist. Not everyone believes that, and science has yet to prove or disprove it. Hence, religion.

I believe you’re confusing the argument of whether there is a God with the argument of whether our government should acknowledge one (or force its citizens to).

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 4:31 PM
Comment #80717

Henry,

Of course not, by the 2nd law of thermodynamics entropy exists in all things, it’s a fact, there are losses in any exchange of energy. One day there will be nothing left.

And by using ‘God’ to ‘explain’ this, you are detailing a religion.

Trust me, Henry, I know what you are saying, but trying to say that it is not a religion is not going to work, by it’s very definition it is a religion and using the word “God” in this instance cements that, dontcha think?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 4:32 PM
Comment #80720

Rob,
The very fact that we are here today debating proves something caused the universe to exist. Who or what does not matter on a Societal level of thinking. You must remember that 229 years ago our forefathers where engaged in this very conversation. Although I don’t remember exactly how The Founding Fathers expressed their distrust of ALL Religious Leaders of their time in the Ancient and Old World, I do know it is well documented how All Religion was used by “The Social Elite” (not pc coreect I know)of nations to oppress their Poor & Servents. That more than any other reason is why I believe The Founding Fathers wrote the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 4:41 PM
Comment #80723
The very fact that we are here today debating proves something caused the universe to exist.

… unless it always existed, hence removing the need for a cause …

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 4:44 PM
Comment #80727

Rhinehold,
Can you prove that the 2nd law of thermodynamics entropy is absolute or is there another force to counter act it in Nature. Like Matter has Anti-Matter, do we now for absolute that there does not exist some other knowledge which would explain why the universe has existed for billions of years?

However, if you call Absolute Knowledge and Wisdom of Absolutely everything “God” than I guess I’m forced to concede. Yet, I haven’t meet anybody who holds that title in life have you? Nevertheless, I’ld love to have that ability sometimes.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 4:50 PM
Comment #80729

Rob,
“unless it always existed, hence removing the need for a cause ..”

Than how did it come to exist? What was before always? You know this reminds me of what scholars long ago must of done to explain things that they had no way of knowing to be fact. For example, does Anti-Radioactive Matter exist? In theory it should or the universe would be completely full of it; however, as far as I know noboby can/has proved it.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 4:56 PM
Comment #80730

“Than how did it come to exist?”

How did God come to exist? How did anything come to exist? We don’t know the origins of the universe for certainty. That’s what makes it the realm of religion, and therefore, per the Establishment Clause, NOT the realm of government.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 15, 2005 5:04 PM
Comment #80731
chad wrote: People have a hard time remmembering that we have a freedom of religion and that means that religion is a part of our culture.

Why should they remember that? Not everyone has the same religion (if any). Some are agnostic, some are atheist, some are Budhist, Taoist, Naturalists, etc.

chad wrote: You may not want to say “under God” but, that doesn’t mean others don’t.

Nobody said you could not say “under God”.

There are some that simply (and rightly so) don’t want to be forced to say it. You can still say it. But, anyone that wants to say it can. And, anyone that doesn’t want to, shouldn’t have to. Right ?

chad wrote: If you don’t like this freedom thing MOVE TO NORTH KOREA!

Why? What do you mean exactly? Freedom to not say “under God”, or freedom to say “under God”, or both? Do you believe the oath should remain the way it is (i.e. with “under God”), and people should simply not say “under God” if they don’t want to, or should it be changed, and those that still want to say “under God” can ?

Which way makes most sense?

Nobody said you can’t say “under God”.
If they did, they’re wrong to do so.
Free speech is protected under the Constitution. They’re simply saying (and correctly) that it is imposing to force a captive audience (such as in public school, or court, or government, etc.) to swear or give oath “under God”. Personally, I don’t think anyone should ever have to pledge, or pray, and make any oath, if they don’t want to.

So, given those clarifications, is that OK ?
Don’t orchestrate or institutionalize it in public settings ? That way, we all show respect for each other’s rights to their own beliefs, which may be very different.

If not, then you might consider you’re own advice, and go where people are forced to do, say, and think as they are told.

Now, having said all that, I personally think that people should simply have the courage to not say “under God” if they don’t want to. Unfortunately, some people may be persecuted if they don’t say “under God” by others in their class, or work place (e.g. courts, government). Some people will be shunned by those that don’t like them because they don’t believe in God. It happens. And, this whole thing about whether it should stay or go, is a very good litmus test as to the real motivations that some people have, some of which are sinister, because there are those that can not tolerate anyone whose religious belief is different.

One day, a few years ago, I say a woman being sworn into office. I don’t remember who it was. But, when they got to the part “under God” or “so help me God”, she said nothing.

Well, FOX News, and others made a big deal about it. They gave her the third degree. Why didn’t you say “under God” ? Why? Why? Why? FOX News more or less portrayed her as evil.

This is the type of persecution many of us are all to aware of. It wasn’t that long ago, that such non-compliance would have got you burned at the stake. Still, people are shunned and ostracized. So, it’s understandable that some people get very nervous when they have religion or beliefs forced upon them. How many, for fear of being different, simply repeat the words “under God”, simply because they’re afraid they’ll be shunned ? A lot. So, the best thing to do, is don’t institutionalize such things. Especially, not in public schools where there are captive audiences.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 15, 2005 5:05 PM
Comment #80733

My two cents worth since I started this topic and it led to this.

It is human nature to ask where did we come from? How did we get here? Most of the creation stories from all religions are based on wanting to answer this basic question.

The scientific side of me wonders at times if God was merely created to satisfy that portion of human nature from a desire to not only answer these questions but to control behavior by some possible future punishment if we are not “good” people.

The faith based side of me wants to believe there is a larger purpose for our life beyond this planet. That I will again be joined with those that I have lost among other beliefs. I want to believe that miracles do exist and might again happen.

At the time of our founding fathers there were of course those that questioned the existance of any God or Creator, but the reality was science was not anywhere close to what now exists. Of course at that time they had grown beyond believing the world was flat, but they were not able to be where we are now.

That being said? If having faith causes no harm, which it does not as long as it is not forced or there is some type of punishment meted out for those who are more science based in their beliefs why is it necessary to destroy hope for those who take solace in it? That is what exists at the very end of the spectrum if the concept of “God” was destroyed. You eliminate hope at its very essesence.

It shouldn’t matter that the majority of Americans believe in this “hope”, there should still be a basis of respect for both positions and all of us in between. That to me is what I believe should be most important. This extends beyond religion and can be applied to any issue we face. It is the basis of our democracy. Freedom, freedom to not only agree but to disagree and have the same treatment no matter the belief. The only limits should be those that would cause harm or have been legislated as law.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 5:10 PM
Comment #80738

Isn’t putting God on money like asking people to worship false idols. The most popular religion in America is not Christianity, but profit.

As far as Under God in the Pledge. I recited it as is every day. But I also went to a Catholic school where we prayed before almost every class. I can see it both ways. It was added not because of a belief in God, but because they wanted it to look like there was.

On the other hand, it is an argument more political than anything

Posted by: Me4President2008 at September 15, 2005 5:18 PM
Comment #80739
Henry Schlatman Than how did it come to exist? What was before always?

It’s a hard concept to grasp. But the universe (and I mean everything; not just the one expanding instance we see), or cosmos, omniverse, or multiverse (whatever you want to call it) is infinite because there is no ending, and no beginning. Because there can never be any boundary conditions (e.g. an end and a beginning) is how you know it is infinite. Always is exactly the correct word.

Whether something created it or not, I don’t know.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 15, 2005 5:19 PM
Comment #80740

Lisa,
Very well stated and I to believe that The Founding Fathers realized this for reasons that they stated and implied. Because “Hope” that some day some how a future generation can answer as cold hard fact how and why The Human Race exists in the first place through The Laws which govern our reality is the best thing that we can leave to all future Americans and Citizens of Humanity. For we do know that there exist certain Laws of Nature that are Absolute so who or what made them that way?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 5:23 PM
Comment #80741

dan,
Sorry, but sometime in the early 90’s MIT proved the “Big Bang Theory” is what created the universe. Thus, Alpha and Omega exist.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 5:28 PM
Comment #80744

Lisa:
“there would have been a time when under several of the State Constitutions after the creation of the United States where you would not have been able to participate as an elected official if you did not follow a certain religion or swear �Under God� to serve the duties of your office.”

