Should a Military Atheist Say the Pledge of Allegiance on Veteran’s Day?

I received an email from an “atheist in a foxhole” recently. He’s a teacher in a very religious, conservative part of Texas. (Yes, I know. Who knew there were any other parts of Texas?)

He has a dilemma, though, and he’d like some input:

Our school, as part of a Veteran’s Day celebration, has asked its veterans to lead a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. While I have no problem saying the pledge in general, I do have a problem with one particular phrase. You know the one.

On normal days I simply omit the offending duo of words. This day however will not be normal and my dilemma is this: Do I simply say the Pledge and not rock the boat? Do I say the Pledge and omit “under god” and announce to the community my scorn for their superstition? Do I simply refuse to participate altogether?

One piece of information that may change your answer is that the writer will be reciting the pledge (or not) with seven other veterans. So it’s possible that if he simply omitted “Under God,” he would go unnoticed.

But it’s still an interesting question and I wonder what people would say if he were the only veteran in the school.

  • VorlonGuyverOss

    Stick with the original wording that was intended before the hijacking of it.

    “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    Link: (delelet the “_” in the www part

    http://w_w_w.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

  • dersk

    very religious, conservative part of Texas = not Austin, I suppose.

    I’d say don’t say it, don’t even mouth the words. If any students ask, just say I don’t believe in God, so I leave that part out. I don’t think you need to call it scorn, just present it as it is if someone asks.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com pinkydead

    When I got married (Catholic tradition to a Protestant tradition), at the end of the recitation of “The Lord’s Prayer”, one half of the church went completely silent while the other half continued on their merry way.

    It was bizarre – but I suppose that is what you have to do. Leave a pause for those that do, just out of respect for diversity.

    I certainly don’t think he should compromise himself, especially where he, as a veteran, has the right to claim that he made a sacrifice for that freedom.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Heinlein_Fan Heinlein_Fan

    Agree with dersk and Vorlon. Just omit the under god and be done with it. Simple.

  • http://twitter.com/chrisbloom7 Chris Bloom

    Leave it out. Chances are no one will notice (unless he’s speaking into a microphone)

  • VorlonGuyverOss

    I need coffee this morning…

    Link:

    http://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

  • Tom Woolf

    I agree with the previous posters – leave it out. Even the gentleman was leading alone, leave it out. Keep the timing so that those who include “under god” don’t get lost.

    I can think of few insults greater than treating somebody’s religious beliefs with such lack of respect that one would recite their holy words when those words are not believed. I am an atheist, and I don’t participate in any prayers or other rituals. I do keep a respectful silence if the prayer or ritual is being done at an appropriate time.

  • McBloggenstein

    I’m thinking a good clearing of the throat-slash-coughing while saying “Underdog”.

  • Miko

    In occasions like this, I routinely omit the entirety of the pledge. (I support the phrase “liberty and justice for all,” but trying to fit only that in is awkward, not to mention a lie in this country.) I’ve never had anyone comment on it.

    So, do what you like and rest easy that no one else will really care.

  • http://bornagainblog.wordpress.com justin

    I’d add one thing to what others have said. If you find you have to explain yourself for leaving out The Phrase, smile when you say whatever you say. Being good natured makes a big difference.

  • http://www.lp.org bigfatdave

    Drop the offensive phrase, if you wish, take a breath to be polite to those who haven’t thought it through or actually believe.
    Anyone who challenges you can be politely told to pound sand, YOU are the one who served, YOU are the one who was asked to be part of the spectacle.

    Best case-there is a moment of silence in the pledge as everyone skips the silliness
    Worst case-you get confronted by an angry parent or something
    likely-nobody notices

  • flatlander100

    Leave it out, and follow Justin’s “good natured” advice above. Part of your problem with what to do, I think, springs from your belief that leaving “under god” out will convey to the audience your “scorn” for their beliefs. Nonsense. Won’t unless you make a point of telling them you have nothing but scorn for their beliefs. Simply leaving “under god” out conveys, by itself, nothing more than that you do not wish to include the words. I can think of several reasons someone might do that, from trying to indicate contempt for believers at one extreme, to opposing the inclusion of religious oaths — any religious oaths — in the pledge at the other, a position I know several devout believers to take.

