Under God

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ShoeshineBoy, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. Great WSJ piece from a Harvard prof that imo argues well for keeping under God in the pledge:


    (You do have go register to read the whole article.)

    The article explains that America is uniquely religious among industrialized nations and has a uniquely religious heritage from our founding fathers. Here's a few clips:

    "Although the Supreme Court did not address the question directly, Mr. Newdow got it right: Atheists are "outsiders" in the American community. Americans are one of the most religious people in the world, particularly compared with the peoples of other highly industrialized democracies. But they nonetheless tolerate and respect the rights of atheists and nonbelievers. Unbelievers do not have to recite the pledge, or engage in any religiously tainted practice of which they disapprove. They also, however, do not have the right to impose their atheism on all those Americans whose beliefs now and historically have defined America as a religious nation."

    "The Declaration of Independence appealed to "Nature's God," the "Creator," "the Supreme Judge of the World," and "divine Providence" for approval, legitimacy and protection.

    "The Constitution includes no such references. Yet its framers firmly believed that the republican government they were creating could last only if it was rooted in morality and religion. "A Republic can only be supported by pure religion or austere morals," John Adams said. Washington agreed: "Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles." Fifty years after the Constitution was adopted, Tocqueville reported that all Americans held religion "to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions.""

    "Today, overwhelming majorities of Americans affirm religious beliefs. When asked in 2003 simply whether they believed in God or not, 92% said yes. In a series of 2002-03 polls, 57% to 65% of Americans said religion was very important in their lives, 23% to 27% said fairly important, and 12% to 18% said not very important. Large proportions of Americans also appear to be active in the practice of their religion. In 2002 and 2003, an average of 65% claimed membership in a church or synagogue. About 40% said they had attended church or synagogue in the previous seven days, and roughly 33% said they went to church at least once a week."

    "Only about 10% of Americans, however, espouse atheism, and most Americans do not approve of it. Although the willingness of Americans to vote for a presidential candidate from a minority group has increased dramatically--over 90% of those polled in 1999 said they would vote for a black, Jewish or female presidential candidate, while 59% were willing to vote for a homosexual--only 49% were willing to vote for an atheist. Americans seem to agree with the Founding Fathers that their republican government requires a religious base, and hence find it difficult to accept the explicit rejection of God."
  2. Ask the native peoples about Christian love.
  3. In spite of the past, as far as I know no Native American leaders are behind the secular movement to remove God from all aspects of American life which is the point of the article. Native Americans are another slice of the large non-atheistic majority of our population...
  4. stu


    An essay probably inspired by ignorance and fear.

    Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion.

    I would prefer to rely upon Thomas Jefferson's wall of separation between church and state.
    The imposition of religion as a means to have others conform to religious opinion, violates the principles of what is right in a free country.

    ps didn't you mean to say "despite the past" and not "in spite of the past" ?
  5. Probably inspired by ignorance and fear?

    Care to show us the facts to support that claim and conclusion?

    Oh, and Jefferson had no problem with the the generic spirutal terms God and Creator:

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

    Amazes me how frightened people are of the word God. Imagine if they actually had a clear understanding of the concept of God the Almighty, then they might really pee their pants.

    In a society, it is often the case that the majority position is an imposition on cult like minority groups such as the atheists.

    I personally and not a fan of the National Anthem, it offends me, and I don't think it should be played at baseball games because it is such a difficult song to sing. Hell of an imposition on my sensitivity to well poorly sung war mongering songs. They should take the word "bombs bursting in air" out of the damn thing, as it is very offensive to pacifists.

    Oh the crosses we have to bear by living with the different belief systems of others....

    As far as imposition goes, you are imposing your atheism on others.

  6. Freedom of religion is why you are free to practice atheism without persecution.

    You are also free not to say the word God without persecution. There is no punishment for a child in school who does not use the word God, nor if the child doesn't even say the pledge.

  7. stu



    the essay uses the language of a bigot...
    "Atheists are "outsiders" in the American community. "

    Sending a message to law abiding freedom loving Americans that they are outsiders in the community because they hold a specific opinion, is probably a message inspired by the ignorance and fear of one who considers themself an insider of the community.

    Any community which labels as outsider, any member of its own community simply for holding opinion, is violating the principles of what is right in a free country and its community.

    ANY group is then a valid target for an ignorant or fearful person to position themselves inside the community to distinguish anyone else as outsiders..

    The word Freedom sounds very hollow in these circumstances.
  8. stu


    .....then no harm done for any reference of God or Gods to be kept out of school. Many other words used by theists are not encouraged inside school either.
  9. Too funny.

    Imagine if they wanted children to recite the first part part of the Declaration of Independence I quoted above, with more than one reference to God and the Creator.

    That would be unconstitutional?

    It is not a matter of harm done, but value added.

    The majority see value added with no harm done.

    You are in a cult minority that views it differently, oh well, welcome to a democracy.

    At least they don't shoot you here for not saying the pledge.

  10. Atheists are outside of the American community at large, that is a fact.

    They are outside of the mainstream thought process.

    This is not to say they are wrong or right, just outside of the mainstream.

    That the cult like members of some fringe element take issue with the mainstream is understandable, but doesn't support your claims.

    Oh, and I am glad you admit that atheism is just an opinion, based in a belief system, just like religion.

    Atheists are not a target, any more than any fringe group is for their thought process.

    The problems always come when the fringe group demand that the entire society bend to their belief systems.

    You are free to practice atheism, as free as others are to practice their religion.

    We are all Americans, that is the bottom line, and we all know that.

    That you are fearful, due to a minority status is understandable, but to my knowledge I have seen no persecution of your minority group.

    #10     Jun 17, 2004