Let’s talk a bit about how religion was handled at the time of our founding as it has been referenced many times on another site. Soemwhere I read the remark ‘they weren’t Deists they were Unitarians.”
Umm…guys…let’s get this straight. “The Founders” (TM) weren’t anything. John Adams was a Unitarian. Thomas Jefferson was more or less a Deist (although he’s really a bit tricky to pin down), as were Ben Franklin and several others. Madison and Washington were Episcopalian (that is to say Anglican), Hamilton was Presbyterian, there were lots of Congregationalists, and a few Catholics, Lutherans and others thrown in for good measure.
That statement is incredibly Anti-Semitic as well. It’s basically stating that no other religions have any protection under the First Amendment.
Islam, Judaism, and many other religions were in existence when the Constitution was written. If the Founding Fathers had intended that it only protect Christianity, they would have written it to reflect that. Furthermore, what modern conservatives say the Founding Fathers believed about religion could not be farther from the truth.
I mean “Under God” wasn’t added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954. It was to counter Communism, a notoriously anti-religion political theory. But prior to 1954, we WEREN’T one nation under God. That sentence is in actually, quite recent.
By Eisenhower. The same President that got us the Prayer Breakfast and “In God We Trust” vice “E Pluribus, Unum” as the national motto. As a result, I might add, of a campaign by the Knights of Columbus and the anti-communist sermons of Reverend George M. Docherty, the pastor of the Presbyterian church in Washington that Eisenhower attended.
Interestingly enough, the original pledge not only doesn’t mention God but it doesn’t mention the United States either!
The pledge was written in 1892 by the socialist Francis Bellamy, a cousin of the famous radical writer Edward Bellamy. He devised it for the popular magazine Youth’s Companion on the occasion of the nation’s first celebration of Columbus Day.
“I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The key words for Bellamy were “indivisible,” which recalled the Civil War and the triumph of federal union over states’ rights, and “liberty and justice for all,” which was supposed to strike a balance between equality and individual freedom.