    Don’t make a federal case of it, and probably no one else will either. Just quietly omit the words.

  • http://notapottedplant.blogspot.com/ Transplanted Lawyer

    If you omit The Phrase but pause for just a second to allow others who wish to say it to do so, all the people reciting the pledge out loud will be too busy listening to their own voices reciting it (and mostly not thinking about what they are saying) to even notice that you neglected to say two words.

    I can justify allowing others to recite the Pledge with The Phrase because at the moment, inclusion of The Phrase is permitted by Federal law. It’s one thing to allow others to do what they want to do anyway; it’s something else to be pressured into doing it also against your own principles.

    And Justin is right – a sincere smile can go a long way, if your interlocutor is questioning you in good faith.

  • Billy

    From one military atheist to another, I can say this one is a no brainer – just say it and leave that phrase out. It’s not only easy, but if anyone does happen to notice it gives you a chance to educate them on the history of the pledge.

    It even packs more of a punch if you have relatives that have previously served. You can say, “I was reciting the same pledge my grandfather did when he fought in WWII.”

    But also take the opportunity to tell them you are a non-believer. I think the military is coming around on this issue. When in Afghanistan, I was open about it and got some great responses. Even met a lot of great non-believers at different bases.

  • Jesse Galef

    Are you sure he shouldn’t just yell “UNDER NO ONE” with a scowl on his face (remember this little girl?)

    Other commenters seem right to me – politely remaining silent during the “offending duo of words” looks to be the best plan.

    I love the original pledge and enjoy saying it – shame they messed it up…

  • Calladus

    I say it a bit differently:

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty, equality and justice for all.

    Bellamy wanted the word “equality” in the pledge, but it was too controversial in 1892.

  • TXatheist

    dersk, with respect I say Austin is not liberal but moderate because the rest of Texas is so far right. I wish the teacher would have said what part of Texas or the city. I have been invited to my son’s school as a vet and will go for the Veteran’s breakfast. I don’t know if they will have a Pledge and now that I’m annoyed and my wife won’t be there I’m strongly considering remaining seated if they do the religious Pledge. Hemant, will you give this teacher my email address so I can discuss? If he/she doesn’t email me that’s fine but I at least want to offer an ear/suggestion. md457@hotmail.com And thanks to all that donated…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ONREzwjJzY…we were able to talk with a board member of some homeless veteran’s groups after the handout and the insight was surprising to me of how I can help more vets. One way is to join my VFW which for no good reason I’ve been avoiding.

  • Sandra

    @ McBloggenstein

    My son used to say ‘underdog‘ when they would say the Pledge (at school). – lol

  • Brit

    I’m glad that this question was posed. I recently became a substitute teacher at my old high school, and I know how conservative and religious the people in the school are.

    But when I was in high school, we didn’t say the pledge, but now they do and since none of the students will actually say the pledge when it comes time to do it, it’s just the teacher/aides.

    And I quickly realized that if I didn’t say that line, people might notice it and since I’m trying to edge my way into a school district to become an actual teacher, I didn’t want to cause anything, so I went ahead and said the phrase.

    But after reading through the comments, there’s a lot of good ways to make it not a big deal if someone does bring it up.

  • Lindsie

    When I say the pledge, I simply take a breath between the words “one nation” and “indivisible”. Discreet, unoffensive. A simple solution when there is no opportunity to discuss the whole “under god” bit…

  • J. Allen

    If they expect you to say under God then you should decline to attend, unless you are ordered to say it.

