Under God Under Fire – What’s the Back Story?

Should "under God" remain in the Pledge of Allegiance? My two cents worth.
Should “under God” remain in the Pledge of Allegiance? My two cents worth.

Well, I’m not a high falootin lawyer or historian, but I play these roles on Facebook. In my tiny brain world, I look back to the first paragraph of the Declaration of independence, which says,

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Next, I look to the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in Cotting v. Godard, 183 U.S. 79 (1901) from which I quote,

“The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. “While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government.””

The first official action of this nation was to recognize our foundation on unalienable rights granted us by our Creator, God, El Shaddai, El Omnipotente – some of the names by which the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is known.

From the beginning there have been partisan factions (Federalists v. Anti-federalists, Democrats v. Republicans, etc.), one winning the arguments through elections, then the other taking the helm of the ship of state. Should we pledge our allegiance to the ebb and flow of man made policy or to the Eternal Rock upon which we “hold these truths to be self-evident”?

I say removal of the phrase “under God” from the pledge is tantamount to abandonment of our historical foundation whose builder and maker is God. Or, as Benjamin Franklin so famously stated at the Constitutional Convention that produce our Constitution,

“In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. ”Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.”

John White

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