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Author Topic: A conservative Christian objects to "one nation under God"
Time for the flaming leprosy party
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posted 03-28-2004 02:36 AM      Profile for ceoalex316     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I object, on Biblical grounds, to the current practice of encouraging our nation to pledge that our country is "one nation under God." (I give a theological, rather than legal/political defense of my view. Obviously, my reasons are not intended to convince to those who do not believe the Bible. But even then, it may be useful for them to hear.)

1. As the Pledge is usually done, it encourages people to violate the Second Commandment by taking the name of the Lord in vain (Ex. 20:7). Many people recite the pledge carelessly and without meaning or thought. This is wrong, since God desires nothing other than an honest, sincere, and intentional expression of faith (Rom 10:9). Empty, meaningless repetitions are not pleasing to God (Matt. 6:7), and an insincere invocation of God can only incite his anger. Secondly, many people justify the phrase "under God" as mere ceremonial language, and not as true religious language. However, Christians should not participate in a nominal, token reference to God. We should take God seriously, and the Pledge discourages this.

2. Some people justify the phrase in reference to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers. However, many of these believed in an impersonal god of deism or Freemasonry. This is not the one true God. Furthermore, in our country, the distinction between religious, nationalistic, and cultural activities is frequently blurred, resulting in the generic "God" of American culture. A proclamation of this "God" violates the First Commandment (Ex. 20:3), for it is a false god.

3. It is clear that saying the words of the Pledge in the wrong spirit could lead to sinning. Because of this possiblility, it is irresponsible to place the Pledge in front of our children without giving them Christian instruction on what it means, the nature of the commitment implied, the warnings and cautions involved, and what it truly means to be a "nation under God." However, since the public schools cannot teach our children these things, they should not encourage them to pledge to something without a proper explanation. As our Lord said, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matt. 18:6). (By the way, I do not trust that the public schools are even able to teach the Biblical truth correctly, even if they could legally do so. That is the duty of the Church.)

4. What does it mean to claim that our nation is "one nation under God"? It seems to be intended as a boast of our collective faithfulness to God. If it means that we, as a nation in general, are obediently following God's leadership, then the statement is a hypocritical lie. As it is, our country has become quite "godless." (However, if the phrase means that our country is under God's providential care, then it is a correct statement. However, this does not seem to be the original intent of the phrase, for then it would also be correct to say that even a throroughly atheistic, anti-Christian country is "under God" in this sense.) I also deny that "In God We Trust" is an honest depiction of the general sentiment in this country.

5. The non-specific phrase "one nation under God" seems to imply that all monotheistic religions are valid and acceptable. However, I deny this, for Christ said, "No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). Christians should not affirm any God but the Triune God.

6. I think the real motivation behind the movement to preserve "under God" in the Pledge is this: some Christians feel the need to use the government to encourage people people to believe in God. However, an all-powerful God does not need our weak help to prove his existence, and even if he did, it is not the duty of the government to do so. For God has given us sufficient proof of himself through his creation (both nature and our internal conscience, Ps. 14:1, 19:1, Acts 14:15-17, 17:26-28, Rom. 1:19-20, 2:14-15). Therefore, people who need the Pledge to bolster the case for his existence are actually expressing doubt, rather than faith. They act as if God's existence is so uncertain that it needs the support of a government-sponsored advertising scheme. This is an insult to the Creator's abundandtly clear testimony of his own existence.

7. In fact, there is another problem with their apparent plan: I fail to see how the Pledge really could convince someone of God's existence, or even make belief more likely. Forcing others to recite the Pledge does God no good. Actually, it could even backfire, by giving unbelievers the impression that God is oppressive and coercive, rather than the loving and compassionate Father that he really is. Our message wins people for the truth, not through sneaky attempts to force God on others, but by showing others Jesus' love. "We love, because God first loved us." (1 John 4:19).


[ 03-28-2004, 02:37 AM: Message edited by: ceoalex316 ]

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From: NYC | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged
Farting Nudist
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posted 03-28-2004 03:19 AM      Profile for Ikuse   Author's Homepage   Email Ikuse   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
lol christian
From: In my pants. | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. K
Member # 2

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posted 03-28-2004 04:44 AM      Profile for Mr. K   Author's Homepage   Email Mr. K   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There were too many messages in that link to read all of them, but I read this:

KidCharlemagne: ...Newdow's case would be three times stronger with these arguments from a believer. I don't know if Newdow has any more chance at testimony but I seriously think you should consider getting in touch with him.

Luckily, Newdow didn't have to bring this up, because Justice John Paul Stevens already covered it in the Court:

Stevens: If the religious portion of the pledge is not intended as a serious affirmation of faith, then every day government asks millions of school children to take the name of the Lord in vain.

(In case it turns out to matter in this thread, Stevens was asking for Newdow's response to the above, but it wasn't necessarily Stevens' point of view.)

Because cflakkin believes in invisible werewolves, vampire angels, and Scientology, he was very excited by that statement.

By the way, Newdow pwned the Supreme Court, but, like arguing with Mick, it's all a matter of whether the people he's arguing with are smart enough to notice. He won't win if they didn't notice he won.

In Googling around for a transcript you guys could read, I found this exchange:

Interviewer: So do you feel that [Scalia recusing himself] increases your chances of a favorable ruling from your camp?

NEWDOW: I suppose it does, although I think that the chances of not having a favorable ruling for my camp are close to nil. This case is the easiest case they're going to have. The law is clearly on my side.

He's certainly right about the law (even those of you who most violently opposed removing "under God" prefaced your arguments with "Well, sure it's unconstituional, but..."), and I can only hope the Justices can overlook their personal biases on this one. The results of Bush vs. Gore doesn't give me any great hope, though...

EDIT: Here are excerpts from the transcript.

Also it is possible the SC will be intolerable wusses and throw the case out based on the fact that Newdow doesn't have full custody of his daughter.

Also I was reading some Christian website, and they asked "Is it really a victory for us if it's determined that the words 'under God' are simply meaningless?"

Also if you're really interested in this, there's another decent story with more quotes here.

[ 03-29-2004, 06:04 AM: Message edited by: Mr. K ]

From: Cinnabar Island | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Farting Nudist
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posted 03-28-2004 10:07 PM      Profile for Atma   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Thou shalt not profane Me in a nation ruled by a traitor."

-- Rick James 3:16

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"My name is Atma...
I am pure energy... and as ancient as the cosmos.
Forgotten in the river of time...
I've had an eternity to ponder the meaning of things...
And now I have an answer..."

From: Cinnabar Isle, Long Island, NY | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged

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