Thursday, March 18, 2010

victory for the god of civil religion over the Triune God and atheists

From the AP's Terence Chea (hat tip: C-J)...

An appellate court has upheld references to God on U.S. currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance, rejecting arguments they violate the constitutional separation of church and state....

The same appeals court caused a national uproar and prompted accusations of judicial activism when it decided in Sacramento athiest Michael Newdow's favor in 2002, ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance violated the First Amendment prohibition against government endorsement of religion....

Bea noted that schools do not require students to recite the pledge, which was amended to include the words "under God" by a 1954 federal law. Members of Congress at the time said they wanted to set the United States apart from "godless communists."

Not nearly enough people understand the origins of the phrase-- in the pledge and on our money. In any case, check out these two quotes:

In a separate 3-0 ruling, the appeals court upheld the inscription of the national motto "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins and currency, citing an earlier 9th Circuit panel that ruled the phrase is ceremonial and patriotic and "has nothing whatsover to do with the establishment of religion."

Nope, nothing to do with the establishment of a traditional religion. We're talking about the god of American civil religion. (Of course, some people say the pledge as if to the Triune God of the Bible, but that is relatively uncommon.)

Greg Katsas, who argued the currency case on behalf of the U.S. government when the appellate court heard the case in December 2007, said the panel made the right decision Thursday.

"I think these two phrases encapsulate the philosophy on which the nation was founded," said Katsas, who now works in private practice. "There is a religious aspect to saying "One nation under God," but it isn't like a prayer. When someone says the pledge, they're not praying to God, they're pledging allegiance to the country, the flag and th ideals of the country."

Again, the same thing. It's not a prayer. It's not about the Triune God of the Bible. It's about country-- and the god of civil religion which dovetails with those ideals.


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