Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, June 28, 2002

I don't really consider myself that political, but...

I do seem to be in politics mode lately. Here is a copy of a letter to the editor I sent to the Lexington Herald-Leader today:

Shouldn't the focus be one nation, indivisible?
I am the child of a Vietnam veteran and the grandchild of a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima and an Army nurse who lost a kidney in war. My family came to Kentucky to settle land granted for Revolutionary War service. I am acutely aware of the value of the free society in which we live and of honoring those whose blood preserved it. I am usually one of a few who reverences every flag that travels the July 4th parade. Yet I do not believe we should be "one nation, under God".

I am deeply religious, but I believe that the separation of church and state guaranteed in the Constitution was violated in 1954 when Congress, at the urging of a Christian organization, inserted "under God" into our pledge of allegiance. Need I remind anyone that this was also a time when those perceived as different were called “un-American”?

I am a loyal citizen, but my religion recognizes many Gods and Goddesses. My allegiance is to my country—not to someone else’s God. How would Christians feel if they were made to pledge to "one nation, under Zeus", or to swear in court upon the Koran? Zeus is simply an ancient word meaning “God”, after all.

My fear is that in these troubled times when our nation must unite against those who hate, we will barter away our freedoms and diversity for security and someone else's definition of “American”—then the enemies of our nation would truly win.

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