By Mike Harpold
September 26, 2005
In fact, the Constitution contains not a single reference, direct, indirect, or implied to anyone's god. Not in the Preamble, not in the articles, not in the Bill of Rights or any other amendments. The Preamble of the Constitution proclaims, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty, to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America." It was a document written by men to establish the framework for their own governance.
The sole reference to religion in the Constitution is in the First Amendment; "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,..." Mr. Crop argues that the intent of the establishment clause was to, "keep the government out of God, not God out of government." I m not clear on the nuances of that argument, or if I were that I would agree, but he shouldn t ignore the free-exercise clause that says that I have the right to worship as I will, or not at all, if I so choose.
The words, "under God", were inserted in the Pledge of Allegiance in 1953 by an act of Congress. I, and I believe most Americans, feel no discomfort reciting this phrase with the pledge as long as someone doesn't try to say that it refers only to my god and not yours. But one need only to read Mr. Crop's letter to understand why some people worry about this. Atheists clearly do have a problem with it.
It is a fair question if the Founding Fathers would have approved inserting "under God" in the pledge and under what circumstances. We don't have to debate that, the Supreme Court will give us the answer soon enough.
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