Wednesday, September 14, 2005

One Nation, Under What?

Well, here we go again.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge of allegiance reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

I don't understand what these people feel they are gaining by seeking to limit the rights of everyone else to pledge, or not pledge allegiance to the flag.

See? That's what this thing is all about. It has nothing to do with coercing children to say words indicating a belief in a supreme being. All people already have the right to refuse to stand, refuse to pledge allegiance, and refuse to say the words, "under God".

The only purpose I can see to bringing this issue before the court is to take our rights away from us. Those two families that sued to have the reciting of the pledge declared unconstitutional have not given themselves any more freedom than they already have under the law.

This was not a matter of personal liberties. It was a matter of making a political statement. Sacramento atheist attorney Michael Newdow wants to legitimize his agenda of removing all mention of God, or religion from our culture.

Nothing more.

It won't work. Atheists throughout history have sought to eliminate religion and failed. Men much more intelligent and influential (in relation to their time and place) than he.

A 19th century atheist ( I forgot his name )in France once attempted to eliminate the Bible. Completely. He said his goal was to eradicate Christianity forever.

Now, after his death, his house is being used as a publishing company. What do you think they publish exclusively?

The Bible.

Senator Lindsay Graham, on the Sean Hannity show today, said, with certainty, that the ruling made by the court would be overturned, that the 9th District court has a history of those types of rulings and they are constantly being overturned.

We'll see.

This may be the one of the first cases in which Justice Roberts, should he be confirmed, may have to rule. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the challenge.


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I've heard Michael Newdow a couple of times on some shows and he is extremely annoying and arrogant.

It's frustratingly aggravating how senseless it all is. Who the hell cares? Since when is "God" a dirty word? Who is intolerant here, other than radical atheist extremists? I might link to you and tie it in with the LA County Seal whose cross is being removed because of the very same thing.

Mike's America said...

Could someone please show me where it says in the Constitution:
"Freedom FROM religion?"

Mark said...

Thanks. I really didn't think this was a very good post. For some reason inspiration has failed me somewhat today.

tugboatcapn said...

Nonsense, Mark.
I tought that this was one of your most inspired posts in a few days.

To answer Mike's question, The Constitution never says the words "Freedom From Religion. Never, not once.
It also does not contain the words "Freedom OF Reigion" either.

What it says is that CONGRESS shall make no law regarding an ESTABLISHMENT of Religion, nor abridging the FREE EXPRESSION thereof.
Which means to me that if you don't want to profess a belief in God, you don't have to, BUT...
If I want to profess a belief in Him, YOU CAN'T STOP ME.

Newdow is wrong.
But the Supreme Court will uphold this new decision, Roberts or not.
The reason that the first Newdow case was overturned by the SCOTUS was that he did not have custody of his daughter, and therefore had no grounds to file suit on her behalf.
The couples in this new case HAVE custody of their children, so the ruling will stand.
Score one more for the Libs.
I hope that they are happy...

tugboatcapn said...

Freedom of REIGION??

Well, you all knew what I meant...

Mark said...

"What it says is that CONGRESS shall make no law regarding an ESTABLISHMENT of Religion, nor abridging the FREE EXPRESSION thereof."

Actually, Tug, It's not EXPRESSION, but EXERCISE.;)

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Nowhere does it even say "Separation of Church and State" in the First Amendment.

Lores Rizkalla said...

these are the kinds of decisions that remind me how critically important it is for us--even in California--to steward our responsibility to vote. All these judges started on a ballot somewhere. Now, they are re-writing the constitution.

We're not acting like a nation "under God." Instead, we're a nation being ruled by judges.

Poison Pero said...

It will be interesting to see what the 9th Circuit does with this.

They've already tossed it out once.

All the more reason to cheer the Roberts nomination, and pray Bush pulls another one out of the hat.

It's also another reason we must not allow the 2008 nominees to beat up on each other.....We need a solid party going into the election, and must win it.

If we win 2008 it's likely RBG or one of the lesser Libs will retire or kick it.

Liam said...

In a nation that makes ‘no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’ one should not have to be the exception to avoid mentioning god when pledging allegiance to that nation. Rather, God should not be mentioned in the federally prescribed text at all, but people should (and indeed would, per the First Amendment) have the right to include reference to him/her/it if they are so directed by their personal beliefs.

Mark said...

I almost agree with that, Liam, except for the part about God should not be mentioned in the federally prescribed text at all.

As I mentioned on a previous much contended post, This country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, with the Ten commandments as the basis for it's laws.

