The Corporation, Hobby Lobby, spent a lot of money to pay for a full-page advertisement on page 16A in the Treasure Coast Newspapers on July 4th.
There it was. One Nation Under God
One Nation Under God?
It reminded me of something I read earlier. It was a simple statement. A person referred to this country as a Christian nation. Really?
I thought about the pledge I learned to recite in elementary school.
“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.”
A lot can change in eighty-plus years since the year I was born, 1937. I found a list, and these are just a few that happened during my first decade alone.
- Digital computer and polarized sunglasses (1937)
- Soft serve ice cream (1938)
- Automated teller machine (1939)
- Acrylic fiber (1941)
- Cruise control (1945)
- Tupperware and credit card (1946)
- Transistor and defibrillator (1947)
- Cat litter (1948)
- In 1949 Frank J. Zamboni invented the first ice resurfacer called…wait for it…The Zamboni
And I can’t forget the big one, actually two:
- Fat Man and Little Boy
Back to that Pledge of Allegiance. To counter the Red Scare, the fear the Soviet Communists were taking over our country, the U.S. Government added some words in 1954.
Take that Moscow.
All it took was inserting four words, “one nation under God.” The words weren’t added without controversy. Many still consider the words to be the government endorsement or religion, hence unconstitutional.
But whose God? The Republic of the United States of America is a place of Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and many other religious beliefs.
Is it a God who reigns down thunder and punishment, or a God of love? What about those who don’t believe in God?
Fortunately, our Constitution, the highest law in the land, says there will be no State religion. In fact, people are free to practice no religion at all.
I want to believe we’re still governed by the Constitution even though it feels as if it’s under attack. Yes, this is a nation of Christians. It is also a nation of Jews, Muslims, non-believers and more. We all live under the same tent while reciting the pledge, or not.
We’re told to stand at attention, hand over heart, as we recite the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, it’s even in the flag code.
But to those who remain troubled by the four words added in 1954, one can remain silent with hands to the side. In fact, hundreds of thousands of men and women have fought and died for the right to protest – silent and otherwise.
When protest involves taking a knee or refusing to stand during the national anthem, many feel disturbed, even outrage.
If somebody makes one uncomfortable by refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance, you and I may not like it, but like I said above, a lot of blood was shed to make sure we all have that choice. We have freedom from established religion, the freedom of speech, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Many consider such things to dishonor the many who sacrificed for our freedoms. I think it’s the opposite. It’s an honor to what the sacrifice was for.
Just a thought as we celebrate Independence Day, 2019. A day that honors the beginning of the fight for those freedoms when we declared our independence from England…and from England’s church.