From Many, One

(This letter is in response to Emily Walter’s article)

“I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Looks a bit strange, doesn’t it? No, it’s not the new ‘politically correct’ version of the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s the original as written by Francis Bellamy in 1892.

In fact, not until the rampant paranoia and hysteria of McCarthyism of the 1950s did our daily lives become inundated with the notions of “Under God” and “In God We Trust”. These changes came about when Congress arrived at the erroneous conclusion that promoting ‘God’ as a national symbol would ward off the Communist Plague. Quite ironic when you consider that America is a nation founded on a secular Constitution and a belief in the separation of church and state.

The recent commotion over the removal of God references in schools so soon after the tragic events of September 11th is understandable. It’s also a little misguided. Many Christians feel the removal is a denial of their right to express their beliefs. But not everyone believes in the Judeo-Christian God. America is not a Christian nation. Why should Non-Christian Americans be expected to stay quiet, sit down, or omit two words in a Pledge that disregards their religious and/or cultural differences?

What of this belief that our nation “promotes equality, promotes difference of opinions and promotes individual freedom”, Emily? It certainly does not do it through the retaining of “under god” in our Pledge. Institutionalized into a nationalistic statement uttered by our children, those two little words downright ignore the diversity and unity of our people. Christians, Muslims, Wiccans, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, etc From the many, we are one.

“E Pluribus Unum” That used to be our nation’s motto. After the WTC bombings, I would hope that our country gained a renewed sense of community and patriotism. In our schools, I hope our children will learn to respect and value the diversity of their peers and not the importance of one religion more so than another.

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