Removing both the name of God and/or the Ten Commandments from any American ritual or government edifice is contrary to the intent of the founders.

Erudite Redneck said...

Y'all really would make this joint a theocracy if you could, wouldn't you? When did Baptists, who once were much maligned, lose their appreciation for tolerance and religious liberty -- for all?!? Oh, wait. In 1979, when the right wing took over the SBC. Never mind.


“America is a very diverse nation,” (said Ayesha Khan, legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State). "We have some 2,000 different denominations and faith groups, as well as many Americans who choose no religious path at all. It is wrong for public schools to ask students to affirm a religious belief in order to express their patriotism.”

Khan noted that some religious traditions use different names for the deity, while other faiths believe in more than one god. Others regard governmental appropriation of God as theologically unacceptable.

“America faces many challenges today,” Khan concluded. “We can best meet those challenges if we are united as a people. Americans should never be made to feel excluded from our national life because they have the ‘wrong’ views about religion.”

Mark said...

"It is wrong for public schools to ask students to affirm a religious belief in order to express their patriotism..."

No one has said that students are asked to affirm a religious belief. I stated, as well as many others, that students have the option to not say the pledge, or say the pledge while inserting the diety of their choice in place of God, or in simply leaving that part out of the pledge if that is their choice, and we, as Americans support their right to do that.

The atheists want to remove that same right from those of us who believe in God.

And what's wrong with a Theocracy? It would certainly end all the political infighting that is presently going on. Not to mention the fact that we will have one, when Jesus returns to rule the Earth.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Just because "God" is referred, is not an endorsement of any particular faith or church. And that quote from Khan can just as well be flipped around to make the religious majority feel excluded because they have the "wrong views" about religion. I felt united before when I was a kid oblivious to all this controversy, saying the Pledge in school. Just shrug your shoulders and move on. "God" either means something to you, or it doesn't and is just a word.

Lone Ranger said...

I wish this would have happened when I was a kid. I was very smart and a pretty rebellious. If ordered to say the pledge without the words "under God," I would have SHOUTED them out. And if the pledge were skipped altogether, I would have stood up at the appointed time and said it anyway, even if they'd dragged me, crying, out of the classroom. (Hey, I said I was smart and rebellious, I didn't say I wasn't a crybaby.)

Erudite Redneck said...

what's wrong with a Theocracy?

I wouldn't know where to begin. Oh, sure I do: See the Crusades. See the Taliban. See any example -- ANY -- of a theocratic state and see abuse. The Holy Roman Empire ... Well, most of the Muslim nations ...

The only way SCOTUS would overturn this ruling is if it decided that the words REALLY don't "mean anything" and have just become a common expression of Americanness. Which is an insult to Christianity. Y'all win, and Christianity loses, actually.


BRUISER said...

Your all a bunch of retards on the Right here care so much about the fact that you forget that "Under God" was added to the Allegiance in the 1950's against the Godless Communists....McCarthyism is just so Republican.......Yet your party votes down on an independent comission to look into the failures of FEMA / Homeland Security / State and local officials following the devastating Katrina disaster...Where are your Morals????

Right on thepress

Mark said...

I say again. When Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom on Earth, We will then have a true Theocracy.

Will you still oppose it then?

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:10-11 (NIV)

jgaoehals14962 said...

I really don't see the issue as all that important. It's not the gospel that we're talking about. It is a pledge, that I won't say, to a flag, that I won't worship. Who is the God in the pledge? Is it the living and true God of the Bible, or the god of American liberalism (in terms of theology?) It is that gooey god that every one worships when they get a room redone on TLC's trading spaces? Or is it the God who came and died on the cross for us? There are so many gods to worship in our culture and our churches, which god is the one in the pledge?

Furthermore, if we are Christians, why are we sending our children off to the public, man-centered, godless schools for education? As a Christian, and a father, it is my responsibility to educate my son (God-given responsiblity). It is not the state's responsibility, or the church's responsibility. The reason so many of our children don't follow us in the faith as it stands now, is because we have handed them over to the public schools to be educated by the humanists and atheists of our culture.

I know many would say, "Yes, but I take my child to church..." one hour a week. Who wins that battle, Satan does.

Sounds like I need to blog on this one...

Erudite Redneck said...

Mark, you are making my LOL by comparing what WILL BE with WHAT IS. Funny. It'll be all THEO and no OCRACY. It's just silly to compare.

Pastor Timothy, then you and others like you are part of the problem with public schools, if you ask me. 1, abandoning the most obvious mission field. 2., rejecting American community for a selfish cloister. 3. acting out of fear rather than faith.

