ONE NATION

ONE NATION; WITH OR WITH OUT GOD

 Two-hundred thirty three years ago a group of men decided to form a government.  They worked together to make a document that laid out the direction this government was to take.  Today we call that document The Constitution.  Like any document it had to have changes made to it with the passing of time.  Some of these changes were done in error and history shows us the follies we made.  However, the first ten amendments are pretty much the same as they were written.  These Ten amendments we call The Bill of Rights.

 Let’s go back a few years and ask, why did these people come to this country, the new world, in the first place?  History shows they were fleeing Religious persecutions.  The pilgrims wanted nothing more than to worship as they saw fit.  Today we may not always agree with their form of dogma but we built and developed an entire country with that desire for religious freedom as the corner stone.  

This was important enough that the first amendment reads; 
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” 

The key line being, “establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Free exercise there of; free.  The people we call the pilgrims wanted freedom to worship their way.  This Freedom was important enough to the makers of the Constitution that it was the first thing they addressed. 

For more than 200 years this country has grown and filled with the most diverse collection of cultures anywhere on the planet.  What is the one thing that brings most people to the New World?  Freedom!  Freedom from political and religious persecutions.  We demand this freedom all the time.  We promote our countries virtue base on this freedom.  In the United States of America you are free to worship as you see fit!  Why then are we denying the freedom to NOT worship as you see fit?  Why are we starting to abridge that freedom by stating you must believe in a form of God? 

This flies in the face of the very reason for the start of this country and if form of government.  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  In the 1950s congress added two words to the Pledge of Allegiance, “under God.”  This was done in the spirit of patriotism.  Does adding of “under God” make the pledge more effective?  I don’t think so.  There are many religious groups in this country that, exercising their religious freedom, will not even make the pledge.  We do not condemn these people for their beliefs.  There are many people who have fought and died for this country with no traditional belief in God whatsoever.  We were glad to have their service with out condemning their freedom.

I love and respect my country.  When there is controversy of this sort the respect becomes hard to believe.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

 

R.M. Livingston   7/4/2002 (revised 2009)


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Synopsis
THOUGHTS ON GOVERNMENT
Published Date
2/20/2008 12:00:00 AM
Published In
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