One Nation, NOT Under God, Indivisible

Shut up, #45234, and keep in line. Thats one more tick on your record. Two more, and its a trip to the thought police.

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Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).

Francis Bellamy in his sermons and lectures and Edward Bellamy in his novels and articles described in detail how the middle class could create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. The government would run a peace time economy similar to our present military industrial complex.

The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth's Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader's Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall Forum, located in downtown Boston.

In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute - his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'

His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]

Dr. Mortimer Adler, American philosopher and last living founder of the Great Books program at Saint John's College, has analyzed these ideas in his book, The Six Great Ideas. He argues that the three great ideas of the American political tradition are 'equality, liberty and justice for all.' 'Justice' mediates between the often conflicting goals of 'liberty' and 'equality.'

In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.

In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.

Bellamy's granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.

From:

Baer, John. The Pledge of Allegiance, A Centennial History, 1892 - 1992, Annapolis, Md. Free State Press, Inc., 1992. Miller, Margarette S. Twenty-Three Words, Portsmouth, Va. Printcraft Press, 1976.
http://www.vineyard.net/vineyard/history/pledge.htm

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Heh...you tell 'em Quas.

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(mostly) Pitiful. That's all I have to say, really, but I suppose I shall deign to explain myself for the rest of you.

First off, Liam - well said. It really disturbs me when the government tries to legislate issues that are not their responsibility. In any event, this isn't really legislation, but it might quickly become such if the republicans have any say in the matter.

Dsm, if you'll note, I never talked about abolishing religions, but instead slowly ebbing their effect on everyday life until, several generations down the road, they no longer pollute us with their ideologies and dogma. In that manner, yes, it is quite possible to destroy ideas and beliefs.

Lament, given a similar standard of living, I would much rather live in a country where an ideology is more prevalent as opposed to a country where a religion or otherwise unsubstantiated belief system is more prevalent.

Vampirajay - that's basically what we've done, and yet, we hold here in the US the idea that your rights end where another's begin, and as such, if something offends someone else, then we must stop doing it. Well, a lot of things offend Christans for no real reason (God told me it's wrong is not a valid reason), so for that reason, it is illegal for me to (in my own home) lay with animals, lay with my brother, have anal sex, have sex with another female...the list goes on and on, and it's not purely sexual. There are other things that have happened; namely, our progress on the wildly significant area of research known as genetics is being hindered by the backward beliefs of a religious majority.

GS-1719, I'd really like to see some substantiation that the Qu'ran contains "scientific" information. Somehow, I doubt it.

Whoever made the post that Ling was ridiculing is a moron. There is no science in religion - as I said earlier, the very absence of science is what makes religion what it is.

Excellent post, Quasar.

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Huh... so the Pledge was originally written by a Leftist? That's interesting. Of course, they say yesterday's liberals are tomorow's conservatives...

My old man made an interesting point: The pledge doesn't really mean anything. It's showy patriotism, kinda like wearing a flag lapel pin or putting a sticker on your car. Nice symbolism, but useless in the long run.

Also, why are we pledging allegiance to the flag? The flag is not the country. Unfortunately, people have elevated the flag to a sort of idol, a god which people worship and which is supposed to embody the power and glory of the United States.

Of course, people have worshipped stranger things...

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Heh...you guys are leaving nothing left for me to argue against.

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picklehammer said:

fuck you jack, what gives you the right to edit my opinion?

No right, just the obligation to keep this forum free of pointless flames.

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IMJack said:

Also, why are we pledging allegiance to the flag? The flag is not the country. Unfortunately, people have elevated the flag to a sort of idol, a god which people worship and which is supposed to embody the power and glory of the United States.

Of course, people have worshipped stranger things...

Heh...I've got to post my essay that I wrote in Bible as Lit class about how the 10 commandments shouldn't be posted in school. It touched on stuff like this.

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The queue starts -->HERE
for people to join with me in a mass protest, let's go to Katarhyne's house and help her break some of those laws she hates so much

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fodders said:

The Bible contains lots of scientific information
Alchemy: turning water into wine
Necromancy:raising the dead
Physics:walking on water
Good housekeeping:feeding 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish
Teleporting:Jesus apearing to people after his death
It's endless :)

Miracles, not science.

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Well it seems it's one nation under Cheney tomoz, as Bush goes into hospital

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Being a Christian, I suppose I should say something, even though most people don't listen to rational people anyway.

