Raising the Standard for News and Views
Constitution supports God and patriotism
|Volume I, Issue IX|
|Best of the Pittsburgh Standard Sections of 2001-2002
August-September 2002 issues
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Ramesh C. Reddy
It is a travesty and unthinkable what the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit did when they voted 2-1 denouncing the Pledge of Allegiance in its current form by calling it unconstitutional.
The issue we are faced with is whether or not the words ‘under God’ promote an establishment of a religion by state funded institutions such as public schools. The court thinks so without even looking at the factual history upon which this nation was found.
Sadly, time after time many judges who have ruled on religion cases seem to have interpreted the ‘separation of church and state’ clause too broadly.
Has it even occurred to them that the purpose of the separation clause was not to infringe on the religious freedom of the people but to make sure we do not have a theocracy government in place of a Republic for the people and by the people?
I have not seen that we have moved into a theocratic government just because ‘under God’ has been recited in the pledge for the past 48 years. What these judges are trying to do is make our country semi-communist when it comes to government’s involvement. I say semi-communist because most countries that are communist also promote atheistic principles as a government.
Essentially, this is the path these judges want our government to follow in when they demand that teachers in public schools cannot lead their students in the pledge because of the words ‘under God’ are used.
I hope judges across the nation and people who are against using the word ‘God’ by government funded institutions and establishments will realize this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Hence, God is a vital part of this nation’s history.
Just because a minority thinks differently does not give them the right to erase God from the picture using the lame excuse of ‘separation of church and state’.
According to the ‘American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language’, a religion is defined as a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
Michael Newdow, a Sacramento atheist’s cause, principle, or activity that is pursued with zeal and conscientious devotion is his belief in no God. Hence whether he acknowledges it or not, he himself is following a religion and wants the government to impose his religion upon the American people and the teachers of the Western quarter of the United States which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
Since the judges think it is unconstitutional to use the words ‘under God’ because it is an establishment of religion, it will also be unconstitutional to remove ‘under God’ from the pledge, if we use that same reasoning, because it is an establishment of Newdow’s religion upon the people of those states!
So what is the solution? In situations like this the majority of the people’s voice must be heard and adhered to. In this case, many want the pledge to have ‘under God’ mentioned. Senators of the United States elected to represent their constituents passed a resolution 99-0 to support the pledge.
It is time that our congressman and senators appoint judges to the federal bench who do not take lightly how this nation was founded. If the pledge is altered in its form and becomes secular what would be next?
We open Pandora’s box if this ruling is allowed to stand because some zealous religious atheist could bring a case to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from our coins and dollar bills stating that it was added later and was not there before.
On November 13, 1861, Rev. N. R. Watkinson, a Pennsylvania preacher wrote a letter to Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of Treasury to recognize God on our coins as the nation was embroiled in a civil war.
Chase agreed with Watkinson and wrote James Pollack, the Mint Director on November 20, 1861 stating, “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.”
That’s exactly what started to happen and in 1955 by an Act of Congress, “In God We Trust’ was added to all United States currency. If it were up to Newdow, he would like that motto removed too from our currencies. This was a year later after the pledge was amended to include ‘under God’.
Also, in danger are national holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas because they are saturated with focusing on God. In 1789, under its new constitution America celebrated it’s first Day of Thanksgiving to God following a proclamation by President George Washington.
Two years after Chase wanted God to be recognized on national coins, President Abraham Lincoln in November 1863 set aside the last Thursday of the month, as the national Day of Thanksgiving. If it were up to Newdow, he would argue the government is involved in religion.
Let us remember many people’s thoughts turned to God during the civil war era from hence began a chain reaction to have God mentioned on our coins. Recently, we have been under a new kind of war involving terrorism. After Sept 11, 2001 thousands gathered to pray for the nation that was broadcast live on TV stations across America.
Recently, George W. Bush proclaimed May 02, 02 as the National Day of Prayer and stated, “On this National Day of Prayer, I encourage Americans to remember the words of St. Paul: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on our citizens to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to honor the religious diversity our freedom permits by recognizing annually a "National Day of Prayer."
The government has been involved in religion but it has not suppressed the religious views of the minority. If the minority has a problem with God, the constitution is the wrong place for their grievances because ‘separation of church and state’ clause has been abused by the disgruntled minority having issues with God.
It is time we put an end to these religion cases that have gone too far and used the issues of ‘establishment of religion’ and the ‘separation of church and state’ too broadly without remembering that some things should let be.