Reverend Antonio Hernández, IBA
Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote a great deal about God, yet he was an atheist.
It is a pleasant shock that one of the U.S.’s circuit appellate courts is reviewing the Pledge of Allegiance, hoping to remove the words "under God", which were inserted by President Eisenhower in 1952. The court may very well succeed in implementing the change, in certain states. It all started when a Californian atheist recently became angry, because his 2nd-grade daughter was forced to recite the Pledge at school.

The federal appellate court, reversing the lower court, ruled that "under God" is an infringement upon First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. They ruled that it is an example of mixing church and state, thus violating our establishment and neutrality clauses. Many other people, however, are screaming bloody murder, including most judges and politicians.

We know that the Founding Fathers acknowledged a higher power. In some cases this was heartfelt; mostly it was mere pandering, just as it is today. Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote a great deal about God, yet he was an atheist. He wrote that he couldn’t find any difference between "our peculiar Christian superstition" and any other superstition he had studied. Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote at the beginning of the Cold War that the separation of church and state "is a wall', and not a thin line over which the government or courts can dance at whim. The Founding Fathers had this very idea uppermost in mind: their fear was that a particular religious group would seize power of the United States, and such a scenario easily met their definition of "tyranny".

We know from the Communists that it is horrible tyranny to force atheism. What makes forcing God any different? The United States was not founded by an order of monks or a specific church. The freedom to believe or not was one of the prime motivators in our fight for independence. It was that knowledge, knowing one could believe whatever one wished without repercussion, that inspired all Americans to fight for freedom. Yet today, any American who separates "God" from "country" is considered a traitor. Only a few months ago, a former Federal Circuit Appeals Court judge went so far as to claim that "separation of church and state was meant to keep the corruption of the state from touching the sanctity of the church"!

At the end of the day, my only real problem is with the definition of the Pledge. When we say "under God", it is a prayer, which renders it illegal if people are coerced in public to recite it. No other words in the Pledge carry the loaded ambiguity of "under God". Remove the words and it becomes what it’s supposed to be: our pledge of allegiance to our flag and the nation it represents. Then, anyone can say the nation is under anything they want… as long as I don’t have to say it too.

"Christian" is not meant to be a prerequisite for American citizenship, and "God" is not meant to be America’s primary leader. Yet we never learn. On September 11, 2001, Usama bin Laden and his Al-Qaida thugs amply demonstrated what ultimately comes of the concept of "one nation, under God".

© Rev Antonio Hernandez IBA July 2002

Jedi Knight-Class

Rev Antonio Hernandez unravels the mythology of Star Wars
To be a good person is to think, speak, act, work, study and live in the right way.

Attack of the Giggles
Reverend Antonio Hernández
we are treated to a cartoon Yoda, hopping about like an angel-dusted Kermit

Peter The Roman
Reverend Antonio Hernández IBA
Aron Jean-Marie Lustiger, cardinal and Archbishop of Paris, is this front-runner in the soon-to-be-held conclave to elect the next pope.

< Back to Index

© Hackwriters 2002 all rights reserved