Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Judge in New Hampshire upholds ‘under God’ phrase in Pledge of Allegiance

The fight over our Pledge of Allegiance keeps popping up in various places. One such was Hanover, New Hampshire, where a suit was brought claiming that reciting the Pledge in public schools is unconstitutional. It was claimed that the Pledge, because it says we are one nation under God, amounts to a prayer. The federal judge who dismissed the atheist's lawsuit said that the Pledge is not a prayer and that it is voluntary.

Usually cases like this rest on the claim of a "separation of church and state." That phrase come from a single letter of Thomas Jefferson, and it is not found in any of our governing documents. But if you look at the previous post on this blog (Jan. 25, 2010), you will see that Jefferson believed one of his greatest accomplishments was drafting the Declaration of Independence (one of the USA's four foundational documents, according to the U.S. Code). In that document, Jefferson affirmed the fact that the rights of our citizens come from God, not from government. He said our Creator has given us unalienable (or inalienable) rights. That is a critical point. If our rights come from government, then government may take them away at will.

Given that our Declaration of Independence says our rights come from God, does it seem so out of place to say we are a nation under God?

Read about the New Hampshire case outcome here:

Judge in New Hampshire upholds ‘under God’ phrase in Pledge of Allegiance

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