Have you heard? In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that the "under God" addition to the Pledge of Allegiance is not unconstitutional. What!?
Here's the article.
Judge Carlos Bea justified his decision stating:
"Without knowing the history behind these words, one might well think the phrase 'one Nation under God' could not be anything but religious. History, however, shows these words have an even broader meaning, one grounded in philosophy and politics and reflecting many events of historical significance.”
Um, yeah. I call BULLSHIT.
Louis A. Bowman (1872-1959) was the first to initiate the addition of "under God" to the Pledge. He spent his adult life in the Chicago area and was Chaplain of the Illinois Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. At a meeting on February 12, he led the Society in swearing the Pledge with two words added, "under God."
In 1951, the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, also began including the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
In 1952, Holger Christian Langmack wrote a letter to President Truman suggesting the inclusion of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Langmack was a Danish philosopher and educator who came to America in 1911. He was one of the originators of the Prayer Breakfast and a religious leader in Washington, D.C. President Truman met with him along with several others to discuss the inclusion of "under God". At the suggestion of a correspondent, Representative Louis C. Rabaut of Michigan sponsored a resolution to add the words "under God" to the Pledge in 1953.
Huh. Seems like in all cases, "under God" was not founded on politics or philosophy, but religion. Well gee, imagine that!
The Pledge of Allegiance was originally composed in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. His original version was:
“I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
Somewhere between 1892 and 1923, a "to" was added:
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
Then in 1924, the original pledge was changed up a bit more:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
By 1954, it had been changed a little more:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
And in 1954, "under God" was added:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
So, why the fear of removing "under God"? Why not take the Pledge back to its original form and teach our kids the history of the Pledge?
According to the article cited above, the judges explained their decision saying,
the "under God" portion of the Pledge is not a violation of the Constitution, but a historical reflection of the Founding Fathers’ beliefs that “serves to unite our vast nation.”
Again, I call BULLSHIT.
Okay, first, our founding fathers were not religious-right Christians. No, really. They were Deists.
Secondly, while I agree that a Pledge of Allegiance serves (to some extent) to unite our vast nation, blatantly disregarding the Constitution by inserting "under God" only unites those who choose to believe in a god.
And do not get me started on the "In God We Trust" motto emblazoned on our currency...