Friday, June 19, 2015

One Nation Under God?

We will be hearing many opinions regarding Pope Francis's recent Encyclical, "Praise Be To You: On Care for Our Common Home".

Underlying remarks addressing this Encyclical is also our nation's principal of the separation of church and state. Yet I remember when our Pledge of Allegiance was change to include 'one nation under God'. Prior to 1954 the pledge was this: ""I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." In 1954 the 'under God' was added by Congress and signed by President Eisenhower.

Even prior to that Thomas Jefferson included in the Declaration of Independence this well known statement: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Some of our laws and current cases before the Supreme Court have a religious bases. Abortion and same sex marriage come to mind. So the bottom line is that the First Amendment, in my opinion,  just states that the government must stay out of legislating a state religion not that persons holding elected and appointed offices cannot express their religious beliefs. 

Back to the Pope. Can he address the nations of the world or does the Creator's blessing of unalienable rights just cover United States citizens? 
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