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NINTH CIRCUIT GOT IT RIGHT - FOR THE WRONG REASON
By Paul deParrie
What's all the fuss over "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance?
The Ninth Circuit got it right when they said we should not be using it. They were right for the wrong reason.
The Ninth's reasoning was that the Constitution always forbids anything religious sounding in a government context. This is patently false as any cursory study of the Founders will tell.
More properly, the Ninth should have followed the lead of the U.S. Supreme Court in the recent death penalty case decided on the idea that the Constitution is a "living document." The high court there said the constitution should be viewed according to "evolving standards of decency." The Ninth should have ruled here according to "evolving standards of indecency."
Let's be realistic. If we are to invoke God as the Founders did, our national character should be marginally reflective of God's standard - the Ten Commandments. Lets look honestly at these Ten:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
In the U.S., sports, recreation, pop stars, hobbies, everything has a place before God. For proof, see the Fourth Commandment.
2. You shall not make idols.
We cannot serve both God and mammon (money), so we have chosen mammon. We spend out time creating wealth for ourselves to consume solely upon ourselves. See the Eighth Commandment.
4. You shall keep the Lord's day holy.
What does God ask? One day in seven to focus upon Him. Instead we convert what used to be called the Lord's Day into "the weekend" where we are enjoined to "seize the weekend." Even a yearly day of Thanksgiving has been converted in to a gluttonous "Turkey Day."
5. Honor your father and your mother.
We are entertained by a constant barrage of television and movie portrayals of parents as fools needing to learn about life from their rebellious children. This is even true from the acknowledged leader of "family" entertainment, Disney. Remember The Little Mermaid?
6. You shall not shed innocent blood (murder).
I know I'll get in trouble for this, but we murder 4,000 innocent children each day in the U.S. by abortion. There isn't any more innocent blood than that.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
Our entertainment again gives us away. Adultery, pornography (adultery in the heart), and all sorts of sex outside of God's institution of marriage is portrayed as good in out entertainment. How many movie heroes in the last 20 years can you name who were portrayed as married and faithful?
8. You shall not steal.
Enron. Corporate greed, to be sure - but it is only recently the source of popular anger. A lot of little people lost their pensions, but none were complaining when they were reaping the fantastic (and obscene) rewards before the bubble burst. The little people greed was as bad as the corporate greed. As long as people were making lots of money, nobody seemed to care that it was immoral and illegal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
It all depends on what "is" is. The words of our perjuring former president - who had (and still enjoys) vast popular support.
10. You shall not covet.
The whole advertising industry is based upon this character flaw. Before us are pictures of what we are to want or, if we might not want it, suggestions that if we have it, we will "get the girl."
We are batting .000 on the Ten Commandments, as far as I can see. I'd say that pretty much excludes the U.S. from being "under God" in any sense.
Oh, I missed the Third Commandment, "You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain (without purpose)," deliberately because this is the very issue at hand. While it is evil blasphemy to fling around "God" and "Jesus Christ" as expletives, I believe it is far worse for people to pledge we are "under God" when we have no intention of repenting of their sins of the past or obeying Him in the future.
Jesus continually denounced the Pharisees for their pretense of righteousness (being "under God") while they were not. How much more will He denounce a lawless nation in rebellion against Him who scramble to be seen pledging themselves "under God."
Is this not blasphemy?
Let's be honest and take "God" out of the Pledge, off our money, out of the opening announcement in the U.S. Supreme Court, and out of the congressional "ceremonial" prayers.
© 2003 - Paul deParrie - All Rights Reserved
Paul deParrie is a 17-year veteran of anti-abortion street activism, a preacher, and a social critic. He is the author of "Dark Cures: Have Doctors Lost Their Ethics" (Huntington House) available at NewsWithViews Online Store Front. deParrie may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul deParrie's book "Dark Cures: Have Doctors Lost Their Ethics" can be purchased from Walter Publishing for $11.99 plus $5.00 S/H Call: 1-800-955-0116
"While it is evil blasphemy to fling around "God" and "Jesus Christ" as expletives, I believe it is far worse for people to pledge we are "under God" when we have no intention of repenting of their sins of the past or obeying Him in the future."