No. This has always been Unconstitutional.
Within Article VI:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Member of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

As for your article — very interesting and well written.
My opinion is that we should take the words In “God We Trust” off our money, and “Under God” out of the Pledge. Both are in direct violation of the First Amendment. I believe it really is that simple.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2005 5:40 PM
Comment #80747

Adrienne,
It depends on how one defines “God.” Although I am not aware of how the Legal Definition explains the word, that is the one that All Judges must follow even our Supreme Court. Do you know what the legal term means?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 5:47 PM
Comment #80751

Adrienne, I’ve spent alot of time reading the early state Constitutions.

From Maryland’s first Constitution:

XXXV. That no other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any office of trust or profit, than such oath of support and fidelity to this State, and such oath of office, as shall be directed by this Convention or the Legislature of this State, and a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion.

North Carolina’s First Constitution:

XXXII.(5) That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.

There are more but some of the early State Constitutions did require a certain religion be practiced or a religion to hold office.


Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 5:56 PM
Comment #80752

If you’d like to read some of these early Constitutions for yourself? I recommend The Avalon Project as a source as they have alot of these earlier works.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/stateco.htm

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 5:57 PM
Comment #80753
Lisa Renee wrote: If having faith causes no harm, which it does not as long as it is not forced or there is some type of punishment meted out for those who are more science based in their beliefs why is it necessary to destroy hope for those who take solace in it?

Yes, it’s not necessary to destroy hope (for anyone).
But, is that really what’s happening ?

Sure, there are some secularist zealots trying to get “in God we trust” removed from the dollar bill, and removed from sight everywhere, etc. They go too far for, and often for all the wrong reasons.

But, I don’t think people that do not want to be forced to pray, oath, pledge “under God” or “so help me God” is destroying hope for anyone. One’s faith shouldn’t be that easily destroyed (not by the removal of orchestrated prayer, oath, or pledge in a public school, court, government, etc.). If it is, perhaps their faith is not very strong to begin with ? Or perhaps, it’s not really an issue of faith ? It’s very likely an issue of fear. Some people are fearful of others that don’t believe the same way they do.

Also, as demonstrated above (in the instance where the media ostracized a woman being sworn into office because she omitted the words “under God”), people are shunned and persecuted, sometimes publicly, as in that instance, for not saying the words “under God”. I’ve seen other instances, where people were ostracized and shunned because they didn’t join in prayer. Thus, there are many individuals, that play along, even mouth the words of a prayer, oath, or pledge, for fear of being ostracized. Their nervousness and fear is understandable. They’ve also seen what can happen to those with different religious beliefs (or no religious beliefs). Just look at the way some Americans speak of the Muslim faith, agnostics, and atheists.

So, the best policy, for public school, government, courts, etc., is secularism, as very wisely stated in the 1st Amendment [Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition (1791)]:

Posted by: d.a.n at September 15, 2005 5:58 PM
Comment #80755

Lisa,
If you spent time reading early state constitutions, do you remember which one spoke out about commerce treating all customers equal or something along that line. Memory tells my it was Mass., yet that don’t sound right?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 6:02 PM
Comment #80758

Henry,

Also, later, Physicists have postulated multiple big bangs, so something went bang before this big bang. Perhaps it has always been occurring. I read this I believe in National Geographic last year. Could have been Smithsonian too…

Posted by: Dennis at September 15, 2005 6:09 PM
Comment #80760

Henry,

The Big Bang theory does have some solid evidence supporting it, but it also has plenty of issues that bring it into question.

Posted by: SirisC at September 15, 2005 6:21 PM
Comment #80761

Yes, one theory is once the big bang has happened and the universe expands it may not expand enough to counter gravitational forces and will eventually collapse upon itself, creating another big bang, causing another expansion, etc…

It’s an interesting theory, who knows?

But nothing I’ve seen requires that a sentient entity had a hand in any of it, nor does it suggest a plan. It could ‘just be that way’. Assigning reason or human thought to it is a way to explain things we may not be able to comprehend by what could be considered a very limited organ, the human brain. But maybe there is? Who knows.

Ie - Religion. We assign human emotion and thought to our incapability to know. Since we don’t know we make up what sounds good.

But, when we then alter our behavior or force this belief onto others… Well, that’s just BAD, IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 6:22 PM
Comment #80762

Lisa:
“the early state Constitutions.”

Clearly the wording of those state constitutions were in violation of Article VI of the US Constitution. Don’t you agree?

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2005 6:25 PM
Comment #80764

Henry, South Carolina has a clause forbidding commerce with England, but that was related to the Revoluntary War. I’m not sure exactly what context you remember it in to be more help.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 6:34 PM
Comment #80765

Adrienne, I was making the point to Rinehold that at one time his non-belief in God would have been an issue. I clearly stated it wasn’t a point I agreed with or one that is required now, but a belief in God or a specific religion was a requirement to hold office in several of the early State Constitutions.

So of course I would agree with you that it is not something that today should hold.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 6:37 PM
Comment #80767
dan, Sorry, but sometime in the early 90?s MIT proved the ?Big Bang Theory? is what created the universe. Thus, Alpha and Omega exist.

Henry, that’s just a very microscopic view of everything. You’re only considering our single big bang. When I said universe, I didn’t mean just our one big bang. I mean everything, everywhere (our cosmos, our omniverse, what ever you want to call it).

Also, much has changed since 1990.
I don’t think they even knew back then, that there is a black hole (or several) at the center of every galaxy. That’s what’s causing massive stars at the center fo the Milky Way to orbit a small dark spot at a rate of 833 miles per second (3 million miles per hour) at the center of the galaxy. Andromeda has two, because it merged long long ago with another galaxy, and so may the Milky Way, someday, as they approach each other at millions of miles per hour. And, did they know in 1990, that the expansion of the universe may actually be accelerating ?

We (at the moment) can’t see beyond the region of our one big bang, so we don’t know what lies beyond our big bang. But, if the expansion is accelerating, there may be something attracting matter. What ever there is, there is something. Not all the matter and time only resides in our one big bang. Not with infinity beyond our big bang. There is most likely, an infinite number of other universes (other big bangs), at various stages. No one knows, but it’s plausible. Since it is infinite, we can probably never know.

But, consider our one big bang for a moment.
It is, to us, a huge structure. It contains more galaxies that there are stars in our galaxy.
For that matter, we consider our galaxy a huge structure.
Now, consider our one big bang part of a much larger structure, where big bangs are everywhere, always, at various stages.

Our one big bang, alone, does not consume all of space and time. It can’t because it would have to consume infinity. Therefore, our one big bang does not define the begin and end of everything.
It can’t, because that one big bang did have a beginning, and could not have expanded to infinity (and never will, nothing ever will).
And if you believe there are boundaries anywhere, you have to ask, ofcourse: What is beyond that?
The answer is logically, there is no end and there is no beginning.
As stipulated above, I’m not talking about our one instance (our one big bang). Ours is probably just one of an infinite number of other big bangs, in a much larger structure, that’s within a much larger structure, and so on, and so on, that has always been, everwhere.

Consider the smallest and the largerst.
What’s the smallest particle ?
No one knows, because particles always consist of smaller particles.
Likewise, what’s the largest particle ?
A rock is a particle, but some particles can fly right through it without touching it.
How big is the biggest ?
There’s no limit.
Our one big bang is simply a tiny part of something infinitely large, just like there are an infinite number of smaller and smaller particles that make up any particle.

Why is it most likely that way?
Because of infinities.
The infinitely large, to the infinitely small.

And, none of that even takes time into consideration. Time is not the same everywhere.

I have to admit, the wonderful complexity of it all makes me wonder. But, for me personally, I can’t make any great leap of faith, but only honestly, keep an open mind.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 15, 2005 6:42 PM
Comment #80770

“Adrienne,
It depends on how one defines �God.�”

Since the government “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” that means that all American’s are free to believe and define God in any way they wish (which might mean anything from The Burning Bush, to that Tiki-shaped cocktail stirrer you picked up in Hawaii last year :^), or to not believe or define God in any way at all.

“Although I am not aware of how the Legal Definition explains the word, that is the one that All Judges must follow even our Supreme Court. Do you know what the legal term means?”

I don’t think there can actually be a legal definition for God made by US law, since our entire government is beholden to follow the first amendment.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2005 6:45 PM
Comment #80771

Rhinehold,
I couldn’t agree with you more, yet does not our society alter our behavior or force us to recieve a “Higher Education” to obtain a livable wage? What if my idea of living a simple productive life is “Clamming” all Day? Should I not make a livable wage because my labor allows others to enjoy the pursuit of their happiness? Why is a college degree so important that it forces me into poverty if I do not believe in what scholars are teaching?

