This post makes me a little nervous, but I think I’ll write it anyway.
In 1892, a Baptist minister named Francis Bellamy devised the “Pledge of Allegiance”.
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Over the next 50 years, the Pledge was changed to ultimately become the one that was recognized as the official pledge of our flag in 1942.
- I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
In 1948, “under God” was inserted in the Pledge as part of a Lincoln’s birthday celebration to commemorate the words being part of the Gettysburg address. This was done independently of the government during a Daughters of the American Revolution event.
In the ensuing six years, pressure was brought to bear to put “under God” into the Pledge until it was ultimately recognized in 1954.
Remembering the 1950’s, it was also the time of Senator Joe McCarthy and the communist witch hunts, the Cold War, bomb shelters, and the middle of the Korean conflict (never a declared war), and just after a great victory in World War II.
Putting “under God” into the Pledge was meant to let every country on earth know that the United States of America is under God, while they were not. We were the exclusive sponsors of God. In short, putting “under God” into the pledge was our way of “strutting our stuff”, using God as our “mascot”.
While I understand our forefathers, or at least most of our forefathers, arrived on our shores as a result of religious persecution, we never seem to recognize the real natives were never included in that conversation. We never to seem to recognize there are others with other beliefs, or none whatsoever.
We are all citizens of the Republic. We are all taxed the same, whether we believe or not. We are all expected to follow the rules of the land, whether we believe or not.
It makes me nervous when our government is involved in religion. It makes me nervous when religion becomes official. These are exactly the reasons why the Puritans came over in the first place.
There are examples all over history when the government hijacks God making the head of state also the head of a religion. Religion is a private relationship between God and the person, not the government and God.
I have no problem with the Pledge of Allegiance having the words “under God” in it. I do have a problem with the United States Government recognizing it as the official pledge. And, it makes me very nervous when our government, or a school, or a courthouse, or any public land or event, mandates its inclusion.