This country is going to hell, and the chorus being chanted by the Sel-Righteous Right as it goes down the drain is "I've got mine! Y'all get yours! I've got mine! Y'all get yours! You're going to hell! We're not! You're going to hell! We're not!"


Lores Rizkalla said...

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." --James Madison

Erudite Redneck said...

Great quote. Not in the founding documents, is it?


Erudite Redneck said...

"Yet your party votes down on an independent comission to look into the failures of FEMA / Homeland Security / State and local officials following the devastating Katrina disaster...Where are your Morals????"

Repub platform:
"You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."

Don't pull the trigger on the Gospel Gun when you face an equally armed opponent.

And I'm out of this one. It's getting too heated -- for NOTHING but a couple of stupid words and a bunch of spoiled Christian feelings.


jgaoehals14962 said...

Yes, the schools may be a mission field. But my children are not missionaries. They ARE my responsibility to educate, not the state's or the church's. Therefore, I will have to answer to God for the sphere He has given me. I have no control over the school system, and quite frankly, they really don't want me interfering anyway. Yes, I would like to send in missionaries, but I want those called to the mission field to go, not my children. I will glady support a teacher or other ministry to the lost in the system, but not at the expense of my own child's salvation and morals.

There is no more noble calling than raising a child, for in doing so, we are raising eternal beings. My son will live eternally in either heaven or hell. My hope is that the Lord will use my efforts to raise him in a godly way to bring my son to Himself. The public school system is a hindrance to what I am called to do as a father. The school system does not have the same values, beliefs, morals, or priorities that I do. Therefore, why should I send my son to a school that holds completely different priorities?

It would be like Abraham sending his son Isaac off to Egypt to be educated and trained by Egyptians. Not a real good thing for a Jew like Abraham to do.

When he is old enough and mature enough, then I will let him enter in the world. But children do not have the wherewithall to navigate through the system without becoming products of that system.

As for abandoning the community for a selfish cloister, again, I will gladly answer to God for that. I will enter into business with non-believers and go into the community to do business and build relationships. But not at the expense of my family. God does not call us to abandon the covenant-keeping community for the godless community. Sorry, not scriptural at all. That is the importance of the church, and belonging to a congregation. Doesn't mean we live at a distance, but we are to live differently than the world. Sorry you don't see that in Scripture.

As for those going to hell, I will do everything in my power to share the gospel with them, to get them to come and listen to Christ-centered preaching, to show them of their need of the Savior. But it takes His hand moving in their hearts for them to believe. And if they are not of God's elect, then they are hell bound no matter what I do. It's ultimately HIS choice, not mine, who by HIs mercy and grace, get into heaven, and who by His wise council, go to hell. Either way, He is glorified, and that is what is important.

What is the chief end of man?
To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Some vessels are destined for heaven, others for wrath. It is His decision. We only choose Him because He first chose us.

Liam said...

Mark, the country may have been founded by people with Judeo-Christian principles, but it was also founded as a secular nation, which wouldn’t interfere with individuals’ rights to worship whatever they choose. The intent of the founders is right there in the First Amendment. Nowhere else does the Constitution mention God or religion.

Some of the Ten Commandments were used as the basis for laws because some of the Ten Commandments are fairly self-evident rules for maintaining a civilised society. The Magna Carta was also used as the basis for laws, not least of which; the Bill of Rights. Why not have copies of that on display in Public Buildings instead of proclaiming in stone ‘Thou Shalt Have No Other God Than Me’ as the first thing you see when you enter a building sworn to uphold your freedom of worship?

But none of this changes the fact that mention of God is simply not required to pledge one’s allegiance to one’s country if there is no established religion. That fact should be reflected in the approved text.

Erudite Redneck said...

Pastor Timothy, you are SO Presbyterianesque! :-)... dang it, I came back anyway. Mark, yer place is like a great neighborhood bar. :-)


jgaoehals14962 said...

It it so goooood to be Presbyteianesque, because I CAN join you at the bar for a good, dark beer and a fine cigar. Thank God for the likes of BB Warfield, John Calvin and Martin Luther. All men who would join us at the bar, and faithfully preach the gospel on Sunday.

Mark said...

I'll take that as a compliment, ER.
I think I lost focus halfway through this thread.

Bottom line is this:

Nobody in this country is forced to recite the pledge. Nobody is forced to say the words, "under God" if they choose to recite the pledge.

They are free to subsitute anything they want in place of those words. They can say under Satan if they choose, and the constitution guarantees them that right.