As far as a sentient entity, well, The Natural Course of Human Events deals with that issue. Fro example; if President Bush and his advisor would of been as concerned with his image during Katrina as they were a year earlier with Charlie than would of the same Human Events played out? What if Osama Ben Laden would of surrendered to his own people after 9/11 would the world view him in the same light as Jesus?

Cause and Effect is a powerful thing and although hindsight is said to be 20/20 so can a person use reason and logic to look forward. For example; play a game of chess. I move my King’s pawn forward 2 spaces. Does not that allow my opponent to see how each of the moves available to him will influence my next move? Now, way it works out the way it does and how Self-Nature plays a roll in all of it is well above my pay grade and one that has been used by many citizens to exploit their fellow man.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 6:46 PM
Comment #80773

Adrienne,

There were states before the Constitution, which was written the Articles of Confederation. During those early years of our country there was indeed those types of religous requirements.

The Contitution came along and made them null and void, no longer would anyone be required to profess allegiance to a religion.

Well, until we started ignoring the constitution and allowing such allegiances to be once again sanctioned. Which I think brings us full circle!

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2005 6:49 PM
Comment #80774

SirisC,
While the “Big Bang Theory” works to create all that is, I would be a fool to say that it is Absolutely the way it happened. Because although we know there is a place where All Reason and Logic meets All Space and Time (i.e. Unalienable Right Regardless), there is no way that we can state that most things are Absolute. For to do so would say that we have Absolute knowledge over everything that can and does influence the fact. History has shown that not to be the case so many times that I won’t consider anything absolute unless I know by my own observations, learnings, and understanding.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 6:53 PM
Comment #80778

Rhinehold:
“Well, until we started ignoring the constitution and allowing such allegiances to be once again sanctioned. Which I think brings us full circle!”

Indeed it does. So, let’s all have a drink and raise our glasses to the first amendment! But before we do, I’ve got some really nice Tiki-style cocktail stirrers we can use… ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2005 6:58 PM
Comment #80780

Got a quick litmus test.

If you believe in God, would changing the Pledge to read “one athiestic nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” offend you? If you were Jewish or Moslem or Hindu, would you find a Pledge that containted the words “one nation indivisible, under Jesus, etc.” offensive?

As long as the Pledge requires the speaker to affrim the existence of a divinity and that act is induced by a public institution, such as a school, it’s clearly a violation of the First Amendment.

PS - You don’t have to believe in the motto on the coin to spend it. The motto doesn’t compel belief; reciting the Pledge does.

Posted by: Chuck Hanrahan at September 15, 2005 7:05 PM
Comment #80784

As an evangelical Christian, I go with it being removed. Civil religion is a terrible thing actually: see “Rousseau’s Allies: Civil Religion and the Pledge of Allegiance” and “The Problem with Conservatism”

Posted by: jchfleetguy at September 15, 2005 7:16 PM
Comment #80785

That would only be valid Chuck if it was a nation founded with atheistic principles or on Jewish principles or Muslim principles.

We may come to a point where we remove all references to God today, however history demonstrates there was a belief in a Creator that was listed in many early documents starting with the Declaration of Independence.

In reality had there been no mention of God in those works? It probably would not be an issue now.

I’d still suggest the Pledge solution is to restore it to what it was, perhaps even going back to the initial creation, to celebrate Columbus Day.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 7:20 PM
Comment #80787

Since this is a debate on the use of the word “Under God,” I think that this Legal Defination might help clear up some things.

I would like to make a special note that under Natural Law “2) the body of laws derived from nature and reason, embodied in the Declaration of Independence assertion that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 3) the opposite of “positive law,” which is created by mankind through the state.” is more of what I think our Founding Fathers had in mind.

Cause surrendering to anything that I know to be other than Unalienab Right regardless just because some man tells me that it is right don’t cut it.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 7:21 PM
Comment #80789

Oh, while every state constitution is now in line with the Federal (or even more strict), the establishment clause in the US Constitution bars Congress from passing any law … For a while after the US Constitution was passed state constitutions could, and did, allow for the establishment of state churches. That finally phased out.

Posted by: jchfleetguy at September 15, 2005 7:25 PM
Comment #80793

Henry,

was this what you were thinking of?

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/const/ratma.htm

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 7:52 PM
Comment #80794

Rob Cottrell
For your interpretation to work, we must first establish a ?separation of God and church? precident to coincide with the ?separation of church and state? precident.

Sad to say, a lot of ‘churches have already separated God from them.

As far as In God We Trust on money goes, most people trust in the money more than God. Leave it on or take it off it won’t change my trusting in God any.
I remember when Under God was added to the pledge. I’ve said the pledge both ways.
Fact is with the way tihs country has gone over the last 40 to 50 years, rejecting and trying to remove God from every part of everyones lives, we can no longer claim to be Under God.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 15, 2005 7:59 PM
Comment #80799
Chuck Hanrahan wrote: Got a quick litmus test. If you believe in God, would changing the Pledge to read ?one athiestic nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all? offend you?
I think so. I’m agnostic, and it offends me.
As long as the Pledge requires the speaker to affrim the existence of a divinity and that act is induced by a public institution, such as a school, it?s clearly a violation of the First Amendment.
Absolutely. I knew you would get it. And many others. I could be wrong, but I think most Americans do get it, even if many don’t.
PS - You don?t have to believe in the motto on the coin to spend it. The motto doesn?t compel belief; reciting the Pledge does.
Excellent point !



As far as In God We Trust on money goes, most people trust in the money more than God. Leave it on or take it off it won?t change my trusting in God any.

Right on, Ron Brown !
You are secure and content in you’re belief, and your faith is stronger than whether it’s printed on money or not, or whether some believe the same way or not.

You know, as cynical as I am, and that’s pretty !@#$ @#$#@$ cynical (no realistic), I don’t really think all people trust in money more than family and friends. Why? Because I see people make decisions to help family and friends all the time, that are great money investments at all. Even though wer are in an era of selfishness and complacency, I think family ties are strong, and then friendships.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 15, 2005 8:22 PM
Comment #80800

Lisa,
Yes, the “Fifthly, That Congress erect no Company of Merchants with exclusive advantages of commerce. is very important and one that I think we need to revisit as a nation.

It was not until you mentioned the early constitutions of states that my memory was rattled. However, if I remember right, they added that claus to stop our goverment from given such favor to certain merchants that it would cause harm to local commerce and place undue pressure on the citizens. Stating that this was the reason for The Boston Tea Party which was a direct result of The King of England only allowing the West India Company to import tea into the colonies that artifically drove up prices.

With the amount of no-bid contracts that have been issued in this administration and the actions of FEMA and other agencies during Katrina, Congress needs to rethink this advice of our Country’s Elders. Thanks!

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 8:26 PM
Comment #80807

Henry, you got me thinking as well so then? I started looking to see if I could remember.

Another think I like about Watch Blog, I’m not the only one who loves history.

:-)

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 15, 2005 9:11 PM
Comment #80809

Lisa,
It’s just not history that I like, but what The Founding Fathers gave each Generation of Americans the ability and capability to do. While Presdent Bush and Congress want to add a burden on us by borrowing from the National Treasure the funds that will be required to build the Gulf Region. It is the Constitutional Right for “We the People” to ask Congress under Article 1 Section 8 to allow us to purchase Treasury Notes to pay for our Common Defense and General Welfare.

With over $200 Billion needed, money could be deverted from income taxes for the purchase of these Notes. This way instead of every citizen paying the government $1,000.00 plus in taxes, they would have a $1,000.00 worth of Treasury Notes and all “We the People” would be responsibile for is to pay the interest on the Notes.

This idea would be better than selling these same Notes to China or any other country. Besides the fact that All Citizens than could have Hope about ending poverty in their lifetime. The only limit that The Founding Fathers of America placed upon us is “Common Sense under The Laws of The Land.”

And that is what I like about Watchblog because everyone pushes each other to prove their point of view based on Facts and “Common Sense. Have you ever read David and me debate over paying off the Federal Debt before the election of 2004?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2005 9:46 PM
Comment #80862

“Under God” and “so hlep me God” were adjustments by Roman Catholics wishing to particpate in proclaiming their patriotism but barred by their religion from making oaths in their own strength.

