Originally posted by Annee
Originally posted by gentledissident
There's an understatement.
Originally posted by 2manyquestions it's not a life and death matter
Yeah - - just playing a little game of pinning someone to a straight answer - - other then "it doesn't matter".
Sorry that my answer is not sufficient for you. Personally (in the U.S.) I have never felt pressured to believe or not believe in God, and certainly
not by this Government. In Communism they tried to pressure us to not believe in God, they looked down on those who went to church or prayed, and they
very strongly promoted atheism. At the beginning of Communism they went as far as burning down churches or turned them into stalls for chickens and
cows to show their disdain for religion. Here in the U.S. I don't feel like anyone is forcing me to believe one way or the other. I don't feel like
this Government is promoting any particular religion. Yeah, many presidents claim to be Christian, but I don't feel like I must be Christian to be a
good little citizen. I believe they do it just for votes and show anyway, since the country is predominantly Christian.
If someone added "God" into the pledge of allegiance, then perhaps it should be reverted to the original, but again is your life impacted by that
little word so much that you can't go on to lead a normal life? Were you forced to recite the pledge of allegiance with the word "God" in it? Were
you punished or beat by your teacher for refusing to say the word "God"? If so, years later in this century is there anyone out there still forcing
you to say it? Maybe individual schools and communities may have taken it more seriously than others, but I doubt that's the case all over the
country. If you live in the Bible Belt, well,... that might explain a few things. I don't remember anyone making us recite the pledge of allegiance
all through High School, but then again I'm much younger than you are. I believe we did recite it in middle school, but very few kids (if any) are
honestly paying attention to the words as they recite it.
It does matter to me. It may not be life and death - - but it is important to me.
Why is it so important to you? What about that phrase impacts your life and how?
Being 65 and actually in school when the pledge was changed - - I remember the different emotional expressions/sentiments.
A lot of people were not happy that the government forced this on us. And they absolutely did force God on us. The lawsuits began immediately and
continue to this day. It has been a continuous fight from the beginning.
Sorry, but I don't think you know the meaning of "being forced" in this case. So you had to recite the pledge of allegiance with the word "God"
in it. Have you ever been forced by the U.S. Government to abandon and hide your beliefs in fear of being punished or turned in by a neighbor? Were
you visited by the C.I.A. and asked to cease your atheist activities? I sincerely doubt it.
So back there in the 50s - - Christianity did have a hold on society. If you weren't Christian in public school - - too bad for you. You did
Christmas and Easter whether you wanted to or not.
That is just terrible. You HAD to join in on a party, eat chocolate bunnies and paint eggs? Yes,... this does sound rather agonizing. I'm only
guessing, but maybe you had to go to church with your class and suffer through Easter or Christmas service just like all the countless kids who are
bored to tears listening to the preachers preach. It's O.K. to participate without actually believing. If you live or move to a community where
people are predominantly this or another, expect to stand out. If they expect you to be just like them, that pressure comes from the community, not
the Federal Government. The Federal Government is a reflection of the voters. If you live in a predominantly Muslim, Christian or Buddhist
country/community, expect there to be a lot of Christian, Muslim or Buddhist customs. If you didn't want to participate in Easter or Christmas
practices, why didn't your parents pull you out of school on those days or asked the teachers to exclude/excuse you?
Before fair housing you could be denied on religious belief. Employers could choose to hire only Christians.
Separation of church and straight is extremely important to me.
Now that fair housing is in place, such discrimination is illegal. That means this problem is largely over and you don't need to spend any more
energy thinking about it. Back in the day a lot of things were unfair. Blacks were enslaved, women couldn't vote, divorce was shameful, but we're in
the 21st century now, laws have changed, and they continue to change. For all you know in 5-10-15 years the word "God" won't appear on coins, paper
money, or in the pledge of allegiance, because the majority of the population will have no use for it anymore.