Firstly: the argument made several pages back about a greedy bastard of a churchgoer going to heaven while a good person who doesn't belong to a religion burning is wrong. Christianity as a religion is based around the idea that you keep your neighbor's good above your own. That greedy guy in the pew is in for just as much of a weenie roast.

Albert Einstein said "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." He also said "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile." He also also said "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." Just a little food for thought for everyone who claims that science and religion can't interact reasonably.

Have any of you ever read a post where I tried to convert someone to Christianity? I can't think of a single one I've made. My point is that not all Christians are bible-thumping lunkheads who are noisy, easily angered twits like our very own DoomBoy, who continues to perpetuate the trend of not shutting his mouth for the good of our collective ears and eyes. I know you just want to help man, but antagonizing people doesn't make them want to do anything other than sacrifice goats over small children out of spite.

Religion practiced properly is like scouting. You learn useful skills that you can use in aiding the community. Of course, in all my years of Christianity I've never learned how to properly tie a knot, but I don't know how much good I'd do if I went around tying knots in people's hoses.

The idea that religion brainwashes people out of their free will is ludicrous. The ludicrous part is the part that involves losing free will. As a Christian, I have every possibility right now to hack my parents to death with the two machetes that are in my garage. However, I don't want to. Religion (at least Christianity) doesn't brainwash people, it forces them to pick and choose what things are important to them. For me, it's important to help people whenever possible, and to go to heaven when I die. I haven't been brainwashed, I made a conscious decision years ago to live my life a certain way.

The real problem is that most religions (especially Christianity) have been given a bad rap by bad people. People like Oral Roberts portrayed Christians as money-grubbing parasites willing to lie for anything. People like Benny Hinn try to make us think that they are in close personal contact with God. Slapping people on the forehead doesn't do anything more than leave an imprint.

The only thing that really angers me about this issue is peoples' (generally atheists') insistence that their right to free speech is being taken away by things like the pledge or American currency bearing the phrase "In God We Trust". No one is stopping you from buying drugs, prostitutes, or Satanic material with that money. And, last time I checked, you don't actually have to say the words "In God We Trust" when you slap that fiver down for a Big Mac. You can still bash God to my face if you have a dollar in your wallet. I'm not stopping you, and neither are your benjamins.

Here's the thing. This guy in California is mad because his daughter had to hear the words "under God". What on earth? Since when are your free speech rights dependent upon what you hear? No one said that free speech is going to make everyone happy. I'm most certainly not in agreement with most of the things said here (which is part of why I say so little), but I have to accept that you're gonna say what you're gonnna say.

Bottom line: Don't judge me just because I serve the same God as the guy down the street who hits golf balls at old ladies for fun. The main difference in us is that he says he serves God (also, I'm not a golf fan). Religion isn't like taxes, where you do it because you have to. You do it because you want to. And being in a religion is not like being in a political party, where you merely say you're a part of it. The people that merely say they belong to a certain religion are going to be a little longer in getting their punishment.

DC

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Doom-Child said:

The only thing that really angers me about this issue is peoples' (generally atheists') insistence that their right to free speech is being taken away by things like the pledge or American currency bearing the phrase "In God We Trust". No one is stopping you from buying drugs, prostitutes, or Satanic material with that money. And, last time I checked, you don't actually have to say the words "In God We Trust" when you slap that fiver down for a Big Mac. You can still bash God to my face if you have a dollar in your wallet. I'm not stopping you, and neither are your benjamins.

The problem with having the word "God" in the pledge of allegiance and on our money is not that athiests are offended by it (which we are) or that our right to free speech is being infringed. The problem is found at the very beginning of the very first article of the Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

Surely you have to agree that referring to "God" is respecting an establishment of religion; that's the whole point of putting it in. It's also deemed illegal by the very Constitution of our country. Unfortunately, every branch of government has seen fit to overlook this minor point.

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Technically, the phrase "an establishment of religion" is referring more to a federally governed religion (an establishment in the same sense that Wal-Mart is an establishment or organization), something like the Anglican church in England. And, the first amendment in the context of the original writings (which is the only context that should really be considered, given that the Founding Fathers weren't psychics), was actually referring to the fact that the federal government couldn't impose religious statutes upon the individual states.

What most people fail to consider is how much their lives are actually affected by something so miniscule. Do you think about the fact that your money bears the word "God" on a daily basis? Actually, given the media hysteria lately, you probably have. What about a month ago?

All I'm saying is that this doesn't look like a huge issue. Maybe I'm just a little too laid back to care, but I'm genuinely curious what all the fuss is about.

DC

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GS-1719 said:

Miracles, not science.

