This post started as a note to myself on facebook.
Note to self: Do not get involved in religious debates at work with people who do not know what they’re talking about. Omitting “under god” does not take away your right to believe in it. It means we are a one nation independent of private beliefs.
Let me expand on the conversation that started this. On break, at work I over heard the conversation of other people. Something something something about “if they don’t like it don’t come live here.” “It’s what our founding father’s believed.” “It’s always been there.” — Honestly I was biting my tongue not getting mixed up in this. I was REALLY ignoring the blatant bigotry, but the factual incorrectness made me angry.
1)No, most of them didn’t believe in it – and actually at the time, most people didn’t. Things like religion were private and not talked about between the general population. And “in the year of our lord” was vernacular. It was the way they measured time – it’s still the way they measure time here.
2)No no… the pledge of allegiance was altered around 1953 to add “under god” and the monies were around the same time. Remember this was the era of McCarthyism – as a nation there was a need to separate ourselves from those ‘heathen commies’. And because they were banning religion over the “state” we (the national we) integrated it into the things we held most dear.
3)The people who don’t believe in “under god” ALREADY LIVE HERE. They’ve always lived here. Some of them came here in the beginning to get away from “god” or other people’s version of “god”.
Please also note my confusion on how you can not want mandatory prayer in school, but mandatory god on my fucking money is ok. There are a lot of things we do now that some of the founding fathers did not agree with… large government and small government and taxes and big banks and well you name it one of them probably was against it.
Separation of church and state is not specifically in the constitution. Though, the only time god is mentioned is to specifically omit him. Most evidence points to the intention of separation of church and state – but because it is not specifically mentioned in terms that we can understand today, this gives people a lot of leeway. Another note of confusion – it’s commonly known that a school cannot have open prayer because it implies that the “state” is endorsing religion – but is on our money and in the pledge of allegiance… how is that also not endorsing religion?? Though no one is forcing you to use the money or say the pledge of allegiance, no one is also forcing you to pray – but you may be forced to sit there an listen to other people do it.
Taking it out does not take away the freedom to express your personal beliefs privately or publicly, it means that the state/country as an entity is neutral and does not support one way or another, it is like Switzerland. If you are in a role where you represent said country you should also reflect that neutrality. That does not mean you are not allowed to do whatever you to express your religious beliefs when you’re not in that role. Sometimes that role is a 9-5 job, sometimes its 24/7 for a period of time. But even if you hold a publicly elected office, I still expect you to be neutral in cases where your religious may make you bias, example – give me a good non-religious argument against gay marriage. No – for real, try and think of one that is not religious, morality? Says who… the bible – no you fail. Even abortion can be argued as murder – no one argues murder is wrong, but we do argue as to when ‘life’ starts to make it murder, so that at least has a gray area no completely encased in religion.
There is a reason that there is a bill of rights. There is a reason that freedom to express religion is in the first amendment. But remember that it also says that congress will not establish or endorse a national religion. There is a reason this is in the first amendment. The men who designed our country came from a country where their leader was also the leader of the church of England. Even the puritans who would exile people who believed differently still believed you had that right – just not in their city – someother city a little ways away. As stodgy as the puritans were they still believed in religous freedom.
“They” are here. “They” created here. “They” would be disappointed at what we have done to the place.
I have a mini-research paper on the subject – if you want to read it let me know.
Other good blog posts or news stories:
Redheaded Skeptic –Celebrating Freedom This Fourth
Atheist billboard defaced on N.C.’s Billy Graham Parkway