Monday, October 10, 2005

One nation under Who?

Just recently the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld their ruling that the inclusion of God in the pledge of allegiance violated the firth amendment right to freedom of religion. This will, I’m sure, start yet another round of barking and yelping about the horrors of judicial activism. No doubt someone will once again declare that "The biggest threat facing America today is the out-of-control judges…" (http://www.blogger.com/(http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oId=19378). My thoughts of this overblown "threat" were best summed up by John Stewart of the Daily Show who quipped, "…most notably 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Osama Bin Laden." I guess it’s easier to truly fear this threat if you believe 9/11 was the result of "...the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America." (http://www.blogger.com/(http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/14/Falwell.apology/) (I posted a link to the apology to be nice. :) )

Before anyone joins them, I want everyone to stand up and place their right hand over the heart and recite the following words:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nations under the Horned Beast and Gaia the Mother Goddess, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

If you’re Jewish, Christian, or Islamic that probably felt a little uncomfortable... ever think that might be the way your fellow Pagan nationalists feel? How about Atheists while were at it? The single word God is the most offensive and divisive word in the pledge simply because it forces millions of people to show deference to a being they don’t believe in to demonstrate respect for a country they very much do believe in.

But wait... Isn't "God" is a neutral, unaligned term not affiliated with any religion. Then why capitalize it? How about changing it to something truly neutral, like ...one nation under whatever gods or goddesses you choose to believe in? Of course that doesn’t really have the same religions fervor, does it?

Freedom of religion was designed to protect government from religion and religion from government. Both are needed. When government starts taking sides for one religion, it's only a matter of time before it takes sides against others. Witness the oppression and expulsion of the puritans from England (http://www.blogger.com/(http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9376170 and http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9363728) or the witch trails of Salem (http://www.blogger.com/(http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9377549). A fair and equal society respects the rights of minorities as much as it respects the rights of majorities. That means that the beliefs of all religious groups must be equally represented, or equally ignored, personally I prefer ignored.
Respecting all religions is a monumental task with some serious potential negatives. Imagine the boy sitting next to your daughter in homeroom offering his heartfelt prayers to his lord Lucifer at 9 AM every morning. If she can pray to Jesus, why can't he can pray to his god?

Of course, we could just embrace God, march in lock step and cry out "God with us." It’s a pretty hot slogan and looks fabulous on a belt buckle even if it did have more followers in the original German, (http://www.michiganatheists.org/quotes.html).

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