  • http://logofveritas.blogspot.com Veritas

    Whoever this man is, thank you very much for the service you rendered your country. In the end, you served so that you and others might continue to enjoy the protection of the Constitution; as such, feel free to omit the offending phrase as you wish. If anyone says anything to you, just respond with, “I am a veteran, and I fought for the right to speak and believe as I wish.”

  • TXatheist

    J. Allen, he’s a teacher and they do expect them to say it. My son just brought home a school project where they work on practicing it. Yes, the under god was a long discussion between me and my wife.

  • The Other Tom

    I’m actually concerned that in some ways our nation is starting to practice veteran-worship. With both parties desperate to project a more sincere air of “we support our troops”, it seems like the military is being enshrined as a secondary national god, and that bothers me immensely.

  • Staceyjw

    Recite the ORIGINAL, and claim super patriotism when you do it. After all, what patriot wouldn’t want the original version? You don’t even have to allude to your atheistic reasons for keeping THE PHRASE out- as a veteran you can do whatever you please on YOUR DAY. (Thanks for your service, if you are reading this)
    Staceyjw

  • http://dannyman.toldme.com/ Daniel Howard

    It sounds as if he’d rather not ruffle feathers, so reciting all but the two offensive words is probably the way to go, and if it is a group recitation the Monotheists are unlikely to notice.

    Perhaps he might solemnly bow his head for his second of silence.

  • Gevin Shaw

    The words to the Pledge of Allegiance are law. They should be changed, but until they are, reciting words of our choosing is breaking the law. (However seldom the no penalty for failure to comply is enforced.)

    So the question is whether this is the time and the place for an act of civil disobedience. Does the imposition of someone else’s religious beliefs on you outweigh the honoring of veterans or is this celebration an inappropriate venue for taking a stand on the issue?

    The veteran will have to decide if a Veteran’s Day celebration is such a time and place. If not, recite the only pledge we have and continue at other times to advocate for freedom of thought, adding this incident to the evidence of the violation of the First Amendment this represents. If it is such a time, hiding behind cadence and childish mispronunciation diminishes the seriousness of the stand you are taking. Luckily for the morals involved, being polite to other people is also a moral good, so stopping to allow others to recite the objectionable words while you stand mute is an entirely appropriate act of civil disobedience.

    Then again, back to the law. Title 4, Chapter 1, § 4 of the United States Code, in full, my emphasis:

    The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.

  • Amy

    He has fought for our country, including the freedom of and FROM religion, and by all means he should omit it. Chances are no one will notice anyway.

    Speaking as an army wife, if I saw an activy duty officer or veteran omit the “under god” portion I would be extremely proud of them for standing up for what they don’t believe in. :)

  • TXatheist

    Other Tom, in what ways? I’m glad my fellow Americans appreciate me for my service but without our military who protects our freedoms? Thanks.

  • flatlander100

    Txatheist:

    OtherTom overstates the matter a bit, but not entirely. “I Support Our Troops” is part of the kind of bumper-sticker patriotism that’s become far too prevalent. It’s virtually meaningless beyond expressing a general hope that soldiers don’t get hurt or killed and that their families will be OK. [There are of course people who act to support the troops and their families during war, who don't merely put up a yard sign or a yellow ribbon on a tree and think themselves patriots. The former are not the ones I'm talking about. Just to be clear.]

    Part of what I think OT is talking about is the widespread assertion that “all who serve are heroes.” And that active-service people’s or vets’ views on political matters, foreign policy, etc. ought to be accorded special weight and respect because of their service. Sometimes that’s so, sometimes not. Depends on the issue, the experience, and the service man involved. But the assumption of many seems to be it is and should always be so.

    And in the end you raise an even larger question when you write “but without our military who protects our freedoms?” Far too many Americans today simply assume that whenever American soldiers go to war, they are necessarily “defending our freedoms.” That’s simply not the case. Sometimes they are — WWII for example. Sometimes not — suppressing the Philippine independence movement following the Spanish American War had nothing whatever to do with “defending our freedoms.” Nor did the second invasion of Iraq. And so on.

