I was extremely pleased and surprised to hear that an appellate court has ruled that reciting the Oath of Allegiance is unconstitutional because of the phrase “…under God”.
Not everyone believes in a God, nor do all religions support the concept of taking an oath. In both cases, the daily oath makes kids who don’t participate feel like outsiders, especially in today’s frenzied patriotic environment.
The Oath of Allegiance and coating our cars, homes, and bodies with variations of red, white, and blue are cheap and easy ways to show our patriotism. Much simpler to say an Oath than to carefully pursue details of bills pending in Congress, or to vote based on individual merit rather than party affiliation.
It’s gotten to the point where society is evicting any piece of religion from anything political. The problem exists that, in evicting religion from our society and becoming completely secularized, those who have excised religion have not been able to replace its moral teachings.
Our society was based on a secular government, a nation whereby church and state are separated. This does not preclude the practice of religion, but does put religious practice where it belongs: celebrated by individuals in their own space, their own time, protected by law.
As for the “moral teachings” of religion, there is no religion – none – that doesn’t have incidents in its past that the modern practitioners of same would just as soon forget. And there have been few wars fought that didn’t have a kernel of religion at their core – including the current conflicts in the Middle East. In actuality, morality, or lack thereof, is a matter of individual responsibility rather than religious affiliation.
Perhaps we should create a new Oath – one with a bit broader base:
I give my promise
to all of humanity
to support freedom in all its forms.
And to the world
in which we live
one world, indivisible
I support liberty and justice for all
I can live with this.