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?

Cliff McKenzie

 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.

Michael Newdow 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, God.
      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 beliefs.
      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 appetites.

"One Nation Under Vigilance"

      Instead of saying, "One Nation Under God," I propose, "One Nation Under Vigilance."
       Or, "One Nation Under The Sentinels of Vigilance."
       Or, "One Nation Dedicated To The Children's Children's Children."
       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 Vigilance today.


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