When one thinks of the culture in America, one would probably described it as a ‘melting-pot’ nation of immigrants. With the exception of our Native Americans, essentially, each one of us can trace our heritage back from another culture, which for me is Scottish and English from my father’s side and Norwegian and German from my mother’s side. Along with the heritage, the traditions emerge and are filtered down into the family life where the Judea-Christian moral and social values are connected to my own cultural identity.
Today, instead of viewing America as a unity of diverse group of people who are united under one flag, one constitution, and have a one common destination as one nation under God with liberty and justice for all, we have those, including bias liberal media, who want to chip away on our constitutional democratic republic freedom. Although there are several issues under attack from time to time, one issue will be discussed in this paper, my Judean-Christian heritage. Our media enjoys expounding on this subject while at the same time rejecting the traditional American values and ideas.
When I was in elementary, I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance each day at the beginning of the school day. In 1954, there was an added wording “under God” to the pledge by President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. According to President Dwight Eisenhower “one nation, under God” was a“spiritual weapon” for our country in both peace and war. I would never have considered the Pledge Of Allegiance being under attack because of the words “under God”. Instead, in the past few years, the word ‘God’ has come under the microscope and become an issue for those chosen few and those whose own atheist belief system believes the pledge should be banned and out of the classroom in following two cases.
One such case is with Martin Rosenthal, a parent in Brookline, Mass. who would like students not to be pressure in saying the pledge and says ‘that the pledge has no place in the classroom altogether”’; however, he himself has no problem reciting the pledge at a recent community event, according to the article “Parents fight Over Pledging Allegiance In Schools” by PNR. The article relates how courts can not compel a student to “recite a pledge” although the article questions if students are still pressure to conform. According to students, “no pressure is felt to pledge, but at times pressure can be felt to not to pledge”. The article also quoted Newt Gingrich on Fox News saying ‘ I would hope that any taxed paid school will say the Pledge of Allegiance, and frankly I’d wonder whether taxpayers ought to subsidize it if it’s not going to teach people how to be patriotic and to be pro-American”’. Then the article contrast Newt’s statement with a Libertarian named Silverglate, who also favors pledge in schools, but calls the situation as only a distraction. He also believes allowing the student to “wrestle with whether or not to pledge is kind of like Liberty 101. (NPR, 2012)
Another case involves an atheist Michael Newdow, who sued Congress, President Bush, and others in order to remove the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance because he felt those words were unconstitutional. Mr. Newdow, a divorced father, who holds a medical and law degree, objected to having his 10 year old daughter hearing and reciting the pledge. According to article written on 06/15/2004 “Court dismisses Pledge of Allegiance Suit” by MSNBC provides a great image of schoolchildren holding their hand over their left side on their chest while they recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It reveals the Supreme court did preserved the phrase “one nation, under God” in the pledge and dismissed the case that a “California atheist could not challenge the patriotic oath”. (MS-NBC, 2012) ( homeofheroes.com, 2012)
The article relates Supreme Justice William H. Rehnquist verifying that “the pledge as recited by schoolchildren does not violate the constitution” as well as Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Clarence Thomas; however the Supreme court has already noted that schoolchildren cannot be required to recite the pledge. The article also makes a point that school-sponsor prayer from classrooms, playing fields and school ceremonies are have been barred. The article also mentions that Mr. Newdow will continue to pursue his fight since he still believes “The pledge is still unconstitutional”. The article indirectly supports Mr. Newdow with “The First Amendment guarantees that the government will not “establish” religion, wording that has come to mean a general ban on overt government sponsorship of religion in public schools and elsewhere”. (NPR, 2012) (MS-NBC, 2012)( homeofheroes.com, 2012)
Although I believe in both cases mention above that these two men have the right to voice their objections, however, does the few with the help of the media, make it “politically right” for the rest of us. Regardless of what faith one has or does not have, our country was founded on faith and freedom. That in itself makes us different from other societies in which each one of us are free to follow his or her conscience.
Smith, T. (2012) Parents Fight Over Pledging Allegiance In Schools
Received May 01, 2012 from NPR website
Anonymous (2004, June 06) Court dismisses pledge suit
Received May 04, 2012 from MS-NBC website
Anonymous (2004, June 06) MSNBC removes God from the Pledge of Allegiance
Received May 04, 2012 from Blogspot website
Anonymous (2012) Pledge of Allegiance
Received May 04, 2012 from Blogspot website