If not “under God,” under what?

A teacher at Battle High School recently led the pledge of allegiance. His version: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands one nation . . . . indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

For unknown reasons the faculty member excluded “under God.” The students immediately caught it. Some students assumed he had mistakenly misquoted, while others discerned the intent. Their teacher assured them it was on purpose.

If not “under God,” under what? By what or whom? Through what or whom?

An elementary stroll through easy to find primary U.S. documents will reveal a constant recognition of God. Early writings and speeches of the men and women who laid the foundation we enjoy referred to Him as: Divine Being, Supreme Judge, Father of Lights, Omnipotence of God, the benign Parent, Providence, and the Almighty.

George Washington argued that political prosperity in a land of liberty required two great “pillars of human happiness,” which he unequivocally declared were “religion and morality.” The term “Under God” reminds us of these pillars.

I don’t know the reasons this teacher chose to exclude this phrase from the pledge of allegiance. But I do know George Washington stated, “In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”

Educational institutions in large measure are failing us. Unwelcoming division and contention and a false understanding of freedom are bellowed on campuses. Some families are failing us. Children aren’t being taught and disciplined in sound attributes that bless communities, states, and nations. Surely secularism parading around with colorful banners isn’t helping.

True religion teaches the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. True religion inspires an individual to live and promote unity, liberty, and justice— the sound principles for which we stand and recite the pledge of allegiance. True religion helps an individual align with personal responsibility and respect. It props up a virtuous life that helps an individual avoid covetousness and extend help to a neighbor.

The godless have a dismal record of taking advantage of their neighbor. The God-fearing have a phenomenal record of helping the downtrodden and promoting unity, liberty, and justice. Studies have shown they give more of their time and give more of their resources to bless peoples’ lives.

So, under God—blessings, no God—chaos.

Which means loss of freedom as government has to control the undisciplined and lawbreakers. “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom,” Benjamin Franklin said. “As nations become corrupt and more vicious, they have more need of masters.”

Taking the Almighty out of the hearts and minds of our people will leave us spiritually, mentally, intellectually, and physically desolate. I hope this doesn’t happen. I wouldn’t want to hear this pledge:  I pledge infidelity to the flag of the divided states of America and to socialism for which it stands, one corrupt nation, without God, contentious, suppressive, and alarming injustices for all.

The distinctiveness of America allows an atheist to hijack a public setting and render his version against the majority and historical precedent. The distinctiveness also provides me the opportunity to write about it.       

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