One Nation Under God
In response to U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton's ruling earlier this week that the "one nation under God" reference in the Pledge of Allegiance violates the right of school children to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God," Dr. Paul Kengor, executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College and the author of God and Ronald Reagan and God and George W. Bush, writes in an online column: . . .
There is one more line of wisdom from Reagan that bears directly on the issue of "under God" in the pledge. Reagan believed that it was important for young people to hear and internalize phrases like "one nation under God." The reason why gets to the crux of this debate:
Acknowledging that we are a nation under God means that we possess unalienable rights derived not from some benevolent government but from an Almighty Creator. If such rights came from a ruling council, that same council could easily take them away. On the other hand, if those rights derive from God, then no government has the right to remove them. That is what has made America different from every totalitarian tyranny from Moscow to Berlin to Havana. One can draw a straight line from Founders like Thomas Jefferson directly to recent presidents like Ronald Reagan.
Interestingly, earlier in his column Kengor points out:
In her book It Takes A Village, Hillary Rodham Clinton insisted that "nothing in the First Amendment converts our public schools into religion-free zones, or requires all religious expression to be left behind at the schoolhouse door." Those words are actually her husband's, as are these, which she also quoted approvingly: "[R]eligion is too important in our history and our heritage for us to keep it out of our schools."
Senator Clinton's statement must surely infuriate many liberals. The New York Times must be bewildered by such an unsophisticated, red-stated statement.
Hat tip to Townhall.com.