Think of the controversy that surrounds The Pledge of Allegiance. Many do not feel the pledge should include the phrase “under God” because of what they call the “separation of church and state.” There has never been any phrasing or concept of “separation of church and state” in any official founding documents. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The intent was to prevent the establishment of an official state-sponsored religion as happened in England. The Church of England was established in 1534, and if you dared worship God in an unsanctioned way, you risked martyrdom – (that means death).
Having the Pledge state that our nation exists “under God” does not endorse a particular religion, nor does it force an atheist to believe in God or any god in order to receive the benefits of being a citizen, thus it is not an instance of the state endorsing a particular religion.
An atheist would argue, “but I don’t believe in God and forcing me to say those words is a violation of my rights.” This logic is faulty for the reason stated above -they are not forced to say anything (there is no risk of martyrdom for being an atheist). In addition, taking an atheist’s argument to its logical conclusion would require the complete abolishment of any pledge altogether.
Consider the potential conflicts:
“I pledge allegiance…” – What if one does not feel complete allegiance to our government or its flag? Most citizens were born here against their will! Should they be forced to say they pledge allegiance if they do not feel allegiance to, or believe in, our centralized governing body? That doesn’t seem very fair! (Remember: Just because there is a centralized governing body, doesn’t mean I must believe in it, right atheists?!) I could prove that many people who live in the USA do not feel allegiance to our nation.
“…to the flag…” – Which flag? The one with 13 stars or the one with 50? If the flag is changeable, I can’t definitively know to which flag I’m pledging allegiance, or if my allegiance will always exist.
“…and to the republic for which it stands…” – I could make a strong argument that the U.S.A. does not resemble the republic for which the flag originally stood.
“…indivisible…” – A basic history lesson proves this is not even a true statement, as proven by the U.S. Civil War.
“…with liberty and justice for all…” – I could definitively prove that many people do not receive total liberty or justice, albeit the potential for “liberty and justice for all” does exist in contrast to many nations…so that’s something.
The ONE lasting truth of our nation’s pledge is that it DOES exist under God. This will never change regardless of what happens to our nation. It is the one phrase that should ALWAYS be in our pledge, because it’s the only phrase that’s unconditionally true whether you like God or if you don’t acknowledge His existence. In fact, it’s the only part of the pledge that cannot, in any way, be proven to be false on any level! (Because nobody can prove that God does not exist, and they never will.)
Those who shout for the “separation of church and state” have a completely flawed understanding of history, and use faulty logic. They believe that phrase means that nothing involving the state can include anything involving religion. This is not what the First Amendment of the Constitution states. If it did, consider how far-reaching those affects would be…
Consider that the majority of the founding fathers believed in the Christian God as described in the bible, and their beliefs shaped the government they formed. Consider that problems with the state-sponsored Church of England were such big factors in driving Puritans to America. Consider that the concept that “all men are created equal” comes directly from the God of the bible. A separationist could easily argue that history books used in state-funded schools should not discuss those historical facts, because to do so would promote one religious system over another. Common sense would argue that it would be kind of awkward to just SKIP OVER the historical factors which led to the establishment of the U.S.A.
When anyone uses the phrase “…separation of church and state.” It’s an automatic signal that they do not understand history, and their logic is faulty. Christians, especially, should understand their rights, their history, and their freedom to worship God in any setting – public or private. I’m thankful for this great nation, which exists under God.