Sunday, July 3, 2011

62 Years Without God.....That's Our Pledge.

Now, this may not be popular preaching today,but I wanted to write a brief history lesson on the Pledge of Allegiance. If you belong to the "Why must we take God out of our schools" crowd, or the "America will pay for turning its back on God" crowd,you owe it to yourself to,at the very least, understand the Pledge's history and why it was written. And try to come to an understanding to why saying the Pledge in our public schools has become controversial in modern times.

 The Pledge of Allegiance is not very old. 119 years to be exact. Most unknowing American citizens just assume its been around as long as our Constitution or The Bill of Rights,but that's just not the case.Written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy the original Pledge sounded a little like this....brace yourself:

  "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands,one nation indivisible,with liberty and justice for all"
Uh Oh! What's missing? I think you can take a wild guess! The most overrated phrase "Under God" was never even a consideration for Francis. In fact, Mr Bellamy did consider and wanted to use the words equality and fraternity,but unfortunately he knew the powers that be in his approving committee were not in favor of equal rights to women or African Americans,thus he simplified it the best he could knowing he was writing a pledge for school children to recite.
  Originally published in a popular children's magazine "The Youth's Companion" it was used as a part in the National Public-School Celebration to help celebrate Columbus Day. (1892 was the 400 year anniversary of the Christopher Columbus founding of the New World)
  The Pledge has been modified 4 different times. The second modification added the words "...of the United States" and the third modification added "of America" these words were added in 1923 and 1924. The fourth and final modification or revision added "Under God" in 1954. Yes,my fellow Christian enthusiasts, our Pledge remained without God for....take a deep breath...62 years!
Nazi salute?! No,the original salute to our flag while reciting the Pledge
 1951, the Knights of Columbus,the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization,began to use the phrase "Under God" in our pledge. Although they were not the first organization do to this,they were certainly the most influential to have it officially changed. So, you know, One thing lead to another in Washington DC and next thing ya know our President, Dwight Eisenhower (a former Jehovah Witness turned Presbyterian ) lead the way in the campaign to have "Under God" inserted into our pledge. All part of an effort to "fight Communism" and establish our nation as a "Christian nation". By inserting God in government Eisenhower wanted to send a message to the godless communist countries that were considered America's enemies. During the 1950's as the Cold War was brewing Communism and Atheism were virtually synonyms. Communists were branded atheists and atheists were branded Communists. They two terms were two peas in a pod. Even to this day in the United States,atheists are still an "untrustworthy" and looked down upon group. 

The irony in this story, Mr Francis Bellamy....remember this guy? The author of the "Pledge of Allegiance" He was a Baptist minister!! Ain't that some shit? Haha. Oh, and did I mention...he was also a socialist. Just when you didn't think I could spew anymore blasphemy..... What I find most interesting about preacher Bellamy, even he understood that what he was writing wasn't his Sunday school plans but more less a secular approach for school children all over the United States. 

So, I'm not so sure I understand what all the fuss is about when anyone comes clamoring about the "Pledge" and removing the phrase "Under God" and returning it to a more secular approach. I do believe that God has no place in our schools nor any other government funded establishment or agency. It seems to me that the government does a great job staying out of the affairs of churches across our land. I just wish churches and their religions would return the favor. 

Happy 4th of July....Hope you enjoyed the history lesson. For more in depth coverage of the history of our pledge. Google and enjoy. :)

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