Only my respect for other people keeps me from busting my gut laughing.

You said before that this 'Qu'ran' or whatever, detailed scientific knowledge that was unknown to us until 100 years ago.
And now, suddenly, it's not science, it's 'miracles'.

Please, make up your mind? And tell us again just what these scientific tidbit/miraculous occurances consist of?

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Spike said:

... 'Qu'ran' or whatever, detailed scientific knowledge that was unknown to us until 100 years ago.
And now, suddenly, it's not science, it's 'miracles'.

Please, make up your mind? And tell us again just what these scientific tidbit/miraculous occurances consist of?

A plane full of aviation fuel, travelling at x mph creates a force = huge bomb

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Good heavens, the ancients were geniuses!

DC

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Actually, the death of the Sun, stucture of the atom, end of the Solar System, shape of the Earth, elliptical orbits, heliocentric model of the Solar system, origin of the universe from a singularity and many more.

Miracles are event such as prophets curing incurable diseases, walking on water, feeding thousands of people etc - stuff that cannot be observed without their presence.

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No, your right to freedom of speech is not being infringed by listening to the pledge or being forced to stand for it... Not exactly, anyway. You could argue that it is being violated, but that's really not the right stance to be taking.

The pledge clearly violates the separation of church and state by favoring one religion over another. Specifically, it favors religions that believe in one almighty over religions that believe in multiple gods or no god. Saying "one nation under God" is no different than saying "one nation under Allah," "one nation under no god," or even "one nation under Satan."

The next thing they should do is remove "In God We Trust" from the American currency. Again, replace the word God with Allah, Vishnu, no god, or Satan. Same thing. They're all equally bad.

P.S.: Gatewatcher is an idiot.

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The first amerndment guarentee only really prevents the government from forcing people to respect one religion. The model they had in mind to prevent was England under King George and the Church of England. IIRC, the King was pontius maximus of the Church of England, and was actively trying to root out or alienate all the other religions from the kingdom. This is the crap that led most of the English-speaking settlers to the New World in the first place.

"Favoring" one religion, or one generalized group of religions such as Christianity, is not the same as forcing one religion down the throats of the people. All screaming and moaning aside, the United States is not a theocracy (a gov't run by spiritual leaders), nor does any one religion's leaders have a major vested interest in the U.S. government. (For an example of a modern theocracy, look to the Vatican or the state of Utah.)

Sure, you're offended by the mention of "God" in official government material. Lots of people are offended. That's one of the great things about this country: you can piss a lot of people off and probably get away with it.

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IMJack said:

The first amerndment guarentee only really prevents the government from forcing people to respect one religion

This is a complete load of garbage, really nothing else to say about this comment.

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He's more right than you're giving him credit for. Read the first amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

1) An establishment of religion is a religious organization, such as the Catholic church. No law has been made like that in America. There is no federally acknowledged religion. Putting "In God We Trust" on currency doesn't establish one any more than wearing a Saturday Night Live t-shirt makes you a member of the cast.

2) Freedom of speech is not infringed by hearing something you don't like. Like I said before, I've heard a bunch of things that offend me in the extreme, but I have to respect that you can say what you want. Freedom of speech, by definition, cannot be infringed upon by anything other than law. As such, currency with the words "In God We Trust" doesn't violate it.

3) "Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one."
--A.J. Liebling

DC

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Most of the religions concerned here Islam Moslem Christian Judaism all recognise ONE God, they just use different names for that entity, the problem is from the athiests and agnostics, but who gives a flying f about them? They are burning in hell anyway :)

fodders said:

Well it seems it's one nation under Cheney tomoz, as Bush goes into hospital

Ahhh Bush had his colonoscopy and Britain has got it's Prime Minister back! They found Blair up there

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My big deal is that they are trying to make this a constitutional issue, while their arguments stem from a largely imagined interpretation of the First Amendment. The fact that they are offended means absolutely nothing in the context of the law.

DC

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Why did they even add the words 'under god' to it [the 'Pledge'] anyways? I'm offended by the whole damn pledge myself.

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The pledge and all the American pride and "patriotism" is a result of Americans too scared to face the fact that their country is not an invincible superpower.

Nowhere in the constitution does it say that "establishment of religion" refers to nothing but organizations.

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AndrewB said:

The pledge and all the American pride and "patriotism" is a result of Americans too scared to face the fact that their country is not an invincible superpower.

...Which is why I'm deeply offended by the pledge. Other than the fact I'm an anarchist.

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Smokebox said:

Other than the fact I'm an anarchist.

pfft.

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