Sunday, June 26, 2011

Taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance ... and the rest of the government?

I am not religiously opinionated enough to have much of a preference as to whether we are one nation (ha!) under God or just under the flag, but I am a fan of consistency (as well as an observer of irony and hypocrisy -- my own and others').

Ever since I first saw an American flag inside a Catholic church, I have laughed at the notion of a separation between church and state in this country.

I am not so much concerned about whether there is a separation or not (though I do think that it is a lovely idea).  Partiots can be religious, and religious folks can be patriotic.  My issue is with the saying of one thing and doing the opposite.

If there is no God in the pledge, then there should be no "God Bless America," and certainly no swearing in of witnesses, supreme court justices or presidents of the United States with their hands on a Bible.  While I don't know the oaths by heart, I am sure that God is mentioned in each and every one of them.  And given that the Bible is the religious book used for these ceremonies, it is a very specific Christian God (who, I might mention, is the same God as Yahweh and Allah, but that is a whole other suject) we are talking about here in a land where the law guarantees the right to worship who and how you choose -- a God who requires absolute loyalty.  It is not enough to believe in Him, worship Him, follow Him in your own life.  You must also insist on the impossibility of the existence and validity of any other deity.  Anyone who believes anything else is not only wrong but, unless converted, doomed to a torturous eternal afterlife (in which he or she probably don't even believe, which I have always found to be a bit of a stretch).

We can't have God in school (which also means that teaching creationism is out), but he is allowed in every court in the land?  All of those judges and lawyers (and probably quite a few of the witnesses, defendants and plaintiffs) in those courts have spent a major portion of their lives in school (and possibly in a church of some sort as well), where religion and God apparently don't belong, but then they go to work and have to invoke God every day.

Is whoever is insisting on this particular edit really thinking the situation all the way through?  Or is the expectation that one instance will not have any ripple effect?  Help me out here.

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