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Sat, Feb. 22

Two words reveal torrent of hate, realization

Some times I wonder what is happening to our country.

This past week's Court of Appeals ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional simply amazed me. And, while I thought of not weighing in on this one – because it is so emotionally charged – a man on the street changed my mind when he called a woman he overheard talking about the subject a "religious zealot."

It wasn't necessarily the words that came out of his mouth, it was his tone. He was very be-littling and condescending.

Thus begins my argument. First, I love talking about God with "zeal." But one has to wonder – because this man admitted he was Catholic – why people don't see what this is doing to us.

Would God want a Christian to respond with hate and such a condescending tone regarding the pledge? "Love thy neighbor as you would love yourself."

Second, this is all about a pledge that President Eisenhower had Congress alter, adding "under God" in 1954, because of "godless communists."

Don't get me wrong, I love God and my religion, but it was in hate that they added the words that mean so much to so many people today. It has truly taken on a different meaning.

My third point centers on the "separation of church and state," something that the U.S. Supreme Court muddied a bit this past week when it brought the two closer together (rather than apart) with a ruling that education vouchers are constitutional for use at private, religious schools.

That's another column, but consider that our Founding Fathers wanted us to have separation between the church and the state, not God and the state. They're very different things.

Also, people say that this country is not about God or religion. "The Constitution does not mention either one," a friend told me.

He is right. The First Amendment is in the Bill of Rights.

But I'm not going to argue whether "Congress shall make no law..." I want you to consider the Declaration of Independence.

You know, it's the document that we celebrate the signing of two days from now.

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

"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."

Sounds to me like we should tout that document more often. Two mentions of God or a Creator in the first two sentences.

Think about it.


PARTING SHOT – It seems that the few are making rules about what the many must or must not do. Ever heard of discrimination? Well, what's happening now sounds like reverse-discrimination. Ahh, America!

Contact Tim Wiederaenders at

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