If Not “Under God,” then What?

That’s the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here’s how it begins:

The recent scuffle over God’s temporary absence from the Democrat Party’s 2012 platform is a reminder of how the understanding of “God” in certain enclaves of American life has become diminished. His critics have ceased to comprehend the meaning of His absence – or even to understand the role His presence has played in our understanding of our natural rights.

It was in 1954 that the U. S. Congress inserted “under God” into “The Pledge of Allegiance.” Although uncontroversial at the time, the phrase has become a point of contention in recent years.

In the 2002 case of Newdow v. Elk Grove School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the public school recitation of the Pledge violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because “the text of the official Pledge, codified in federal law, impermissibly takes a position with respect to the purely religious question of the existence and identity of God.”

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