These additions were allowed as supported by their constitutional right of religious expression and also adopted as general practice by Protestants whose faith found agreement with the adjustments.

The Divided States of America have long since outgrown respect and honor for neighbor or country having progressed to politically correct control and censure of religious expression.

If equal participation rather than subjugation were the goal, other faiths and philosophies would have followed suit and schools would continue to celebrate the opportunities in both classroom and public square to introduce the diversities and similarities represented in “we the people”.

Rather than silence we might have, in times past, been blessed to have heard a daily chorus of:

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands
One nation
under God/within All/under gods/absent god/…
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all

Posted by: jo at September 16, 2005 3:16 AM
Comment #80866

jo,
IMO I think that we need to get back to teaching what our unalienable Rights are and how they work. In this manner common sense and education becomes paramount regardless of religious beliefs.

The problem began when schools attempted to teach our children how Human Nature and Self-Nature has a huge impact on why we act the way we do as Individuals, a Nation, and a Society. The ones that rose up in objection was the Christian Right. The funny thing is in learning how The Laws of Nature; The Intent of the Laws of the Land; & The Natural Course of Human Events works actually increases ones beliefs in their faith regardless of Creed. Well, that is if you believe that your religious God is Unalienable Right Regardless. Maybe that was the problem forty years ago. However, the Laws that we live by as a Nation and Society is based on that Ideology.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 3:42 AM
Comment #80889

Jo,

The Divided States of America have long since outgrown respect and honor for neighbor or country having progressed to politically correct control and censure of religious expression.

I see no large-scale censure of the individual’s right to religious expression. The only thing I see being discussed here is forbidding the government sponsorship of religion.

I’m a Mormon. My religion is VERY important to me. It affects almost every aspect of my daily life. I send my kids to school every day knowing that school won’t be opened with a prayer, but that doesn’t bother me because we pray as a family before the kids leave the house. In my opinion, the Pledge doesn’t nead the words “under God” any more than the “Don’t Walk” sign on the corner does. It should be a statement of patriotism, not a statement of religion.

The Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment doesn’t threaten my ability to express my religion at all — in fact, it protects it. I live in Indiana, where Mormons are a very small minority. The 1st Amendment means that I can send my kids to school here without fear that they’re being taught the precepts of another religion while there. It allows me to maintain control over my children’s education, while not robbing them of exposure to other religions/cultures in a neutral setting.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 16, 2005 9:54 AM
Comment #80890

I should also add that some of the most patriotic people I know are atheists. Insisting that they must acknowledge God in order to express that patriotism is an insult to them, their beliefs, and the sacrifices many of them have made for our country.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 16, 2005 9:59 AM
Comment #80895

I don’t disagree with you Rob, I would also like to believe we have as a nation moved past the point of assuming that there is some connection to atheism and communism that created part of the whole “Red Scare”. It was that over-reaction that led to the whole “Under God” addition.

Which would be another reason to remove it, because things have changed since the 1950’s where that type of fear was encouraged. It would send a message to our children that diversity is truly welcome.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 16, 2005 10:25 AM
Comment #80897

D.A.N.,
“Free speech is protected under the Constitution. They’re simply saying (and correctly) that it is imposing to force a captive audience (such as in public school, or court, or government, etc.) to swear or give oath “under God”. Personally, I don’t think anyone should ever have to pledge, or pray, and make any oath, if they don’t want to”.
I agree whole heartedly.

“There are some that simply (and rightly so) don’t want to be forced to say it. You can still say it. But, anyone that wants to say it can. And, anyone that doesn’t want to, shouldn’t have to. Right ?”

In the post that a wrote that you reasponded to; I also wrote that we are free to leave anytime that something of this sort was done. If one would wish to live a life free of all religious connotations, one would have to live in a cave.

“chad wrote: People have a hard time remmembering that we have a freedom of religion and that means that religion is a part of our culture.
Why should they remember that? Not everyone has the same religion (if any). Some are agnostic, some are atheist, some are Budhist, Taoist, Naturalists, etc. “

That’s just the point every one wants others to do as they want while they don’t want to change. That’s freedom. If we all would just live our own lives when it comes to personal issues of this sort we wouldn’t be discussing this topic at all. But, we as a people are having a hard time doing that.

Posted by: chad at September 16, 2005 10:39 AM
Comment #80899
If one would wish to live a life free of all religious connotations, one would have to live in a cave.

No one want to live free of all religious connotations, we don’t want our government, the only body in existence that can legally use force to carry out it’s wishes, to force religion upon us.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 16, 2005 10:49 AM
Comment #80902

Rhinehold,
Would you agree to changing the words “Under God” to “Being guided by what is Unalienable Right Regardless” as acceptable language?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 11:00 AM
Comment #80904

Henry,

Would you agree to changing the words “Under God” to “Being guided by what is Unalienable Right Regardless” as acceptable language?

My only objection to this would be that it’s grammatically incorrect. Other than that, I find it to be well within the bounds of the power of Congress, and not an undue burden on anyone’s religious beliefs. It’s more of a statement of philosophy than one of religion.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 16, 2005 11:08 AM
Comment #80906

Rob,
So how do you say it grammatically correct? Never have learned proper english in 45 years so please excuse my grammer and spelling. However, I do try to get it close. Besides, I do think that those words would instill in our children our desire by Human Nature to want to be right.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 11:17 AM
Comment #80907

Yes, for 2 reasons.

1) It is unnecessary.

2) It’s very bad poetry and the pledge no longer sounds pleasing.

My question to you:

Why is it so important to you to have it in there that you are going to such great lengths to convince those of us who have specific emotive reactions to the word God that we should accept it? When you know it was only added for the specific purpose of playing on those emotions and causing fear and subjecation in the hearts and minds of people who were athiest? When it was not in there originally and no one was confused at the time that we had unalienable rights as human beings (jefferson said from their creator, I disagree) bound by societal laws that we have agreed to?

I do not understand the reaction to restoring the pledge to it’s original form and removing the stigma and unconstitutional practice of forcing people into a religous pledge in order to avow their patriotism?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 16, 2005 11:18 AM
Comment #80914

Rhinehold,
Why I don’t have a problem in restoring The Pledge back to it’s orginal text, I do have a problem of being forced by others to accept the beliefs regardless of religion or non-religion bases. Even your argument of bound by societal laws that we have agreed to? lends itself to being Unalienable Right Regardless.

Otherwise, “We” leave open to interpertation what our Societal Laws stand for and that leads to allowing the Court of the Day to settle what is meant by The Laws of the Land. What would happen to our children & country if a Political Party could stack the Supreme Court with citizens that believe that the Laws reflect only their idea of right?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 11:42 AM
Comment #80919

Henry,

Your concerns are best stuited for another document (like the Declaration of Independance) than in the pledge of allegiance, wouldn’t it?

How are we forcing you to accept someone else’s beliefs by removing the words ‘Under God’ from a governmental document for avowing one’s patriotism?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 16, 2005 12:07 PM
Comment #80923

Rhinehold,
Because I grew up in the 70’s (politically aware), the words “Under God” was never associated with a religion. However, I grew up in a time were the Right/Wrong of everything was in question. Therefore, I took the words as meaning nothing more than that which is known to be Unalienable Right Regardless. And the reason for that was my parents never pushed a religion or belief system on me. Yet, they explained to me that All Laws be them Man-made or by Nature must be held to that standard to ensure equal protection for every citizen.

How can a law be right when by it’s very wording causes a person to be oppressed? Although history shows many of this types of Laws to exist, my studies have shown that The Founding Fathers and our Forefathers have always fought to achieve that goal as a society. And hopefully we will continue to do so. FYI; my opinion is not based on religion, but what our Nation and Societal Laws should be held to.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 12:23 PM
Comment #80924
Rhinehold wrote: Why is it so important to you to have it in there that you are going to such great lengths to convince those of us who have specific emotive reactions to the word God that we should accept it?

That’s really a better question than the opposite: Why are you opposed to keeping it.

Why? Because of what Chuck Hanrahan pointed out:

As long as the Pledge requires the speaker to affrim the existence of a divinity and that act is induced by a public institution, such as a school, it’s clearly a violation of the First Amendment.

And, some will try to use the weak argument about “In God We Trust” printed on money, as Chuck Hanrahan pointed out:


You don?t have to believe in the motto on the coin to spend it. The motto doesn?t compel belief; reciting the Pledge does.

And, because of what history has shown us, people are justifiably disturbed by government or others that don’t understand the violation, and refuse to see the ostracizing of those that often results toward those that choose to omit the words from the oath or pledge.