    So, while I think TA overstated the matter, there’s some meat to the questions he raised.

  • The Veteran in Question

    Thank you all for the input. I am leaning towards leaving out the “under god” part, but I reserve the right to chicken out.

    And, TXAtheist, I’m near Lubbock. I’ll e-mail you from my home account this evening.

    Thanks again.

  • bigjohn756

    I simply recite the pledge as I learned it as a youngster. The ‘phrase’ was not added until I was a sophomore in high school.

  • TXatheist

    flat, I agree, depends on the issue.

  • Spurs Fan

    I like Veritas’ idea-if anyone complains ask them if they are a veteran. They probably won’t be and then you can tell them to fuck off (okay, you wouldn’t want to do that, but you get the point).

    Good debate on the “Veteran worship”. I will say that even in wars where our freedom is not at stake, it’s not the soldiers who make the decision to go to war and it shoudln’t be. So, while I agree that many of the “Support our Troops” stickers I have seen simply mean “Support the invasion and occupation of Iraq”, I still think veterans are quite heroic and should be heralded.

    Lastly, as a Texan, I have to say that we are on the right track to becoming more “blue” politically. Austin is definitely liberal, but so is San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and the entire Valley. Some of these areas are religious, but becoming more open-minded. Some of the rural areas are getting better too.

  • ThomasAnderson

    My wife is a public school teacher and is required to join in the pledge recitation every day. She omits “under god” every time and no one ever notices. Maybe because everyone else is busy making sure jeebus likes their recitation the best?

    I (not a teacher) refuse to recite the pledge outright. I like to think of myself as a citizen of all nations.

  • flatlander100

    Spurs Fan:

    You wrote: “I will say that even in wars where our freedom is not at stake, it’s not the soldiers who make the decision to go to war and it shoudln’t be.”

    Absolutely. War to defend American freedom or not, they go on the orders of the President, who is given the power to order them to go by right of election. In short, We, The People send them, and so I think it is scandalous that the families of soldiers called to Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else can lose their homes [some have] because of the drop in pay the service men take when called up. It’s scandalous that the families of those serving in combat areas do not have, while they serve, full medical care. And support for those who return damaged in any way by their service should be prompt, generous and unstinting, regardless of the war they were sent to fight, or what the general public may have come to think of that war. It shouldn’t matter in the least. We sent ‘em. We’re responsible. The alternative — having the military decide which wars it is willing to fight, and which it is not — would be dangerous, as the Founders knew.

    We’re not disagreeing about much, SF, with the exception of the “they’re all heroes” matter. Some are. Even many. Absolutely not all.

  • Heidi

    So, while I agree that many of the “Support our Troops” stickers I have seen simply mean “Support the invasion and occupation of Iraq”, I still think veterans are quite heroic and should be heralded.

    I do agree that they are all heroes at some level unless they do something to prove otherwise. They’re there, which is certainly more than I would do.

    I’ve never thought of “support our troops” as “support the war.” Maybe because I live in Liberal-land (Massachusetts)? I wholeheartedly support the men and women who have left their homes and families, and are trying to do good in a horrible situation. But it disgusts me that Bush sent them off to fight Gog and Magog in the first place. Whatever that is.

  • DGKnipfer

    We do not say the Pledge in the military. We swear an oath to the Constitution. Saying the Pledge is a serious step down for military members.

  • stephanie

    Like most of the people here, I say, say the Pledge and simply omit the offending words.

    That’s what I do every time, no issue made no backing down. I still believe in my country, after all.

  • David

    I always say “one nation, over god,” for a couple reasons.

    1) Let a guy hope, ok?

    2) It’s similar enough sounding that generally nobody will notice.

    3) If you’re in front of a crowd like the original veteran was, it will be less visually noticable than being silent because your lips will be flapping pretty much just like everybody else’s.

  • Lymis

    Trust me, as a gay veteran and a Democrat, not all veterans are worshipped or accorded special consideration or deference.

