reply to post by beforetime
If I remember my history correctly, the phrase "under God" was not originally in the Pledge of Allegiance. It was added at a later date from the
penning of the Pledge itself. Please read on for my personal views on this, however. It falls under the same category as placing "In God We Trust"
on our currency.
our country is based on Christianity..if you don't want offended..don't live here lol
No, it's not. And although I am a proud Christian, I do not want it to be.
Why? Because I understand how politics and religion can taint each other. All of the horrors that are likely to be specified in this thread (the
Inquisition, the Crusades, even the Witch Trials) can be attributed to a theocracy moreso than a religion. Just look at the fighting going on in the
Middle East under the supposed approval of Allah to understand this.
As a more modern example, allow me to quote from the KJV version of the Bible itself:
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
That sounds pretty straightforward to me. He who loves money more than God will never enter Heaven. However, it can also mean that anyone with any
money is banned from Heaven. It can mean that we need to breed very small camels and manufacture very large needles to be allowed to own anything.
There are several versions of how this one verse is translated into modern reality.
That's all fine and good, until politics gets mixed in. Politics is all about the control of others. So we could have a new set of laws that outlawed
money and threw us into pure communism. Or, although a bit laughable, I could suggest that every funeral home carry a supply of needles large enough
for a camel to walk through their eye and every person who died must buy one.
That's one verse, out of how many in the Bible? Not only that, it is one of the most obvious verses as to meaning that I am familiar with. If it can
be twisted, how much more so can other verses be twisted? That 'freedom of religion' that we tout in the USA is nothing more than a requirement that
the people be allowed to form their own interpretation of their holy books and customs, without governmental involvement.
It also carries with it another requirement, although not as much specified but implied: equality of religious practices. Government cannot favor one
religious practice above another. Thus, my worship on Sunday is no more or less valid from a political perspective as a Jewish practice of Saturday
Sabbath. That does not mean I have to accept the concept of a Saturday Sabbath; it means I cannot legally force someone to not practice it.
Now for the controversial part: the US Constitution does not prohibit people from acting preferentially toward religious practices, only government.
An elected official, therefore, cannot show preferential treatment toward a citizen based on a method of worship, but a citizen may do so. As such, it
would be improper for a judge to declare that the Ten Commandments (which are not Christian, btw, they are Jewish) will be displayed in his courtroom,
but the citizenry of that jurisdiction may do so, and in that case the judge may choose to uphold the rights of the citizenry to have it displayed. A
judge may not, under any circumstances, allow one display to exist and deny another from a different religion. A judge may also not base his decisions
in any way on religious texts or beliefs, be they of the citizenry at large or his own. Legal decisions are to be based strictly on the laws properly
passed and applicable in the jurisdiction he presides in and which are in effect at the time of the issue before him. Nothing else.
If the members of Congress wish to have a prayer before sessions, that is their right under the US Constitution. If the Supreme Court wishes to do so,
that is also their right, not as elected officials, but as citizens
. But by the same legal theory, children in school have the right to pray as
well, as long as the exercise of that right does not interfere with the right of other citizens to pray. In a perfect world, children would be given a
few moments of silence to bow their heads (or cross their eyes, flap their arms, or whatever) and pray quietly (although not necessarily perfectly
silently). A teacher would have the same time to do the same thing, but would not be able to lead the children in prayer. The mention of God, Jehovah,
or Jesus would be acceptable officially, but also other religions could mention their customs/practices/beliefs/deities.
As to the money issue, I do not see the problem with placing "In God We Trust" on our currency. 'God' is a generic term and is not necessarily
synonymous with Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Gaia, etc. Such only recognizes that the money of this country is backed by the free people who place honor
and virtue above monetary gain alone. Now exactly what's wrong with that?
I pray daily to Jehovah the Father, in the name of His son, Jesus of Nazareth the Christ and Messiah. If someone else wishes to pray to another, in
another way, or even to declare their belief that there is nothing higher than our own consciousness, that is their right. But please don't tell me I
can't pray as I wish, and do not tell me my freedom of speech does not include the mention of my faith. To do so is to actually invite
theocracy, since if you can silence me, I can also silence you
. Please do not grant me that 'right'; I do not want it.