It’s such a contentious issue, because it accurately identifies which people really understand the rights of others, and those that do not. As we see in other countries that make religion a requirement in various ways, they clearly don’t get it. They either don’t understand or don’t care that it is oppressive. They are still in the dark ages, and haven’t yet figured out what some already wisely figured out over 214 years ago.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 16, 2005 12:32 PM
Comment #80929

d.a.n.,
I think that if persecution happens it happens. If people are so scared of being looked down at they should join cults. We are free to say what we wish to others. Freedom is a tricky thing give it to some but take it from others? My point is that we are free, something like this is personal. If when we all stand up to pledge or choose not to, those are our choices. As far people saying something about it. Well, that is the American way. Nobody wants to stand up for their own personal rights. People want others to do it for them. So, people end up forming groups. This whole subject is about control. Who are you willing to let control you. Not you personally but, people in general. The left, the right, or yourself? These standards we wish to institute really will not effect us in any way, shape or, form. We should all be free. We act as if there are only two ways to go, keep or leave it. Why not have both or neither.

What we should probably do is tell people we are going to say the pledge before we do it. Then allow them to prepare themselves for what they are about to here. Be it leave, put on ear phones, close their eyes, whatever but, to stop for a minority of people is not the American way. We are a people ruled by the majority of peoples’ view. I know some people will be pissed off but most of them won’t. This is another case of people losing rights but, being passed off as gaining them. How many times will this happen. Before you know it nothing will be allowed in schools and offices because of this mindset. Work and school suck enough. Do we really need another limitation put on what we can do in public settings.

I personally don’t say under God or swear on the bible. But, I don’t see where it’s my place to say others can’t and their unconstitutional. I mean we don’t limit what churches can talk about during their sermons. We don’t stop our presidents from going to church. Yet we have a separation of church and state. Personal choices are what we need in America not more and more standards and regulations. We have enough of them. When we make more and more rules people can sue, lawyers can manipulate the rulings to other parts of free life. How much of this really does matter. As soon as we recognize this as a problem the doors are open for all other sorts of intrusion into the American people’s lives.

This is a stepping stone for the enterprising assholes. Any sort of acknowledgement as a problem gives the whining minority more clout. We don’t need any ore idiotic values to rule our lives.

Posted by: chad at September 16, 2005 12:57 PM
Comment #80954
chad wrote: d.a.n., I think that if persecution happens it happens.

chad, So, you won’t mind if you’re persecuted ? I don’t condone it; not even against you. It is unrealistic to believe children will choose to not say “under God”. They are afraid not to. You know what I’m talking about. You yourself said it’s all about control.

chad wrote: If people are so scared of being looked down at they should join cults.

Or, go to N.Korea as you suggested earlier.
The irony and humor of that statement is who it really applies to.

chad wrote: We are free to say what we wish to others.

Only if it is true. But, not lies that cause damages. Harmful slander (lies) is actionable in a civil court (and rightfully, so).

chad wrote: Freedom is a tricky thing give it to some but take it from others? My point is that we are free, something like this is personal.

Freedom is not a tricky thing at all. It only appears that way to those that want to twist and pervert it to fit their oppressive purposes, to control others.

chad wrote: If when we all stand up to pledge or choose not to, those are our choices.

True, no one should ever be forced to pledge, oath, or pray.

chad wrote: As far people saying something about it. Well, that is the American way. Nobody wants to stand up for their own personal rights. People want others to do it for them. So, people end up forming groups.

Well, that’s exactly what some people are doing (and rightfully, so); as you recommend. They’re pointing out a violation of the 1st Amendment. They’re the group that supports the 1st Amendment, and they oppose the group that have no respect for the 1st Amendment.

chad wrote: This whole subject is about control.

Now you’re on the right track. The question is, who is trying to control who ? Which is controlling:
(1) forcing people to give oath, pledge, or prayer ?
(2) forcing people to give oath, pledge, or prayer, but be allowed to omit portions ? If so, what good is the pledge ?
(3) forcing people to give oath, pledge, or prayer, but be allowed to omit portions, but be identified, ostracized, and persecuted for omitting portions ? If so, what’s the purpose of the pledge ?
(4) never force people to give oath, pledge, or prayer ; especially never with a captive audience, such as a public school, court, government, or public agency ?

chad wrote: Who are you willing to let control you. Not you personally but, people in general. The left, the right, or yourself?

Chad, Unfortunately, we are all controlled in many detestable ways. We are controlled by an unfair tax system (IRS), by irresponsible and unaccountable government. There is no where on the planet to go to escape all oppression. Just because it exists, is never a reason to tolerate it. Oppression takes on many forms: unfair income taxation, property taxation, legal plunder via abused eminent domain laws to seize peoples’ property, government unfairly influenced and controlled by a few (5%) of the population that have 59% of all wealth, leaving the remaining 41% without an equal voice in government, discrimination based on religion, race, age, gender, etc., and forcing people to oath, pledge, or pray.

chad wrote: These standards we wish to institute really will not effect us in any way, shape or, form.

Sure they will. Everything has consequences.

chad wrote: We should all be free.
No argument about that.
chad wrote: We act as if there are only two ways to go, keep or leave it. Why not have both or neither.

You mean only one way to go ?
Lot’s of ways can happen in reality,
but there’s only one way that truly just.

The pledge itself is the problem.
The words “under God” are part of the same problem.
Neither should be required.
What’s the purpose of a pledge anyway, if some omit portions of it ?
The purpose for some is to identify those they want to ostracize and persecute.

Still, this does not prevent anyone from giving oath, pledge, or praying, despite the claims of such. No one can someone from doing that, so such claims are false.

chad wrote: What we should probably do is tell people we are going to say the pledge before we do it. Then allow them to prepare themselves for what they are about to here. Be it leave, put on ear phones, close their eyes, whatever but, to stop for a minority of people is not the American way. We are a people ruled by the majority of peoples? view. I know some people will be pissed off but most of them won?t. This is another case of people losing rights but, being passed off as gaining them.

Who’s losing rights ? Some are merely asking not to be forced to say something they don’t believe, and don’t like being ostracized or persecuted for omitting or refusing to do so. But, as previously stated, the whole pledge, oath, prayer requirement is wrong to begin with, because it’s about control, as you said yourself.

chad wrote: How many times will this happen. Before you know it nothing will be allowed in schools and offices because of this mindset.

That’s mere exaggeration. Children in public schools shouldn’t be forced to participate in things that violate their rights. Some simply want adherence to the 1st Amendment, and it’s purpose is simply respecting everyones’ rights. What’s wrong with that ?

chad wrote: Work and school suck enough. Do we really need another limitation put on what we can do in public settings.

Well, perhaps it would not suck so much if they were allowed to learn useful skills and information, rather than being forced to give oath, pledge, or prayer every day.
It’s unfortunate that you view it as a limitation, instead of freedom and respect for everyone.

chad wrote: I personally don?t say under God or swear on the bible. But, I don?t see where it?s my place to say others can?t and their unconstitutional.

Nobody said others can’t if they want to. It would be unconstitutional if that were the case. You’re confusing the issue. Wanting not to be forced or persecuted for not giving oath, pledge, or prayer is not the same as allowing those that want to give oath, pledge, or prayer. Nobody is stopping people from doing so…why is it always viewed that way? It’s really non-sequitur.

chad wrote: I mean we don?t limit what churches can talk about during their sermons. We don?t stop our presidents from going to church.
Of course not. That would be a violation of the 1st Amendment.
chad wrote: Yet we have a separation of church and state.
Yes, fortunately. Do you want really religion in government? Has history not taught us the perils of that ? Do you want religion to be a requirement ?
chad wrote: Personal choices are what we need in America not more and more standards and regulations.
Choices have nothing to do with inalienable human rights.
chad wrote: Personal choices are what we need in America not more and more standards and regulations. We have enough of them. When we make more and more rules people can sue, lawyers can manipulate the rulings to other parts of free life. How much of this really does matter. As soon as we recognize this as a problem the doors are open for all other sorts of intrusion into the American people?s lives.

