This started out as a comment to the diary It's OK to be an American now by teacherken. He touched briefly on a subject that is important to me and got my juices flowing. However, they overflowed too much, so here I am.
This may be old hat, may be a bit boring for some, so I'm going to throw in some patriotic pictures just to ease the pain. So here we go and the subject is the Pledge of Allegiance.
I served twenty years in the U.S. Army. I carried this patriotism into my short second career in the Postal Service. Now, the author has briefly touched on a topic I wish to address that is important to me - the Pledge of Allegiance.
During my short second career in the Postal Service, I proudly recited the Pledge at every union meeting, labor council meeting, and Democratic Party meeting I attended. But there is one part that sticks in my throat that I just cannot say.
I cannot get my mouth around the under God part. It's for personal reasons, partially. I am not of the Judeo-Christian faith and I believe that that is the God to which one nation is referred. Another minor reason I cannot say it is because it is not true. But the main reason I have this problem is based on my firm belief that the Pledge should be secular like our government, like our Constitution. Under God implies a commonality and blanket morality that just does not exist in the U.S., nor should it.
It reminds me too much of a "united faithfulness" that inches its way over the separation of church and state line. There was a case Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow heard by the SCOTUS that ended badly for Newdow, an atheist who cited that a teacher-lead pledge was a violation of the separation clause and a violation of his daughter's rights. The court ruled 8-0 against him not on the merit of his argument, but because he was a non-custodial parent and didn't have legal standing bring the case as "next friend" to his daughter, because Sandra Banning, the mother, had sole legal custody. Well, it is my opinion that the court didn't decide anything, opting to kick the can down the road instead.
We are not one nation under God. Aligning ourselves in this patriotic fashion with the Christian God pushes many folks out from under the tent that we call a Democratic Republic, including the gaily married.
Under God was added in 1954 during a Republican Administration. Jesus did not write it, nor did he write the Constitution as I heard someone say on the radio. If the right-wing-nut-job-forced-child-birth crowd had their way, the Pledge would end with "liberty and justice for all, born and unborn". (There is actually a movement for this change.) This under God thing was a right wing campaign stirred up by the Knights of Columbus and now will take an act of Congress to change - - literally.
I wish to thank teacherken for the heartfelt and well written diary. It inspired me to try. I hope you liked my patriotic pictures.
UPDATE: I fixed the title, I think. Also fixed the first sentence. Thanks for all of your great comments.