Thursday, September 15, 2005

One Nation, Under...

If the judge hadn't been from San Francisco, and I hadn't been following the steady moral decline of our wonderful society, this one may have come as a bigger shock. Apparently, the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. The decision was made in district court, and will be appealed. Unfortunately, San Francisco is in the 9th Circuit. The most liberal circuit court in the land will let the decision standl; my money is on it and I'm not even a gambling man. That'll leave it up to the Supreme Court to finally settle this once and for all, since, of course we all know that the Pledge is something the high court should stoop to deal with.

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

With all due respect, Mr. Karlton, I think you should move. My student loan just went through and I will personally pay for your ticket. The Declaration of Independence states that, "..all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.." I am sure you are familar with Jefferson's works, good sir, and while the Declaration is by no means a legally binding document, it is powerful symbol of our Christian heritage.

Chesterton once said, "The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." Adding anything to that on my own diminishes the brilliance of his point.

Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools.

In another typical moment of genius, Chesterton wrote, "The atheist is not interested in anything except attacks on atheism." To a large extent, this is quite true. It certainly is in the case of Mr. Newdow.

I was talking with a nihilist friend of mine about this very thing. I told him that if he really believed that there wasn't a God, he would have no trouble with me pledging that he exists, and that he should actually just laugh at me when I pray. He chuckled and agreed, and I thanked for his consistency and honesty.

What is at stake to the Christian with the pledge is infinitely more than what it at stake for the atheist, at least in my humble opinion. Newdow and like-minded folks should in no way be forced to say the pledge, but neither should folks who wish to say it be prevented from doing so. As the oft repeated cliche goes, freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion.

It is not my intent to blow this out of proportion. The loss of the pledge will not be the end of the world. However, the religious heritage of this country has been eroding away for some time. It is true that the religious right still exerts a powerful force, but in numbers only. When it comes to the culture war, the secular left has won. This recent case is simply evidence of this.

Perhaps the reason that the atheists keep winning is that they care about it more than the Christians do. This would seem to prove Chesterton right. Regardless of the reasons, each day this republic slides away from the deistic framework it once sat firmly upon. Is it any wonder that this fall has had disastorous reprecussions for all?

1 comment:

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