Prayer or Pledge?
You know, I wouldn’t have a problem with their taking the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance. I remember reciting the Pledge without those words, and I remember when the words were added. I was just as happy with them out as I am with them in.
We tend to think that you’re not a good patriot if you don’t accept the Pledge of Allegiance as it is and recite the words “under God,” but the words were added in 1954 only after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal society of Catholic men. I respect the Knights of Columbus, but why should they get to tell us how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance? Besides, were all those people wrong who recited the Pledge before 1954? (Incidentally, the Pledge of Allegiance is not written in stone. If you read the article by John W. Baer you will see how it has changed over the years and how many versions there have been.)
And I wonder if God would want His name invoked in that way. I can imagine God saying, “Look, if you’re really serious about being a nation under God, you might want to change the way you treat poor people and minorities for starters, then get back to me.”
If, as the Baer article states, the Pledge is now “both a patriotic oath and a public prayer,” I would have no problem losing the prayer part. Besides, religion should start in the home. I remember my mother reading the Bible to me, and I remember praying at home and in church. Praying in school is a little incongruous, don’t you think?