    Some of us just confuse people. Or enrage them, though that’s rarer.

  • Mike

    Why pledge allegiance to a flag? It’s only a piece of cloth.

  • bigjohn756

    @David
    Oh, yes, or, how about this; ‘one nation without God’? I think that I will begin saying that. Your other two points will still hold.

  • AxeGrrl

    pinkydead wrote:

    I certainly don’t think he should compromise himself, especially where he, as a veteran, has the right to claim that he made a sacrifice for that freedom.

    nailed it.

  • AxeGrrl

    TXatheist wrote:

    My son just brought home a school project where they work on practicing it. Yes, the under god was a long discussion between me and my wife.

    it was a long discussion…..and?

    please don’t leave us hanging like that :)

  • TXatheist

    Axe, sorry, wasn’t meant to leave you hanging. I caved. As a married person I pick and choose my battles. My 5 year old is just starting to ask about god so we haven’t told him I’m atheist and don’t plan on “forcing atheism” on him. We attend UU and they use the word god so we use it but have made no connection to the biblical god concept yet. Last week Hemant asked if 4-10 years old could answer the question about evolution and my 5 year old just looked at me and shrugged. I assure you we ain’t avoiding that discussion, evolution.

  • TXatheist

    Please tell me Gevin Shaw is kidding. The law?

  • http://bgeiger.net/blog/ Benjamin Geiger

    TXatheist:

    The Flag Code (which includes the Pledge) is technically Federal law; it’s in US Code Title 4 Chapter 1. However, there are no penalties for noncompliance; nobody can legally punish you for doing the wrong thing (though, depending on where you are, who you’re near, and what you do, you may end up punished anyway; trampling on a flag in an American Legion hall is a recipe for an asskicking).

  • TXatheist

    Or I may end up punishing someone. I’ve sat many times during the pledge and no one has said jack. This is at AAA baseball games, NASCAR events and the like so it’s not at the yacht club. I stand corrected though, it’s a law but yes, the catch is that it’s not usually enforced. It’s funny but this weekend at our helping the homeless event we spoke with a rep about homeless vets and how I could help them including joining my local vfw. I need to do that so I can have the opportunity to explain why I refuse to stand for the religious pledge(without fear). I’m done worrying about fear of my views.

  • Nathan Suddarth

    I am not an atheist. My view on the subject is not the challenge to a view words but an understanding of the Pledge of Allegiance.

    The Pledge of Allegiance is exactly that. It is not a Pledge to everything that is done in America and under the name America or even what I agree about America,but a Pledge of Allegianc to the Flag of the United States of America and to the country for which it stands. The phrase One nation under God is the understanding and acknowledging that this nation was established as a Christian nation even if it no longer is following that path. It doesn’t mean that you agree with that philosophy when you take the pledge.
    One of the issues of life is how we take things. Somewhere in you there must be a question for it troubles you whether to say or not to say.
    As for me. I proudly say the Pledge and I do acknowledge that this great country was founded Under God.
    I Pray God Blesses America.

    • Max

      the United States is not a christian nation….
      1. there is no mention of God in the Constitution, our fundamental Law
      2. a “creator” is mentioned only in the Declaration, but there it also says “Governments are instituted among men.” this only reflect a generic “deist” belief
      3. in other congress approved texts a “christian” origin is denied:”As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” (treaty of tripoli 1797)4. the founding fathers were explicit about that:”The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” -James Madison”if it is true that the founders were, consciously or not,  influenced by christianity, does not follow that they created a christian nation, as they were influenced just as much by secular thinkers of the 1600 and 1700s.More precisely they were deists for the most part, a very different thing from a practicing christian.the US as a christian nation is an ideological invention especially promoted during the cold war as a way to cement our differences compared to the “godless” USSR. it is not a mistake of history that the “nation under God” portion of the pledge was not there originally but only introduced during the Eisenhower presidency….