The dysfunction of the legal system is an entirely different subject.
Laws and enforcement are important, and good, as long as they’re not dualistic and uphold the constitution.
Without them, we have anarchy and chaos.

chad wrote: This is a stepping stone for the enterprising assholes. Any sort of acknowledgement as a problem gives the whining minority more clout. We don?t need any ore idiotic values to rule our lives.

chad, Enterprising assholes ? Minority ? More idiotic values ?
The 1st Amendment is a very wise portion of the Constitution, and those that support it aren’t just Enterprising assholes, they’re not a minority, and there’s nothing idiotic about wanting to uphold the 1st Amendment. Anyone who can’t recognize the wisdom of the 1st Amendment, doesn’t really respect the rights and freedoms of others. They, as you said yourself, want to control others.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 16, 2005 3:06 PM
Comment #80961

Chad & Dan,
What you both are failing to look at is not what is your personal view on the matter, but what is the right thing to do as a Nation & Society. What message do you want your Grandchildren’s Children to take from the actions and words of the first gerneration of Americans living in the 21st Century about what America should stand for and against?

That we believe in nothing or that our unalienable Rights as an Individual, Nation, and Society is what matters most and should be defended at ALL COST! For many Americans have gave their Lives for that very reason, ask anyone who served this country in WWII. It’s not about us it is about “We the People.”

Posted by: h at September 16, 2005 3:37 PM
Comment #80965

d.a.n.,

All these points you have made are all strong. But, I think I may have failed in expessing what I meant to. I feel that a restriction to some is a restriction to too many in this case. We have a tradition in this country and it is going to stop if this continues. Although it may have no real significance anymore it would still represent our country. Maybe not to all but to some. A relationship with your country is similar to that with your religion, it is personal.

I see your side and can agree with you on some of it but, to me it is a restriction. I don’t think if we were individually responsible as a country it would trickle down to it’s people. But, since all we get when we ask questions are a bunch of fingers pointing at each other. This is really no different.

Children were brought up numerous times by you. Saying that they wouldn’t stand up and fight. But, when do they when it comes to GOD. A child never goes into a church for the first time with their family and says “hey I didn’t choose to hear this”. The parents are the ones that are in charge of their children. Not the children of themselves.

This whole idea that i’m against the support of the 1st ammendment gimme a break. This is a first ammendment and we should be able to say what we want. I think its great we have differing opinions. I just think that choice is something that is leaving our society little by little. We need to keep that as close as we can for with free will and freedom should come choice.

The assholes thing. Yes asshole will manipulate a decision if it restricts us. Not all these people pushing for a stopping of choice are good people and have agendas of their hell bent on personal gain . This world is filled with the opportunistc preditors that ruin our country. A minority? Yes. But, some at all are too many. This is what I see in the future. All of unable to say anything about our personal lives while at work or in school for fear of offending the guy next to us. That would suck.

AND uh “inalienable human rights.” What the are you talking about. The pledge in school violates inalienable rights? I get you mindset but that’s a stretch.

Posted by: chad at September 16, 2005 3:51 PM
Comment #80968

Chad.

I’m going to be very clear. Please read exactly what I write and respond to it.

NO ONE is suggesting that someone CAN’T say the Pledge of Allegiance WITH the ‘Under God’ phrase in it whenever they want.

However, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL to have a ‘governmental approved’ pledge that includes any reference to religion.

Now, what is wrong with officially removing the ‘added on’ phrase that wasn’t there to begin with and is unconstitutional from the ‘governmental approved’ pledge? How does that prevent anyone from saying anything?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 16, 2005 3:59 PM
Comment #80970

Rhinehold,
I’ve been thinking about what we have been talking about and from a purely legal point of view, I can’t see how the Courts of the Land can decide any other way based on Precedence.

No longer does a person have to swear to “God” to take an oath of office. No longer is it required that you place your hand on a bible and swear in Court. No, IMO legal precedence has been established in Case Law that should make it simple to have the words “Under God” removed from the pledge.

Yet, I ask you in all honesty what does America stand for? What principles as a Nation and Society should we reflect to our children and the rest of Humanity? That my friend is a question we need to ask ourself as a Nation and Society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 4:10 PM
Comment #80980

this is a good site, but I hate reading opinions without links to support.

Here, it seems, it is impossible to link information and have it appear in a timely manner.

So, let me know (I am sure) when you change your filtering methods on posts. This is the only blog I visit that blocks links to review. You should get over that

Posted by: jchfleetguy at September 16, 2005 5:02 PM
Comment #80981

Let’s remember that the Pledge was written without any mention of God. It was written to be said one time, to honor Columbus Day in 1892. In 1954 it was changed to add “Under God”.

From 1892 until 1954, it was still patriotic. By the 1920’s it became a routine at most schools, without “Under God” it was still patriotic….

Removing “Under God” would restore it historically to what it was and would still be?

Patriotic…..

If you make restoring the pledge about recognizing that patriotism is something that comes from all US Citizens whether or not they believe in God? You make our country stronger rather than dividing it.

We have to remember to put it back into historical perspective, what made the change happen in 1954 is no longer an issue, so to change it to address another issue? Is the right thing to do.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 16, 2005 5:06 PM
Comment #80982

jchfleetguy, I apologize for not seeing you had a comment pending with links. A recent change should have corrected that issue from what I understand.

If that ever does happen in the future please let one of us know so your comment and links can be approved.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 16, 2005 5:12 PM
Comment #80983

Rhinehold,

However, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL to have a ‘governmental approved’ pledge that includes any reference to religion.

gotccha :^)

Nevertheless, i think freedom of speech and our value of independant thought and tolerance of divergent thought should still be included in our pledge as i mentioned earlier.

Perhaps a more acceptable “governmentally approved” form could be:

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the republic for which it stands
one nation
[individual expression clause]
With liberty and justice for all.

Posted by: jo at September 16, 2005 5:17 PM
Comment #80987
h (is that short for Henry Schlatman ?) Chad & Dan, What you both are failing to look at is not what is your personal view on the matter, but what is the right thing to do as a Nation & Society.
Henry, respectfully, I dont agree. It’s not a matter of my personal view. Upholding the 1st Amendment is the right thing to do as a Nation and society. This matter goes right to the root of a serious problem, as Chad pointed out: control , and control is not freedom. So, it shouldn’t be trivialized as a personal view point.
What message do you want your Grandchildren?s Children to take from the actions and words of the first gerneration of Americans living in the 21st Century about what America should stand for and against?
I want them to respect the 1st Amendment. I want them to understand that any person can do (or not do) anything they want anytime they want as long as they violate no other person’s rights. All laws should be derived from that simple core law. Laws are created to help people understand their rights, and others’ rights. Laws are designed to protect rights, and place responsibility. It’s not always instantly clear, so the basic tests must be satisfied to determine the justness of the law. Those that want to control and plunder others often find clever ways to confuse and pervert the laws to do the very thing they were originally supposed to prevent.
That we believe in nothing

Believe in nothing ? What do you mean ? God ?

…or that our unalienable Rights as an Individual, Nation, and Society is what matters most and should be defended at ALL COST! For many Americans have gave their Lives for that very reason, ask anyone who served this country in WWII. It?s not about us it is about ?We the People.?

Defending the rights of individuals, the nation, and society is important, and why shouldn’t it be defended ? I’m not sure what you’re saying. We are the people. A violation of one person’s rights is a violation of all, and shouldn’t be tolerated. Individuals make up “the people”. If you’re implying that are individual viewpoint regarding the 1st Amendment is not important, then I have to disagree again, because violation of the 1st Amendment is a violation of someone’s rights, which is a stepping stone to oppression, that should never be underestimated or trivialized, unless we want to return to the dark ages. It’s a dangerous and slipperly slope, once you allow government to favor or oppose any religion. Wise men 214 years ago understood this, the historical reasons, and the need for the 1st Amendment. Any one that doesn’t , doesn’t really understand and/or respect freedom.

It’s really futile to argue the 1st Amendment with someone who doesn’t respect it, refuses to acknowledge the fear that some have to omit the words (e.g. children in public school), refuses to acknowledge the ostracizing by some that can now identify those that omit “under God”, refuses to learn from history, refuses to see the wisdom of separation of church and state, refuses to acknowledge that many don’t believe in God, refuses to respect the rights of some to not believe in God, refuses to acknowledge that such oaths and pledges are pointless if everyone can include/omit the parts they do/don’t like, refuses to recognize that even many religious people see the wisdom of the separation of church and state, refuses to see the dangers of no separation of church and state, refuses to understand why so many people fear government that favors or prohibits any religion, or refuses to see that oaths & pledges & prayers when forced, instititionalized, and/or orchestrated by government or public schools is a violation of someone’s rights, unless all present are of the same beliefs.

