The Pledge

I wrote the following email to John Gregg, a local talk show host here on AM radio (WIBC).

Hi,
First of all, I’d like to say that even though I am sure we are philosophically at opposite ends of the spectrum (I’m a Green), I enjoy listening to your show on IBC.

You read a quote of someone that advocated that this was a bad time to “take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance.”

The Pledge was written by Reverend Francis Bellamy in 1892. Francis Bellamy was a Socialist Christian and did not include the words “under God” in the Pledge. “Under God” was not added to the pledge until 1954.It was a response to growth of communism. The genesis of adding “Under God” was from a sermon of Reverend Dr. George M. Docherty, a Presbyterian minister. He said “And I came to a strange conclusion. there was something missing in this Pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the “American Way of Life.” Indeed, apart from the mention of the phrase, the United States of America, this could be the pledge of any Republic. In fact, I could hear little Muscovites repeat a similar pledge to their hammer and sickle flag in Moscow with equal solemnity, for Russia is also a Republic that claims to have overthrown the tyranny of kingship”

You can read his full sermon here:
http://www.post-gazette.com/downloads/20020820sermon.pdf

I do not believe that you can have a representative republic and theocracy at the same time. Jefferson said

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

The founding fathers spoke to the separation of church and state… to list a few…

Thomas Jefferson
“Our civil rights have no dependence upon our religious opinions more than our opinions in physics or geometry.”

James Madison
“The Civil Government, tho’ bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success; whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.”

John Adams
“The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and enchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated.”

Thomas Paine
“As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious protesters thereof, and I know of no other business government has to do therewith.”

The voice of our founding fathers rings quite clear on this subject. That isn’t to say that I think we should simply go on what the founding fathers believed (if we did, blacks would still be slaves and women would be considered property under the eyes of the law). I do believe that this is a nation where the government is dedicated to be “For the people, by the people, and of the people.”

If we choose as a nation to move closer to a theocratic form of government, we should be honest and forthright about our intentions in doing so.

I listen to you on the drive home from work (I work 3rds). I hope at some point I get home in enough time to call in!

Be well,

Marti Abernathey

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