Last night at the Wisconsin Academic Decathlon Banquet we were invited to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. When we arrived at “One Nation Under God” the speaker said instead, “One Nation Under Chuck”. My wife Heather asked one of our table mates, “Didn’t that seem inappropriate?” The answer was, “Well, ‘God’ was only added to the Pledge in 1959.”
I think the underlying message of the speaker was, “You can put whatever symbol you want in charge. It’s just an exercise of power.”
My initial thought was, “I’m offended”. Then I thought, “Well… not everyone in our country believes in God, and I certainly can’t force them to, nor would I want to.” Then I thought, “Could we take ‘under God’ out of the cultural contract, and still maintain liberty and justice for all?” If there isn’t a higher law to which we’re all accountable, then indeed is not any appeal to authority just an exercise of power?
Interested in others’ thoughts if you would like to comment.