Wednesday, June 22, 2016

...and to the Republic for which it stands, [words omitted], with liberty and justice for all....

It becomes easy to demand change for something when we do not understand its origin or why it came into being. After every mass shooting we see the knee jerk reaction to ban guns and do away with the Second Amendment to our Constitution. No one needs military styled weapons for hunting, home defense, or recreation. In that regard they would be absolutely correct. But the Second Amendment does not protect weapons used for hunting, home defense, or recreation. The Second Amendment protects the firearms used by the ordinary citizen to defend against our God given rights from being abused or taken away by a tyrannical government. That purpose has not changed and when Government tries to infringe upon that right they have broken the pact they made with the people and by definition have become tyrannical.
We see a like argument going on with our Pledge of Allegiance to this country. Since 1954 atheists have fought the battle to remove the words “under God” from the Pledge arguing everything from inclusivity to the separation of church and state. Memes abound on social media encouraging people to return to the pledge as it was originally written before “under God” was added to it. It becomes easy to demand change to something when we do not know its origin. The pledge we say today has actually been changed many times. Atheists would never want to go back to the pledge as it was originally written.
The original Pledge of Allegiance, now known as the Old Pledge was created by Colonel George Balch and was;
                We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!
It was later changed to the “formula of allegiance” and was recited as;
I pledge allegiance to my flag, and the republic for which it stands. I pledge my head and my heart to God and my country. One country, one language and one flag[
Along came Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and Christian socialist. Bellamy did not like Balch’s pledge believing it was too juvenile and lacking dignity. He authored his pledge in 1892 and it read;
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
This became known as the “New Pledge”. Notice, there is no mention to God in this version. There is also no mention to the United States of America either. “My flag” was changed to “The Flag of the United States” in 1923. It wasn’t until 1942 that the Pledge of Allegiance was officially recognized by Congress as our pledge.
In 1948 Louis Albert Brown initiated the addition of the words “under God” to be added to the pledge. President Lincoln had included these words in his Gettysburg address. In 1951 the Knights of Columbus also began to include these words when they recited the pledge. They began to petition the government to officially include these words into our National Pledge.
In 1954 President Eisenhower urged Congress to make the change in response to the growing Communist threat in that day. Congress did and “under God” has been in our pledge ever since.
It begs the question; are we still one nation under God? We have done everything we can to remove God from the public square. Children can’t pray in schools anymore. It is becoming harder to find a graduation ceremony with a blessing in it. Church attendance is in a steady decline and lines outside a confessional are short to nonexistent. For far too many people the only time the name of God is involved is at that magical moment in a place designed for slumber. We have gone from having a personal relationship with God to having a private relationship with him to having a long distance relationship where we send him a card at Christmas. Has God become irrelevant?
You could question if we are still one nation. This country has not been this far divided since the Civil War. Politics, abortion, religion, gun rights, global warming, all sources of the great divide. Red state, blue state, conservative, liberal. Everything we do separates us from our brother. Neither side is completely right and neither side is completely wrong but neither side is willing to work with the other for the real common good. Is man-made, man controllable, global warming a real thing? Probably not but drinking and breathing toxins are no good for anyone either. We all have a common interest in taking care of this planet. We should be able to work together to do so, not divide and fight each other.
A house divided cannot stand. The devil loves division and does everything he can to get us to separate ourselves. We either find a way to live together or we will die alone. God bless America, he shed his grace on thee. How long do you think God will continue to shed his grace on America when we have deported him from our borders and evicted him from our hearts?
Forty years I endured this generation. They are a people whose hearts go astray and they do not know my ways. So I swore in my anger they shall not enter into my rest. – Psalm 95
Our forty years is about over.

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