Monday, June 14, 2004

Supreme Court Dismisses Pledge Case on Technicality (washingtonpost.com)

As a child in public school, I said the pledge (with the words "under God" in it) every day for years. But even at a young age, after I had learned of the separation of church and state, I knew it was iffy to be saying those words in a public school. I was raised by one parent who was raised strict Catholic, and one who was raised strict Baptist. They, in turn, raised me as strict non denominational, with the right to choose my own religion when I found a spiritual path to follow. Now, if two people can give that choice to their two kids, why can't a government give that choice to a nation of millions? Oh wait, they did. I'll admit that when this action first hit the press, even as a member of the ACLU I got a bit sentimental about changing a pledge I said for years. But in reading I discovered that the phrase "under God" was added relatively recently, and is not part of the pledge as it was originally concieved. It is important for Americans to hold sacred the history and traditions of our country. It was founded on a proud tradition and it's history is one to swell the heart of every patriot. To pledge allegience to our flag is an honor for me and many others who know how lucky we are to live under what it stands for. But in a time where Americans are more divided by our beliefs than at any time in recent memory, isn't it more important that we let the pledge stand for our secular America, a country founded on ideals of inclusion, rather than nit pick and find further reason to argue and divide, by alienating those citizens who love America, but may not believe in God? America was colonized by a group of people seeking freedom from religious persecution. They did not brave the journey to found this nation, only to have the religion of some alienating yet another group of people with differing beliefs.

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