“One Nation Under God” essay
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The 1st amendment of the US Constitution guarantees that there be a separation between the church and the state. The idea behind this amendment was to prevent conflicts of interest so that state or public funds could not be used to support specific religious organizations. In no way, shape, or form was this amendment intended to keep the word ‘God’ from being used in various government (public) formats. The word ‘God’ has traditionally been used on American currency (“In God We Trust”), in invocations at the beginning of government meetings (both the Senate and House of Representatives), and as part of the swearing in of a witness in judicial proceedings. Even the Supreme Court of the United States begins its sessions with “God Save the United States and this Honorable Court.” Recently, however, Michael Newdow, an atheist, has brought a lawsuit using his 8-year old daughter as his rallying point to eliminate the use of the word ‘God’ in The Pledge of Allegiance. Ironically, the Supreme Court of the United States, which invokes God’s blessing at the beginning of each court session, has agreed to hear Newdow’s plea to strike the word ‘God’ from the pledge as unconstitutional. Before examining specific reasons why the word ‘God’ should be left in the Pledge, one needs to examine the person bringing this suit more closely.
One must note that Michael Newdow, although bringing this suit on behalf of his daughter, is actually divorced from his wife and has no custody of his daughter. It is also a fact that the girl’s mother, a born-again Christian and a regular church member who has sole custody of her daughter, has no objections to her daughter’s recitation of the Pledge which has been endorsed by the Elk Grove Unified School District where the daughter is enrolled.
Apparently this is not the first suit Mr. Newdow has filed, leaving one to wonder if he’s some immature, attention-loving freak who finds personal satisfaction every time his name appears in print or on a court docket. Originally his suit was thrown out by the federal district court, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned this decision, proclaiming the pledge as an unconstitutional government approval of religion in the public school system.
If the Supreme Court agrees with the Court of Appeals, the consequences are dire. All references to the word ‘God’ in any public forum would have to be eliminated (refer to examples in the 1st paragraph). Secondly, a ruling such as this would have to totally ignore the religious principles by which the United States has relied upon in governmental affairs since the day this great, moral, and democratic nation was founded. Even the Declaration of Independence refers to ‘God’ or the ‘Creator’ four different times. The words “year of our Lord” are used in the U.S. Constitution itself. Ask yourself: did the original founders of this great country intend for someone to eventually force his/her will on the rest of the citizens of the United States by eliminating the word ‘God’ from all public venues? Of course not! Removing ‘God’ from the Pledge would be akin to removing the creamy, white filling from an Oreo cookie; encouraging single parent families; forbidding toppings for pizza; or taking the apples out of the recipe for apple pie: like it or not, references to god throughout the public and private sectors serve as a reminder that our nation was founded upon Christian principles exemplified by the words of our founding fathers.
Finally, in 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Interestingly, that ruling was given even before Congress added the words “under God” to the Pledge. So, if a student wishes to abstain from reciting the pledge, he or she may simply remain silent during its recitation by the rest of his or her classmates.
It’s time that we effectively eliminate these self serving people such as Michael Newdow’s attempt to impose their atheistic views upon innocent schoolchildren throughout the nation. The Supreme Court should not allow him or any others to banish the word ‘God’ from the public arena.