Fortunately, I think most Americans, and the courts understand it, which is why they justly decided as they did.

Personally, I don’t care if “under God” remains in the pledge. I even believe those that put this at the top of their list of things to change must not have enough to do.
But, now that the subject is on the table, it should be dealt with correctly, and what’s really more important and revealing, is the adamant opposition to it’s removal, and the claims that the nation is in decline or immoral because references to religious beliefs are removed from the pledge or oath. In the big scheme of things, this is not as important as several other violations of rights, such as abuse of eminent domain laws, legal plunder, unfair taxation, incarceration & execution of innocent people, civil rights, law enforcement, fraud and crimes by the government against its own citizens, and people of other nations. Those all are much more sustantive issues regarding peoples rights.

What does America stand for ? It should stand for the rights of everyone. The pledge is all too easy to focus on, while ignoring all of the truly important issues and pressing problems facing our nation and society.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 16, 2005 5:36 PM
Comment #80989

Jo,

what’s wrong with the original? I thought it sounded pretty good myself…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 16, 2005 5:37 PM
Comment #80991

Actually, Judge Roberts during his cofirmation hearing this week gave all of us the answer/insight into how the court will decide this case when he said what was “Congresses Intent” when they passed the Law.

Although we can find out what President Ike said, I haven’t been able to locate the actual debate and Law which came out of Congress. Considering how old the files would be does anybody know how to locate the Government Document? Because that is what the Courts has to base it’s findings on. Both sides of the argument may be surprised by their ruling because of how our Elders thought.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 5:41 PM
Comment #80997

Dan,
Read what I said to Rhinehold about the Precedence that has been eastablished in our Courts. Why you might think that I’m standing up for the religious views, but my concrens extends from what is Unalienable Right Regardless based on The Laws of this Land. For that ideology is paramount when it comes to Law in America, otherwise we’re no better than Osama Ben Laden’s idea of government and that is unacceptable.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 5:52 PM
Comment #81001

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

That’s the original…

and some more intersting historical tidbits for those who want them:

http://www.legion.org/?section=our_flag&subsection=flag_history&content=flag_history

I always found this interesting:

Originally, the pledge was said with the right hand in the so-called “Bellamy Salute,” with the right hand resting first outward from the chest, then the arm extending out from the body. Once Hitler came to power in Europe, some Americans were concerned that this position of the arm and hand resembled the Nazi or Fascist salute. In 1942 Congress also established the current practice of rendering the pledge with the right hand over the heart.
Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 16, 2005 5:59 PM
Comment #81012

Rhinehold,

As i stated before, some faiths (including Roman Catholics) do not allow for pledges, oaths, vows etc to be made in our own strength. Granted few take their faith seriously these days but some do.

i could not say the pledge withOUT acknowledging God …

to do so would be to claim i have within my own self the power to bring myself into existence, to breathe etc. i do not have the ability to promise by my own power anything.

Posted by: jo at September 16, 2005 6:34 PM
Comment #81013

I’m a Roman Catholic, you can say the pledge with or without the “Under God” so I’m not sure where you are coming from on that point, jo.

The only concern regarding a pledge from what I understand is

(1)To swear without a sufficient reason, being an idle use of God’s name, is a venial sin; (2) truth, for what we affirm should be in conformity with the truth. Consequently in case of an assertory oath, our affirmation must be truthful, and in a promissory oath we must have the intention of doing what we are promising.

Most of the issues with the Roman Catholic Church and oaths was not anywhere close to that time period but hundreds of years earlier. The Quaker religion is one of those that takes issues with certain oaths but that has been addressed since our early State Constitutions as it being acceptable for them to “affirm” instead.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 16, 2005 6:45 PM
Comment #81021

Lisa Renee,

i was unaware of this change in your religion. It remains in my faith that a person is still beholden to God for existence; and that it is inappropriate at best to presume to promise anything in one’s own power.

What is allegience?
Are there any qualifiers for this?
How many today think “My country, right or wrong”?

The under God qualifier acknowldges my dependance on other than myself (God) to fulfill such a bold statement AND that the flag or republic does not supercede all else. (In my case, God)

Posted by: jo at September 16, 2005 7:01 PM
Comment #81022

Lisa Renee
Originally, the pledge was said with the right hand in the so-called “Bellamy Salute,” with the right hand resting first outward from the chest, then the arm extending out from the body. Once Hitler came to power in Europe, some Americans were concerned that this position of the arm and hand resembled the Nazi or Fascist salute. In 1942 Congress also established the current practice of rendering the pledge with the right hand over the heart.

Interesting indeed, I’ve never heard that, but it would make sense to change it in view of the Nazi salute.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 16, 2005 7:02 PM
Comment #81024

Lisa,
Thanks for the link. While that was useful, if you web search U.S Flag Day this site gives you a liittle bit more history and facts. However, if you look up US Code Title 4 section 10 reads “Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation.

Since the Peldge of Allegiance in this Title includes the words “Under God” and Congress gave The President full power over everything included in the Title, the Courts must folow The Law. However, they may say that it is unconstitutional to recite in public schools, but that is a streach.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 7:07 PM
Comment #81028

Henry Schlatman,
I’m not sure I really understand what you mean by:
Unalienable Right Regardless based on The Laws of this Land

I do have a near unshakable belief of unalienable human rights. It is regardless of anything. Regardless of laws of this land, or any other land. It’s simply that any person can do (or not do) anything they want anytime they want as long as they violate no other person’s rights. All laws should be derived from that one simple core law. Laws are created to help people understand their rights, and others? rights. Laws are designed to protect rights, and place responsibility. It’s not always instantly clear, so the basic tests must be satisfied to determine the justness of the law. Those that want to control and plunder others often find clever ways to confuse and pervert the laws to do the very thing they were originally supposed to prevent. We must strive to keep the laws just, because the struggle between those that want justice, and those that don’t respect justice is never ending. It’s not a battle we can ever afford to retreat from. It’s always been, and (possibly) always will be.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 16, 2005 7:29 PM
Comment #81036

Dan,
The Intent of the Law such as assualt is to keep a person from coming into my “space” without permission. Therefore, any argument that falls within that realm and can be found to be right through reason and logic of the “Common Sense” of a Layman is considered Unalienable Right Regardless.

For example; If I approach you in an aggressive manner, am I not attempting to assault you? Thus, under the Intent of The Law of the Land, I could be charged. Now proving that is a judgment call; hence the reason for a court.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 7:42 PM
Comment #81042

Jo, Yes there are several religions who cannot take oaths, as you are aware. Even in some of the early state constitutions some of these religions, Quakers to name one were listed as not being forced to participate in oaths of office.

Most of the oath related issues to the Roman Catholic church came alot earlier in history. It is worth pointing out though that the Knights of Columbus (a mainly Roman catholic organization) was one of the first groups to ask for the addition of “Under God” but it wasn’t related to the issue of oaths from what I understood. It was to try to promote a connection to God and address the whole communism scare.

Ron, yes that is one of those “little known” facts anyone talks about anymore. Some do talk about Bellamy’s “socialist” connection/beliefs. I confess to being a history “geek” as you can see.

:-)

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 16, 2005 8:17 PM
Comment #81044

Henry in 1943 it was stated children can not be required to say the Pledge that it was voluntary.

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) that no child may be compelled to recite the Pledge because, the Supreme Court reasoned, that would require affirmation of belief, in violation of the First Amendment freedom of speech.

I realize many believe that given it is in a school led situation it is not truly “voluntary” but that ruling has not been overturned as far as I know.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 16, 2005 8:23 PM
Comment #81049

Lisa,
This is what I love about our ability to in this country to even questions the rulings of our judges or any one of authority. While I need to dig up the actaul Bill(s) that were introduced to Congress and the Record of Debate in The House and Senate, I’m not sure I can do it on the web. At least I’ve not found “The Magic Words” that allow me to review the origanal documents. Because that would form the Supreme Courts basis of reason & logic. Yet, I do know that even than Title 4 is pertty clear who has authority over the pledge and if you noticed they did not state The President, but The Commander in Chief which puts it into JAG Law and I don’t have experience in reading them.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2005 8:39 PM
Comment #81055
If a good looking girl or guy walk by does not Human Nature make us all take notice? Our recations may vary greatly; however, we are driven by a Force to turn our heads and look which is also a way to define the word “God.”

Excellent. All this time humanity has been looking for the meaning of life, it’s right there, in our loins.

