All my life I have loved my
country and even have gone to jail on behalf of defending its principles.
Until 1954, I proudly saluted allegiance to my
flag. It was that year, during Eisenhower's tenure,
the Knights of Columbus persuaded Congress to
change the Pledge of Allegiance. It was this
beginning of the Cold War, with the Godless Russians,
and during the McCarthy "find a red under
every bed" witch hunt era, that I found reciting
the Pledge of Allegiance, in its newly amended form,
to be divisive and counter to the author's intent.
"One nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,"
as originally written by Francis Bellamy in 1892,
was changed with two words "under God" that made
our nation now divisible, to exclude the 14%
of the Americans, who are Atheists.
I remember how good the words "one nation indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all" felt in my mind
and mouth, as I gave that promise to my country.
I was excluded because of my belief.
Why did something that had served our country
so well, for sixty-two years, as Bellamy's Pledge of
Allegiance had done, need to be changed from
a patriotic pledge, to include a public prayer?
Something Bellamy carefully sought to avoid in
crafting the Pledge. One nation indivisible wasn't
as such anymore! "Under God" ended
that wonderful feeling for at least 14% of us. It wasn't needed,
we were tight-together without it. If the
Theists felt a need for their country to be "under God"
then let them think and say it underbreath.
They had no right to change Bellamy's intent
and cause me to echo their belief, in pledging
allegiance to my country..
July 19, 2007
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