There fore, I submit that there is no reason to take the case to court in the first place. It is a non issue.

Francis Lynn said...

Typical judicial activism - if one person in country objects, sure enuf some pea-brained judge gonna rule in his favor.

Lone Ranger said...

I was going to post this on my own blog, but just to prove thepress wrong again, I'll do it here. Hey, I'll do it there too.

All you have to do to figure out what a totally secular society would look like is to look at some. The perfect examples are Communist and former Communist states. Without exception, their number one problem is corruption. The problem with atheism or secularism is it has no moral benchmarks. Certain things are forbidden, not because they're considered immoral, but because they're against the law. And who determines what's right and wrong? Politicians and judges. And before you know it, things are being banned not because God thinks they're wrong but because politicians and judges think they're wrong. And if you thought the vengeful God of the Old Testament was strict, you ain't seen nuthin. Pretty soon it's illegal to own a gun, to smoke in bars, to drive without a seatbelt, to have too much water in your toilet tank, etc., etc., etc.. You gotta wonder what those politicians and judges will do when they've banned every single human activity. Will they repeal some laws just so they can pass them again?It is no coincidence that the most secular nations on earth are also the most repressive. The problem with a society that is based on secular rather than moral laws is that people who don't want to obey a law just won't. After all, it's not as though God will punish you if you break the law, the politicians will -- if they catch you -- and if they themselves aren't corrupt beyond salvation. And every lawbreaker knows that he'll never be caught.You've heard it time after time from the left when the government tries to pass legislation aimed at curbing immoral behavior -- "You can't legislate morality!" That's not only wrong, it's stupid.Is murder immoral? Do we have laws against murder? Is rape immoral? Do we have laws against rape? Is theft immoral? Do we have laws against theft? Obviously the government CAN legislate morality. What the government cannot do is INSTILL morality through legislation.Morality MUST be instilled through social mores. Then it is codified into law. If those social mores break down, the government can pass all the legislation it wants and it will not halt the breakdown of society. Then it will hold its sham of a society together through brute force. Look at places like Burma and North Korea.And what is the left in this country doing? They are breaking down the very institutions that provide us with a moral compass. They are conducting a jihad against religions. The ACLU and NAMBLA are working jowl to jowl to knock down age of consent laws in every state. ANY attempt to bring the discussion of social mores into the public arena is met with howls of protest. And what has this brought us? Generation after generation of increasingly amoral monsters. "Doctors" who get rich aborting babies, mothers who kill their children, children who kill their parents, grade school kids who rape and assault. It is no longer sufficient to watch your children at play and hold their hand in the mall. Child molesters now break into homes and kill entire families to get at their prey.The future of this country is clear as crystal to everyone but the knuckle-headed liberals. With the destruction of moral institutions, the government will have to pass more and more laws to control society. The more laws that are passed the more laws that are broken.But that will suit the leftists. It's how they prefer to live.

Mary said...

What's ironic about all of this is that all references to God are to be stripped from society to make everyone feel comfortable. It's not right to force God down anyone's throat.

OK. Well, why is it right to force secularism on the majority?

The Establishment Clause did not intend to eliminate God from the public square. It was meant to do just the opposite--to allow people to worship freely.

Liam said...

Mark, you seem to be avoiding the issue. You say that no-one is forced to say ‘under God’ but my point is that no-one should be made to feel the odd one out in order to pledge allegiance to their country and stay true to their religious beliefs. The Pledge as it was originally written satisfies that requirement and should be reinstated.

Mary, no-one is forcing secularism on you. It is removing a predisposition to religion which then allows everyone, secular and religious, to participate in the same pledge in the same way.

Daffy76 said...

I can't believe it. I'm actually going to have to argue with Pastor Timothy. No offense man, but you're discounting a lot of hard working Christian parents that do a lot more than just take their children to church once a week. Even if my children attend a Christian school every day, and go to church everytime the doors are open, my husband and myself are still the most important examples they will ever have of faith. That is my first responsibility. I don't believe that I am wrong to place my children in a public school. I don't agree with saying they are on the mission field there, but part of trusting God with my children is trusting Him to look out for them at school. If they are exposed to some other sort of religion there, okay. I will talk about it with them and teach them what I believe. That is my responsibility and God-given right in educating them. If they don't agree with me, well I can only hope and pray that God will lead them to what is right. That is our only hope as parents anyway.