Posted by: Taylor at September 16, 2005 8:59 PM
Comment #81068
Yet, I ask you in all honesty what does America stand for? What principles as a Nation and Society should we reflect to our children and the rest of Humanity? That my friend is a question we need to ask ourself as a Nation and Society.

First and foremost, I hold that America stands for freedom — the freedom to speak what we want, to live where we want, and to believe what we want. That’s what really set America apart in the beginning, and it’s what so many other countries have moved toward since.

I consider the addition by law of the words “under God” to the Pledge to be a threat to that freedom. Even though those words express my religious beliefs, they do so in a way that interferes with the freedoms of others.

I agree that the Pledge should be an expression of what America stands for — our shared values. Belief in God is NOT a shared value among Americans today, whether some of us want it to be or not.

To suggest that those who don’t believe in God are less patriotic than those that do threatens our nation more than the 1st Amendment does.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 16, 2005 9:45 PM
Comment #81085

Rob,
I agree with what you say and if the Legal Definition, as intended by Congress, of the words “Under God” is clarified as meaning Natural Law than I have no problem keeping the words in the Pledge. Because all that means is that we as a society recognizes Self-Evident Human Nature guides our lives.

However, if certain citizens want to keep insisting that the terms of these words mean a religious “God/Deity” than the Commander in Cheif should have the words striken. Because while every citizen is entitled to their personal beleifs, absolutely no one has the right to force their idea of right on another. That includes those who believe in a religious God and those who don’t.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 17, 2005 5:30 AM
Comment #81091

Henry,

I agree that a reference to “Natural Law” and/or “Self-Evident Human Nature” would be acceptable, and even desirable, in the Pledge of Allegiance. It leaves it open for each of us to determine, for ourselves, who we believe to be the author of those laws (if any).

The problem with simply redefining the word God is that the word already has a very strong meaning to most people. Asking Christians such as myself to redefine God to mean something other than the Supreme Being is unacceptable.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 17, 2005 9:59 AM
Comment #81095

—-
Excellent. All this time humanity has been looking for the meaning of life, it’s right there, in our loins.
—-

Thanks… needed a good laugh.

Posted by: tony at September 17, 2005 10:03 AM
Comment #81099

Ron,
As I pointed out in an eariler post that I got from Legal Dictionary.com one of the definitions talks about Natural Law. Thus, the Courts can use this to “Limit” what the words “Under God” means as stated in The Pledge; however, IKE’s statements in 1954 may make that a “Hard Jump.”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 17, 2005 10:24 AM
Comment #81113

Rob, I agree with you on your statements concerning freedom. I also believe since in history the pledge was changed for various reasons, restoring it to either the original or prior to the 1954 addition would be a positive for all.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at September 17, 2005 11:34 AM
Comment #81116

tony,
Hopefully you think and act with your mind, not your loin.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 17, 2005 11:42 AM
Comment #81142
How many today think “My country, right or wrong”?

I would hope that very few people think this way. I would hope, instead, that true patriots stand for America’s values, and stand against America when she opposes those values.

Consider for a moment a patriotic German circa 1930. Would he stand for his country, right or wrong? Would he have continued to do so after Hitler came to power? Or would opposing Hitler have been the patriotic thing to do?

(Disclaimer: I am not, in any way, suggesting that our country is on par with 1930’s Germany, or comparing any American president with Adolf Hitler. I am simply using an extreme, clear-cut example to support a less extreme, less well-defined situation.)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 17, 2005 12:58 PM
Comment #81150

Rob,

i agree. i may pledge my allegiance to this country WITH qualifications… not blindly.

Posted by: jo at September 17, 2005 1:31 PM
Comment #81160

HERE! HERE! Following anything bindly is not wise.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 17, 2005 2:37 PM
Comment #81235

If we’re going to encourage (not force) a pledge of any sort, it should be to respect the human rights of all its citizens, and never blindly show allegiance to the nation.

Especially if the nation is oppressive.

The goal of a pledge should be of loftier than the mere allegiance to the nation. And, we need clarity on “for which it stands”. It should be more explicit (such as “respect the human rights”). Despite the pledge, any behavior that does not respect human rights, is oppression, and illegal. The U.S. can encourage those of other nations to also understand and strive for to respect human rights, and provide refuge to those that flee oppression and persecution. This nation has strived to set such an example.

But, now, I fear that the U.S. has lost its way.
Now, the U.S. government is influenced by a very few that abuse vast wealth and power, by massive world corporations, and risks becoming an oppressive government itself. Especially, as the U.S. and world corporations scheme to scour the planet to secure and control resources.

Corporatism is not just an American problem, but the U.S. is ripe for it, and the abuses, which have always existed, are now growing in number and severity, and the greed is becoming harder and harder to conceal and refute.

What this nation really needs is a close, careful, thorough examination and scrutiny of actions of its leaders, and legal systems that violate the rights of people (e.g. abuse of eminent domain laws, legal plunder, selective and/or insufficient law enforcement, abuse of presidential pardons, irresponsible, unaccountable, arrogant government, incarceration and execution of innocent people, etc.). Not just American citizens, but people of other nations too, in attempts to control and plunder resources here and abroad.

Me and many others, used to think the U.S. was (although, never perfect) mostly benevolent.
Now it is in danger. Now it is questionable whether the U.S. is benevolent, some of what it is doing is wrong and/or highly suspicious, and blind allegiance now is dangerous, when we now need some serious self scrutiny (of both the government and the people of the nation that tolerate it).

It once seemed unlikely that I would ever be saying any of the sort above, but our increasingly irresponsible, unaccountable, and illegal government forces me to do so now.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 18, 2005 10:25 AM
Comment #81237

Did anybody else see Fox News last night when one of the TV Host had the gentleman bring the law suit on their program? It seems Fox or at least that Host is trying to push down our throat that America was founded on Judeo-Chisrtianity.

It is exactly for this reason that the term “Under God” needs to be officially defined. Because I have yet found one Founding Document that states our Country was Judeo-Christian; however, The Declaration of Independence clearly states that “…The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God…”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 18, 2005 10:52 AM
Comment #81242

Bill O’Reilly ( who settled out of court for his sexual harrassment law-suit, and has no credibility: usatoday.com/life/television/news/2004-10-28-oreilly-settles_x.htm ) and his ilk have been pushin’ that for years.
It’s scary when you have an entire media corporation that doesn’t understand or respect the 1st Amendment.

At any rate, this issue, while important because of its philosophical implications (i.e. whether or not “God” is in a pledge or oath) doesn’t make it (not explicitly) on my list of 25 pressing problems facing the nation ( home.comcast.net/~d.a.n/PressingProblemsFacingTheUS_NoBackLinks.htm )

Unless illegally coerced or persecuted, no one can be forced to say (or not say) “God” if they wish, so that specific problem (“God” in a pledge or oath) is more or less a moot point, that doesn’t deserve as much attention as many orther pressing problems, even though it reveals the true root problem that is at the core of most of our pressing problems (disrespect of the rights of others, rooted in laziness, which breeds greed, corruption, graft, plunder, oppression, crime, etc.).

In this era of selfishness, greed, corruption, and fiscal & moral bankruptcy, it is futile to solve even one of those pressing problems, without first recognizing and addressing the root problem. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough people (leadership and citizens) that want respect for all, and enforcement of laws to ensure it. Instead, we have rampant greed by a few that abuse vast wealth and power, and a selfish, complacent, apathetic majority that allow it. Welcome to the human condition.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 18, 2005 11:44 AM
Comment #81443
“How many today think My country, right or wrong?”

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 17, 2005 12:58 PM


“HMM…Let me see, While not subscribing to that idealogy myself, I found it Necessary to follow that while in the Army, in order to lead troops when faced with a “Mutinous Situation”, many times I have had to be first in line to eat a “Shit” Sandwich to show my soldiers, Whom I was responsible for that some times you have gotta “Eat Shit First” in order to lead, And hopefully be able to save them from future mistakes either by leader’s appointed over them, or them Themselves. I hated nothing more then having to look at his(W’s) picture in every office. But I am Sure that there were just as many, if not More service members who felt the same way about President Clinton, so I guess it all equals out in the end.

As Ever,
Wayne

Posted by: wayne at September 19, 2005 1:48 PM
Comment #81694

Wayne,

The president doesn’t matter that much.
They’re all bought and paid for.
This country is so pathetic.
Government is for sale.
Legal plunder.

Around, and round, and round it goes, and where it ends is …. ?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 20, 2005 9:26 PM
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