  • TXatheist

    Christian Nation? Not one founding document supports that revisionist history but one that does support secularism is the Treaty of Tripoli where is says “the USA was not in any sense founded on the xian religion.” which was signed by the President.

  • Polly

    that this nation was established as a Christian nation

    In what way? Politically? Economically? Does just having a majority European population who were Christians constitute a Christian nation? What about the fact that the constitution of the US expressly FORBIDS what you are stating – establishing a national religion.

    Even though we specifically stated in the Treaty of Tripoli (and treaties are the highest law of the land – Article VI of the Constitution) that we are NOT a Xian nation?

    Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen….

    ratified UNANIMOUSLY by the senate. (1797)

    I keep hearing that the US was a Christian nation but I don’t know what that means. I want just one person who makes this claim to step up and explain what they mean.

  • Nathan Suddarth

    What constitutes a Christian nation is a nation whose values and belief stem from a desire to serve a living God and to abide by His word (the Bible). This is a picture of how our nation used to be. Please note that the first official act in the First Continental Congress was to open in Christian prayer. The final words of that prayer “the merits of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Savior. Amen. Even many of our laws come from biblical text. The evidence portrays a different picture than many are being taught. On our national monuments, In the writings from most of the founders of our nation, Lincolns second inaugural address on the wall of the Lincoln memorial. The entrance to the Supreme court which also starts each session in Christian prayer. Our Capitol building for the Representatives of our nation. You will find not only references to God but also acknowledgements of our dependance on Him and asking Him for guidance and blessing. True our fore fathers weren’t writing a sermon they were men building a country.
    We are not a nation built upon by a certain National population. Nor were they theologians.
    I happen to be of Irish and Jewish parents.

    Concerning the seperation of church and state. The First Amendment was not to keep religion out of government it was to keep government from establishing a religion like the Church of England. You may think if this were true why was it allowed to change. Remember in the world we live in it only takes one person to make a change if you have the people in place who believe the same. Why does it appear that all these arguments about religion in our nation are taking place now instead of being decided early on? Could it be they were accepted?
    You can look thru the history and see that even our history books have been rewritten.
    I am an ordinary person. I believe God directs the affair of men, women, and nations as well as He empowers the leaders.
    Please note on this website I am the minority. I would ask you to ask God (whether you believe He exist or not) to reveal Himself to you.

  • TXatheist

    Nathan, deists and unitarians are ok with god which is what the founding fathers were. Besides no murder/steal there is no laws pertinent to the bible and those two rules/laws were around in every civilized society. A voluntary prayer in congress or at my local government city council is still voluntary. The FF wrote just as many negative things about xianity. God show yourself to me or give me a sign? (This is at least the 100th request)

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Nathan says: I would ask you to ask God (whether you believe He exist or not) to reveal Himself to you.

    My thoughts on this are summed up in a comic I posted a week ago.

  • Polly

    @Nathan,

    Looking at those things you listed I would almost agree with you. Almost. But, having read some of the foudning fathers’ ideas about god and Christianity, I just can’t take it at face-value.

    Many of these things strike me as mere ornamentation, cultural adornment. Even choosing the Christian symbolism is being selective. I could just as easily conclude we were a nation of Masons by the symbols used.

    I don’t find the prayers and inscriptions and speeches nearly as compelling as the Constitution and the law and even some of the writings of the founding fathers themselves. And when I look for substantive signs of Christianity in our system – separate powers, term limits, democracy as opposed to a divinely ordained king or clerical ruler – I see no contribution from Christianity. It’s really all Greek and pre-Christian Roman.

    I would put it to you that we are no longer “on that path”, as you noted, perhaps because the nation wasn’t really set up that way to begin with. As time and modes change, the facade just continues to fall away.

  • Nathan Suddarth

    @Polly,

    I appreciate your sincerety. I sense a true searching within you for truth. I agree you shouldn’t take anything at face value.

