We are all on the receiving end of those annoying “pass it on” emails. You can usually find a few nearly every morning in your Inbox. Truth be told, most of the time I simply delete them or transfer them to a miscellaneous file to read later which I seldom do. I usually just wind up deleting them. This morning there was one “Pass it on” in my inbox along with my other junk email. I noticed that this particular forward was sent by a friend of mine who sends me jokes on occasion but never a “pass it on”.
Well, what he sent me was no joke. I opened it to find the above comic that deals with honoring the American flag. Below the comic were a couple of paragraphs explaining why we should honor the flag and defending the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by an explanation as to why every American should willingly give both, the respect they deserve. It went on to raise the question as to”why some Americans have such a problem with having “In God We Trust” on our money and the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance?
After reading it I sat there thinking about it’s content and have to agree that I find both phrases completely appropriate. America has always been a fundamentally Christian nation. Our country was founded on freedom of religion. Many of the early colonist of the 1700’s who went on to form the United States of America fled Europe because they were facing religious persecution and refused to compromise their deep religious convictions. They came to America and brought with them their own religious fervor, as well as their traditional churches, including Catholic and multiple Protestant denominations.
Our founding fathers endorsed religion. George Washington attended church fairly regularly and was considered by many to be an orthodox Christian. Benjamin Franklin was pro-Christian and believed strongly that religion played an important role in society. Samuel Adams was entirely orthodox in his beliefs, was raised in a Puritan household. He worshiped daily and led prayer before every meal. John Adams was a Unitarian a religion built on tolerance and reason and a belief in the unity of God. Thomas Jefferson was an Anglican/Episcopalian who also embraced the Unitarian religion. He was said, “Among the immeasurable of all our blessings, also, is that …of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; …”
The Constitution has protections for freedom of religion not to be confused with freedom from religion. There are those who argue that if the majority holds that “In God We Trust” and “Under God” are acceptable, then, those in the minority should be tolerant because the words do not infringe on their rights and should not offend anyone who believes otherwise. That’s fine, but it isn’t about majority or being tolerant. The words “under God” were added to our Pledge of Allegiance fifty seven years ago, to define our great country as a Christian nation as opposed to the atheistic communist countries of the Soviet Union. It was never intended to endorse one, specific religion or religious belief, but merely to separate us from the Godlessness of communism. At the time opposition to the Soviet Union was important, and the addition of “under God” was justified, as it still is today. “Under God” or “In God We Trust” do not define America along specific religious lines or tell Americans that patriotism is linked to particular religious or theistic beliefs. It simply defines us as a Christian Nation, nothing more. No hidden agenda, no religious conversion, no brain-washing just “One Nation, Under God….