Dr. Paul J. Dean Christian Blog and Commentary

One Nation, “Under Your Belief System”

Multicultural madness has taken hold of many and no end seems to be in sight. This mindset affects culture in a dramatic way and the result is a fragmentation of society which does not bode well for any us. Subcultural factions based on race, ethnicity, and sexuality are the driving forces of division today. While unity amid diversity is a cherished possession and goal, the opposite, splintering because of diversity, is deadly.


Consider eighth-grade counselor Margo Lucero and her actions when she filled in for the absent principal of Evritt Middle School in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Part of her morning responsibilities included reading announcements and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance over the public address system. Controversy broke out when she came to the phrase "one nation under God," did not recite it, and replaced it with "one nation under your belief system." One would normally have to go to a "Patriots Anonymous" meeting to hear that kind of political correctness.


Students and parents alike were outraged. Lucero's actions were unacceptable according to Rick Kaufman, spokesman for Jefferson County Public Schools. "We have a responsibility to uphold state policy...the Pledge of Allegiance is the accepted pledge in the United States at this point in time. And that is what we expect our staff who are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to do -- to recite it exactly as it is written and accepted." Kaufman is essentially pointing out the fact that a government official has cast aside a government position in regard to the Pledge.


The actions of Lucero may have been politically correct, but they were also democratically incorrect. Kaufman's point is well made in that the Pledge has an accepted form until and unless changed by democratic process. Of course, members of the liberal left fail to get their way all too often through the process and in their minds are forced to result to unlawful and unethical means. The politically correct counselor in Wheat Ridge can hardly be faulted for following her leaders. Her actions are but a microcosm of larger political actions including that of the current unconstitutional and unethical judicial filibuster designed to circumvent the democratic process.


In a free and democratic society, people typically go through the process to effect desired change. If one is faced with a problem of conscience, he generally resorts to non-participation. Lucero could have delegated her responsibility to recite the Pledge to someone else if she could not in good conscience utter the words "one nation under God." Instead, the entire system upon which a free and democratic society stands was turned on its head. The theology of self has come to fruition, and in a dramatic way.


Can real allegiance be pledged to a flag or the nation that flag represents if one is willing to single-handedly topple the principles upon which the nation is founded? Allegiance is an elusive dynamic. In this case, allegiance to the flag and nation were set aside for an allegiance to self and an arrogant stunt designed to make a statement: a statement of rebellion. Multiculturalism will not unite; it will only divide.


Religious freedom is a cherished dynamic in this country as well. Of course, religious freedom has to do with freedom of religion and not freedom from religion. While "congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion,” at the same time, neither shall congress "prohibit the free exercise thereof." A nation founded upon and grounded in freedom of religion is a very different nation from that nation grounded in freedom from religion. Aside from the fact that persons have no constitutional right to not hear religious references in the public square, on the contrary, individuals have a right to express religion and religious sentiment in the public square. Not only is that right guaranteed by the freedom of religion portion of the First Amendment, it is also guaranteed by the freedom of speech portion of that same Amendment.


Thoughtful freedom minded individuals with a fulfillment mindset in regard to the covenant promises of Scripture, will no doubt wonder why having the words "under God" in the Pledge really matter. The debate over retaining "in God we trust" on the nation's notes and coins is irrelevant to some with this mindset. The problem lies in the removal of religious speech and sentiment from the public square. When persons of faith fall prey to discrimination, when God is erased from historical monuments, when commitment to a higher standard is cast aside, the hope of the nation is cast aside. A multiculturally pluralistic and strictly secular society has no moral compass to guide her. She will find herself adrift on the ocean of immorality and inequity; she will find herself stranded on the oasis of intolerance and injustice; she will find herself sinking in a quagmire of indecision and indirection with lightening speed.


Those with strict libertarian leanings who fail to look at liberty through the lens of Scripture will wonder how "one nation under God" can indeed be a free nation. Those who do not believe in God have the freedom to remain silent during all or part of the Pledge. No one is forcing consciences to be bound. This stance is hard for neither the Christian nor the secularist. Our Lord Jesus Himself said, "Show Me the tax money.' So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, 'Whose image and inscription is this?' They said to Him, 'Caesar's.' And He said to them, 'Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.'" Whether Caesar's inscription or God's is on the coin, the Christian and the secularist can live in freedom. The Christian therefore should strive to maintain God's inscription if possible.


More importantly, a nation desiring to cast off God in the public square, and indeed in the every day ebb and flow of the lives of its citizens, is a nation desiring to cast off the only hope she ever has of retaining a free and democratic society where people can co-exist together in harmony as opposed to hatred. While we decry the tip of the hat to the benign deity in the non-sectarian prayers of the politically correct, said prayers drifting up to nothingness, we must allow the true and living God to be acknowledged in the public square, even as we affirm the freedom of others to acknowledge their no-gods in that same square. And, while America could never be acknowledged as a Christian nation in the biblical sense of the term, America owes her existence to God and is due to acknowledge, yea call upon Him in all her dealings. That is not to force Christianity upon anyone. Rather, it is to allow individuals to acknowledge their Creator and King. To fail to do so is to sign a national death warrant that will no doubt be executed in the process of God's due time.


No real unity can exist in a nation if persons are not willing to respect God-granted rights, the rule of law, and the democratic process. The theology of self exudes arrogance and says to others, "I couldn't care less about you." Sadly, the political pundits and decision-makers in this republic have decided to take matters into their own hands. If they get their way, "one nation under God" will not only be removed from the Pledge, but one nation under God will be a thing of the past.



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