Monday, October 22, 2012
Today I came across a meme on Facebook, published by ForAmerica, which stated "One Nation Under God", accompanied by the instructions to "Like" the post if you agreed. At the time of this writing the post already had over 200,000 "Likes", over 6,800 "Comments" and over 37,800 "Shares". I am sure many of their hearts were in the right place, but liking memes like this foster an uncritical acceptance of ideas without promoting a thorough understanding. I love the idea of America but, like a human body which sometimes becomes infected by viruses which are detrimental to it, some of the ideas which have managed to flourish in this country are poisonous to its survival. "One Nation Under God" could be equated perhaps to the common cold, a nagging idea which undermines our immunity to larger, uglier and more dangerous ideas.
According to federal census data published in 2008, 30% of Americans are classified as not believing in God. Many of those were humanists or undeclared, but some had the guts to call themselves Atheists. The language of "god" in our society of man, effectively excludes some men from our society.
If there is truly a separation of church and state, and we are truly all equal under the law, then we should change the language of the land to reflect that fact. If you look at the history you will see that adding "Under God" to the pledge is a hold over from the paranoid era of McCarthyism, when that language was added to the oath in a fleeting attempt to weed out communists. (As if an oath had the power to do this.) The pledge itself dates back only to the late 19th century, as a magazine ad to help sell flags to children.
A free people do not need an oath of allegiance. It is incumbent upon the laws and lawmakers to earn that allegiance. A free people maintain their allegiance because their allegiance ensures their freedom. It is no coincidence that as our freedoms continue to erode under the law, that the call to repeat oaths of allegiance through song and speech is increasingly relied upon to maintain our union.
This country was founded on the theory of limited government, instilled to with the power ONLY to defend its people from force and fraud, and to adjudicate legal disputes. Once the government of this country got into the business of taking money and resources from some people in order to redistribute that money and resources to other people, the land of our founders was dead...or at least in a coma.
Get the government out of the business of picking winners and losers. Get the government out of paying for special interests, or being paid by them to skew the laws. Restore government of the people, for the people, by the people - Rather than this current government of the government, for the government and its friends, by the highest bidder. Wake up! The people of the United States of America are like employee owners. We should need no oath. This is our land. That should be enough. I don't need an oath to love my country, and neither should you.