Editorial: Scaring the faithful — Take a deep breath and calmly consider ‘under God’ on the Pledge
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Sep 11, 2013 | 2163 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In Massachusetts, someone is asking a federal court to remove the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Once again, the faithful are up in arms over this.

And, once again, both sides seem intent on ignoring the law and the legal precedents that support it.

So let’s take a deep breath and calmly consider the matter.

Even before “under God” was added, the Pledge of Allegiance was challenged as a government effort to force students to pledge allegiance to a symbol, which some faiths prohibited. One of those, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, challenged the practice. In its decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that students can’t be forced to salute the American flag.

That should have put an end to the matter, because even though a 1950s campaign by Christian groups resulted in “under God” being added, that court decision remained in place.

No one can be compelled to say the Pledge, with or without a reference to a supreme being.

Here in Alabama, public schools have the option of having the Pledge recited every morning and students have the option of reciting it or not. Ours is a rational, reasonable response to an emotionally charged issue — something uncommon in our state and one this page applauds.

Indeed, there are questions of peer pressure and other factors that make it difficult for students not to recite the Pledge; however, not to trivialize the matter, but when schools figure out a way to remove peer pressure for the curriculum, then the End Times may be upon us.

As for the reference to our nation being “under God,” one is reminded of how Mark Twain responded when some people wanted to take “In God We Trust” off U.S. currency.

He opposed the removal, saying, “In God We Trust. It is simple, direct, gracefully phrased. It sounds so well — In God We Trust. I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true.”

Some must surely wonder if the same might be said for “under God.”

Meanwhile, both sides should follow the ruling of the Supreme Court and give the matter a rest.
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