|Article Overview: When
does a Pledge of Allegiance violate religious rights?
When does the Pledge of Vigilance offer a solution to the conflict.
Thursday, March 25,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 925
One Nation Under ????
The Sentinels Of Vigilance?
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Mar. 25, 2004 -- An emergency
room doctor who happens also to be lawyer and an atheist, just argued
before the Supreme Court why the words "Under God" should be removed
from the Pledge of Allegiance.
protests the Pledge of Allegiance
He claims the words are divisive,
separating the religious from the non-religious, and that the Pledge
forces his daughter to support a belief that her family doesn't.
The words "Under God" weren't part of the
original Pledge. They were added by Congress in 1954 at the
height of the Cold War as a reaction to "Godless Communism."
Protesting the Pledge is not a new tactic for
those who oppose it. In 1943 , 11 years before the inclusion of
the words "Under God," the Supreme Court ruled that saying the Pledge
was not mandatory. The suit was brought by the
Jehovah's Witness whose religious beliefs exclude saluting the flag.
Michael A. Newdow argued his case
before the Supreme Court on Wednesday by pointing to the American
Flags inside the courtroom and stating: "I am an atheist.
I don't believe in God."
Arguments in favor of keeping the words "Under
God" within the Pledge include that the words have become generic
rather than religious. Over time the Pledge has become a
statement rather a belief affirmation, say the proponents of keeping
the words as is.
Newdow argues the words are divisive and affront
his beliefs as well as those of his daughter who attends an elementary
school where the Pledge is said.
Back when America was being formed, the
revolution of 1776 was about removing the tyranny and oppression of
human leadership over citizens, and, recognizing the "Rights of Man"
came from a Higher Power, from, as Thomas Paine so eloquently put it,
Liberty and Freedom had a source, he claimed,
that was beyond the scope of men and women, that was equal and
undivided among all, regardless of race, color, creed, religious
The Founding Fathers cleaved the relationship of
the Church and State, separating the two clearly so that no human form
or institution could rise above the "celestial divine Rights of Man"
that showered down upon all from a source above our human fragility
that is so often corrupted by power and egotism.
So what should be inserted if the
atheistic view wins the support of the Supreme Court?
Should we look to some force or power greater than ourselves to
strengthen the sinew of our national beliefs?
I believe there is a solution that would sate all
Instead of saying, "One Nation Under
God," I propose, "One Nation Under Vigilance."
Or, "One Nation Under The Sentinels of
Or, "One Nation Dedicated To The Children's
In any and all cases, we owe our purpose
and our future to those who count on us the most--the innocent.
Regardless of religious belief, the children of the future deserve our
salute, our Pledge of Vigilance, our Pledge of Allegiance.
If you like this idea, take the Pledge of
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