Thursday, March 25, 2004
On The Pledge:
I’m not much of a theologian, nor do I pretend to be anything close to a lawyer or legal scholar. That said, I’ve about had it with Michael Newdow and his assault on the Pledge of Allegiance. This guy is both a doctor and a lawyer, and if I was a patient or client, I’d fire the guy based solely on his ignorance.
I will not bore you with a history of the Pledge. I’ll simply point you to James Pierson’s piece in the Weekly Standard. For those of you who enjoy historical details it will be a nice read.
"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."
Newdow bases his entire argument against the constitutionality of the above quoted sentence entirely on the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. For the record, here is the clause:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Now people from the ACLU, People for the American Way, and I’m sorry to say many constitutional scholars interpret that clause to prohibit governmental affiliation with religion in any way, shape, manner, or form. In doing this, they commit an error which has become accepted as law because of the passage of time and legal precedent.
The Founders of this great nation included the Establishment Clause as a part of the First Amendment in order to avoid what they had seen happen in England. This clause exists to prohibit the state from establishing a state sponsored religion – not to avoid association with religion or acknowledging the existence of any higher power. It really is that simple.
Newdow is an avowed Atheist. I am not. I personally think those who deny the existence of a power higher than themselves are misguided. Never the less, they have the right to believe as they will.
What they do not have the right to do is force their belief system on the overwhelming majority of Americans who do believe in a higher power. Call it God, call it whatever you want.
I will remind you of my recent treatise on rights. Mr. Newdow obviously didn’t read it, so I’ll give a brief refresher here:
You do not have the right to go through life un-offended and un-exposed to beliefs, acts, and concepts that offend you. Neither do your children. If you want to teach Atheism to your children, you go right ahead. Just don’t expect me to enable you to force my children to take your tripe by default. Secular Humanism is as much a religion as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.
This nation, despite what you may have heard or believe, was founded on Judeo- Christian beliefs and values. While you may not agree with them, and they may offend you, you do not have the right to change this nation to fit your beliefs. Hopefully the Supremes will see that fact and rule accordingly.
So, Mr. Newdow, I hope you’re seriously offended every time you take out some cash and see the phrase “In God We Trust” stamped on it. If it offends you that much, you can always right a check.
You know, the late Red Skelton once said a very profound thing. He stated his own definition of The Pledge, phrase by phrase. If I can find it published, I’ll post it here for you to read one day. But one thing I’ll never forget was his ending statement. He said that in his lifetime, two stars had been added to the flag, and two words had been added to the Pledge. Wouldn’t it be a shame if any of them were removed?
Here endeth the lesson.