    Many of the Christian symbols you see are symbols used by early Christians. The early church was persecuted. (We witness this in many different countries not so much here in the U.S. These symbols were many times used for protection so Christians could Identify each other. Unlike today it seems everyone wears a cross or has a fish on their car. The true meaning is being lost. Being used as ornaments. In other countries the wrong use of religous symbols could mean death.

    I would disagree that the Christian influence is not in our founding documents. In every fabric the thread is woven into creates the whole. If the words are the thread and the document is the fabric then we must look at where the thread came from and what it is. The writers and the lives they lived these made up the thread. Where they perfect? The answer is no. Did many of them have a faith in God? I believe history shows that most (not all) were.

    As for your final thought. A facade? I think not. I will answer your thought after a few questions.
    Has anyone every told That God loves you? That He desires a relationship with you? That Jesus died on the cross for you? If you ask Him to forgive you He will change your life. He will forgive the wrong you have done in life and give you the strength to forgive those who have wronged you. He will heal the pains of life. He will change your life and show you a truth you have never seen before. I know this to be true. I have seen the world from your side. We aren’t born Christians. I came to God in my need and my very thinking was changed. That John 3:16 sign you see at sporting events it has meaning. It is a bible verse that says: “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever beliveth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. I have seen where you are coming from, but I question if you can see where I am coming from, If you have never become a real Christian. Not by going to church, but by allowing God to change your life. A changed life is how you tell a real Christian from a church goer.
    Sitting in a garage can’t make you into a car. Sitting in a church can’t make you into a Christian.
    In answer to your facade statement. I believe the bible to be prophetic. That means it does tell certain future truths.
    The bible tells us the world will get worse and worse. The hearts of man will be turned hard. Love will turn cold. Men will start believing lies and go away from the truth. A facade maybe, What if its the truth. Then you lose all. I can’t make you believe in God. I only can hope you will someday seek Him with all your heart while He may be found. I also hope to meet you in Heaven. You will never forget our dialogue thru your life it will be brought back to your rememberance.

    Polly, I thank you for this meeting.
    I will pray to God on your behalf that He will help you to seek and find the truth and the truth will set you free.

    Nathan

  • Polly

    @Nathan,

    I wil leave off here, agreeing to disagree.
    I am VERY familiar with the Christian message but I appreciate your concern.

    N-Joy,
    Polly

  • teammarty

    Equality is too controversial in 2009.

  • Nathan Suddarth

    Equality of what is to controversial in 2009?

  • http://www.zazzle.com/blessed_is_the_nation_whose_god_is_the_lord_an_tshirt-235983096695758087 Philip

    Great perspective, thank you for your opinion.

  • guerrilla

    religion is just another way for people to be broken down into little groups. the bible is just another book with more wild stories from some drunk with a bangin ass headache.

  • Nathan

    guerilla,

    Religion is an implied belief system embraced by a group of people. It could be something that people are fanatical about. It can be secular or a belief that there is a God. Which does tend to create some pretty small factions in society depending entirely what they believe.

    I am curious, how many times have you read the bible? How many of the stories can you name? You must be a learned individual to make such broad statements concerning the Bible. Here is one piece of knowledge you may have been misinformed about. The Bible is not just another book. It is multiple books penned by multiple authors many of which gave their lives for it through history. With the common subject, God and His love for His creation.

    If you are refering to Christian little groups, what little groups are you refering to? Some of the churchs have tens of thousands of people attending the services.

    Wild stories from some drunk. I don’t think so. Some of the storie have been used to change wild drunks into a new person. I have never heard a drunk with a bad headache tell such wonderful stories.

  • http://scottpigeon.com Scott

    Atheist veteran here. I always skip over that part. If I’m feeling rebellious, I’ll drop my right hand then too. If I ever had a chance to say it solo, leading a crowd with a mic, I would say the godless version and watch them stumble like they always make me do. But generally, I’m against the socialist pledge period, and would rather not say it at all.


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