Many Christians living in America feel that secularism is undermining the country's Christian roots, or is it?
America has been understood by many of its natives to be a country under God. More specifically, a Christian nation. Due to this, recent clashes between secularists and those with religious agendas have become apparent. The future concerning this struggle only appears to worsen.
Recently, a family from Massachusetts obtained a lawyer with the intention to sue over their three children being forced to utter 'Under God' in a flag salute. Their argument was that the pledge of allegiance discriminates against atheists by assuming they are unpatriotic if they don't use the God phrase.
A judge however, in the previous year found that the pledge did not discriminate against atheists. It was said that the pledge itself, as well as using the God phrase were optional to the participant. The battle between Christian and secular nation however neither began nor will end there.
According to a Huff Post article, atheists also sued over the use of 'In God We Trust' on currency. Their lawsuit claimed that the plaintiffs were being forced to promote a belief they didn't believe in. The same lawyer attempted to make a similar case in the past and was rejected by the supreme court.
Those who are pro-Christian/government have made outcries of their own. According to CNN, in 2003, a monument in Alabama that had the ten commandments written on it was removed out of a state judiciary building. A judge found that the monument violated the separation of church and state.
The article stated that 77% of the 1,009 people interviewed concerning the monument's removal were displeased. One person interviewed was also quoted as saying,
...all the little quotes around the bottom -- the things that have the word God in them by various historical figures -- weren't there for the purpose of making it historical but to show that the Ten Commandments sitting on top of the monument was recognized as the supreme law of the land."
In 2011, NBC apologized for omitting 'Under God' in a pledge of allegiance during a U.S. golf opening according to Fox. It was said that angry viewers took to Twitter, a social network to discuss their outrage. An NBC commentator was quoted as saying,
Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone and we'd like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it."
The nation's idea that America was based on Christian beliefs seem to come from the country's majority religion. Most people in America both past and present identify themselves as being Christian. Although an increase of secularism and atheism has been noted, Americans still even if culturally wave the Christian flag.
It becomes apparent to many then, that if most people claim to be Christian in America, then that must be the way the founding fathers framed the constitution as well. Such an argument which has been made repeatedly however fails a basic history exam. Although many of the founding fathers were of a Christian belief (with the exception of a few Deists), this belief was personal and never meant to be law of the land.
The first amendment is ever so clear when it reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The word God on the currency and else where in the constitution referred to any god. It never specifically said the God of the Bible. Likewise, one also had the right to reject a belief in God.
In regards to the flag salute, most Americans recognize the 1950s version as opposed to its 19th century original. The words "Under God' were nonexistent in the original which was written by a Baptist minister that read, "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The Bible draws a picture for its readers on how to approach this situation as well. When Jesus was approached on whether or not the Jews should pay taxes to the Romans, He asked for a coin to be presented. Then, seeing the face of Caesar on it He said, "Render on to Caesar what is Caesar's, but render on to God what is God's."
What the Christian must learn about America is that no government has to be moved by faith and likewise, no faith has to be moved by government. Instead of the bickering and lawsuits, both secular and religious parties should consider other governments where little to no choices are given.