We Weren’t One Nation, Under God, Until 1954.

It’s nice to know that I still had over 30 daily hits on “What The Fluffy” without writing anything for several days.  Which then makes me wonder if I’ve created a self-sustaining blog and it would continue on without me writing any more.  But that was the reason I started the blog in the first place, to write something every day.  How easy it is to get out of the habit in just a few days of inactivity with the keyboard.  I still say there is no such thing as “writer’s block” by the way.  Just start writing, nothing is blocking you.

Pledge of Allegiance 1899

I figure I need to write something patriotic since it’s the day after the Fourth of July.  Did you know that we weren’t one nation, under God, until 1954?  That’s right, the Pledge of Allegiance didn’t contain the words “under God” following, “one nation” until President Eisenhower signed it into law on June 14, 1954.  So what were we?  “One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  That’s it.  No God as a the defining deity.

The pledge of allegiance was written by a Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy, in 1892.  That a “god” is not mentioned in the writing is even more interesting given Francis’ occupation.   He was a Socialist and was forced to leave the pulpit in Boston because of his socialist-leaning sermons.  As chairman of a state committee of education superintendents in the National Education Association, he was tasked with preparing a flag raising program for the public schools to celebrate the quadricentennial celebration of Columbus Day.  (Doing the math, quadricentennial must mean the 400th anniversary.)

His program included his short “Pledge of Allegiance”.  He also left out “equality” in his pledge because it opened up the pandora’s box of blacks and women not having “it” in 1892.

The founders of our country left out God references in the constitution because they believed in the separation of church and state, and they did everything to protect it.  The only mention of religion in the constitution is to allow that belief in God…or not, isn’t a condition to hold public office.  But during the “Red Scare” in Washington in the 1950s, politicians were outdoing themselves trying to prove that they were God-fearing, pious capitalists with no ties to Communist beliefs or organizations that were truly Godless.  Congress passed the bill adding the two little words to our official Pledge of Allegiance, and Ike signed it.  The next year we added “In God We Trust” to all paper money.  So, something we all figure went back a long way in our history, goes back about 57 years in the history of a country that is 236 years old.  The pledge itself has only been the national pledge since 1942.  And check out the picture below.

Students pledging allegiance to the American flag with the Bellamy salute.

Look a little familiar?  This would be the reason the flag code was changed in 1942 by Franklin Roosevelt, to place your hand over your heart.

 

Pledge of Allegiance 1942

So after all the hassle we gave Michael Newdow, an atheist that had a bit of a problem with his daughter having to claim she lived in a nation under God, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2002, ruled the phrase unconstitutional when promoted in public schools.  So there you have it.  No more starting the school day, as most of us did, with our hand over our hearts, facing the flag, and pledging our allegiance, a word most of us didn’t know the meaning of, to a nation under God, that gave all of us [sic] invisible rights to liberty and justice.

 My lawn looks like a cornfield, “knee-high by the Fourth of July,” so I better make some time to mow it.  Half a strip at a time to keep the mower from choking and stalling every few minutes.  Really looking forward to it.  Expected to be 99 for the high today.

 

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1 Comment

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One response to “We Weren’t One Nation, Under God, Until 1954.

  1. Enjoyed what you’ve told about here…….interesting fodder for the debate that rages on. As does, for some, the heat. Keep cool.

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