Private Christian education is not available to every Christian. God has blessed me with a lot of things, but at this point, I don't feel that He has given me the resources to afford private school or home-schooling for that matter. Am I to feel guilty about that? Of course not. And don't give me a speech on priorities. Feeding and clothing my children is priority. Educating them is secondary to that.

I'm not saying that it's a bad thing to send your child to a Christian school, but don't think that just because they go to one that they've necessarily a better chance of becoming a Christian. In fact, there is alot more chance that your child will encounter a hypocrite in the church and get turned off from it entirely. It happens.

This is something Christians all have to be very careful with. I encounter this quite often in fact. Just because I am not a stay-at-home Mom or enrolling my children in a Christian school, or breast-feeding doesn't mean that I am outside of God's will in raising my kids. I am doing the best I can to make all of my decisions under God's guidance.

I do agree with one thing, though, it really doesn't make much difference to me if the pledge is said or not. The phrase "under God" does not endorse a particular religion and does not really acknowledge the true God. The god mentioned in the pledge is a blanket-god--anyone's interpretation of god--and saying the pledge does not make anyone believe it. So in that respect saying it shouldn't offend anybody. On the other hand, it is sad to see that some people are so hateful of God that they cannot even stand the mention of Him. But in the larger picture, is this really the most important thing we need to worry about right now? This country has bigger fish to fry at this point.

Excellent discussion starter, Mark.

jgaoehals14962 said...

Hey Daffy,
No, I don't see your argument against my post... because the word I used was "I." I am the one that has to answer for GB. Not you, the church or anyone else. Therefore "I" will not send him into the public areana to be educmacated. I have elders in my church who do not feel the way that "I" do on this issue, and they do send their children to public schools to be educated. That is there decision and it is not a sin issue. But "I" feel what is best for my son is to educate him at home, unless there is a very good private Christian school. (Believe me, most Christian private schools, I wouldn't send my child to, because they are Christian in name only, but that is another blog.)

Please Daffy, understand that I know not all are in the situation that I am, and not all can afford to keep their children at home. I would advocate it for all who can, because I feel that this is better for the children. But if you cannot, I am not condemning you or your husband for making that decision. If Jesus were to make me king Timothy, then I would close down the public schools, but for some reason, in His Good wisdom and grace, He has not. :)

God bless

Daffy76 said...

"Furthermore, if we are Christians, why are we sending our children off to the public, man-centered, godless schools for education? As a Christian, and a father, it is my responsibility to educate my son (God-given responsiblity). It is not the state's responsibility, or the church's responsibility. The reason so many of our children don't follow us in the faith as it stands now, is because we have handed them over to the public schools to be educated by the humanists and atheists of our culture.

I know many would say, "Yes, but I take my child to church..." one hour a week. Who wins that battle, Satan does."

Tim, please do what you feel is best for GB. I will do what I feel is best for my kids. However, the quote above sure made me feel like you were accusing me of something.

I'm sorry to have to argue with you. I usually agree with most of what you have to say. But even as a pastor, you must be very careful when you use terms like "if we are Christians."

jgaoehals14962 said...

I see what you mean now. I scanned what I wrote too quickly to remind myself what I had written. Please forgive me.
God bless,

William said...

I don't think that the atheists' desires are to wipe out religion as a whole. I think that it is more their desire to wipe Christianity and its influences. I am not aware of instances where other religions experience the same type of social pressures to succumb to a secular progressive society. In fact, it seems that other religions are embraced. No, Jesus appears to be the offense to these atheists.

I remember a time (2000 years ago in the Roman Empire to be a exact) when belief in no God became the grounds for persecution. Isn't ironic that these individuals are now the persecutors?

Mark, thanks for the blogroll by the way. It seems that I can learn a lot from your blog, so I'll be checking in from time to time.

Erudite Redneck said...

Of course, what the Constitution "says" is one thing, and what it "means" is sometimes different, just because the language itself, not to mention technology and society, has changed drastically since the words were penned. That's why the dang thing requires interpretation and that's why we have a whole dadgum branch of gubmint to do it, among other things.


tugboatcapn said...

Well, Blogger seems to have completely lost a totally brilliant, enformed and enlightened comment by me.

You would have all been educated and your lives would have been signifigantly enriched from reading it, and you would have been better people from the point that you read it until your deaths.

The world is a much gloomier and depressing place because these inspiring words from me will never be read.

You should all write your Congressman and/or Senator, and DEMAND that something be done about Blogger losing comments by Tugboatcapn.

This MUST not be allowed to continue...

Toad734 said...

So if we just decided to change it again to say "in Allah", you would have no problem with that since you could opt not to say those words right?