One Nation, Under Thor
Show of hands please. Who remembers who they voted for in the last Presidential election? Okay. Now, lower your hands because the fact of the matter is that unless you were one of five hundred odd electors - you didn't vote for the president.
The founding fathers decided that when they created this country that people like you shouldn't have the power to decide who runs the country. They also didn't think people like you should elect senators either. These men believed that bathing was wrong, that you should poop in a pot you kept under your bed, that half of all white human beings were incapable of thinking for themselves, that no person of African heritage should think at all, that bleeding was a cure for everything, that wigs for men were wonderful, and that humans could be considered property. The list could be longer, but you see my point, don't you? Geniuses that they were for their time, our founding fathers could hardly see omnisciently throughout time into the distant future that we now live in.
In California a court has struck down the Pledge of allegiance for school children because it contains the phrase 'under God' and the question comes up, then, what did the founding fathers intend by the establishment clause in the First Amendment? And my question is: Does it matter? Almost certainly the writers of the constitution intended that America would be a Christian country. Probably the majority of them could simply not conceive that it wouldn't be. The establishment clause really meant that America would not have a 'Church of America' like England had a 'Church of England'. What variety of Christian you were in America would be up to you. Maybe there would be a few Jews allowed to run the banks, but that was about it.
God, of course, shows up in many of our founding documents, like the Declaration of Independence as the creator who endows men (not women, you know) with inalienable rights. The declaration of Independence uses natural law as a basis and natural law posits that there is a deity who oversees the Government, which is answerable to the people. The government, in this case, could be a monarchy, or as was eventually chosen in the United States, an oligarchy composed of the white, property owning upper-class men.
In the United States seperation of Church and State was instituted in the United States school system when shrill, unpleasant, atheist Madalyn Murray O' Hare sued the US Government and won, throwing 'official' prayer out. I can tell you first hand that this did not eliminate all prayer and I remember bowing my head at many a school assembly as a minister recited a prayer and
I asked myself whether this wasn't supposed to be illegal. One of O' Hare's sons grew up to be an evangelical minister who has spent decades trying to get the prayers that his mother got thrown out of school reinstated. O' Hare disapeared under suspicious circumstances and was never heard from again.
Eighty percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian, according to recent polls. Of these, forty percent identify themselves as evangelical or 'born again' Christians. Two percent of Americans identify themselves as Jewish and one percent as Muslim. You'd think from the news that those last two numbers would be higher - but, no, that's it. This means that seventeen percent fall into the category of 'other' which can be anything.
If you happen to be a Moslem, Jew, or 'other' - guess what? Most of your fellow Americans would be more than happy to see your religious rights trampled on. They don't see anything at all wrong with making your children promise to love this country under a God that might not happen to be yours. The Pledge of the allegiance will never be one nation under Buddha, krishna, Allah, Zeus, Thor or any other deity or lack of deity that you can think of. Sorry.
The Supreme court will almost certainly rule on this. How will they rule? My guess is they'll find a way to keep us pledging to be under God. They found a way to keep the ten commandments in the courthouses, so they'll find a way to keep this in, too. You'll notice that God is and has been on our money forever and the Supreme Court has never found a seperation of Church and State problem with that.
What do you do if you don't want your kids to say that our country is 'under God' every day of their school life? My suggestion: Just have them mouth the words but say whatever you want them to say, though I've got to tell you that one nation under Thor just doesn't have the same ring.
About the Author: Steve Sommers new book, Evil Super-Villains Need Love, Too ... and other important wisdom, is available at http://www.lulu.com/content/317958.
His novel, REXROI, is available at http://www.lulu.com/content/306670