Gallery I
In God We Trust
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Concerning The Dismantling Of America


By James Donahue


During the eight long years George W. Bush held office, his Christian-charged administration did all it could to break down the framework of the U. S. Constitution and force extreme Christian values deeper into the laws of the land.


The erasure of personal liberties under the Patriot Act, the restrictions on stem cell research and outspoken opposition to abortion and gay marriage were among the best known cases in point.


The Republican controlled House even passed legislation in 2004 (247-173) that would have prevented the Supreme Court from ruling on the question of striking the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.


The bill did not go before the Senate until after the November elections. In the end, the Senate took no action and the proposal died. That was the correct action for our lawmakers to have taken.


It is difficult for me to believe that the American people have been quietly watching . . . and apparently supporting . . . the rapid dismantling of the framework of the government system they fought and shed their blood for over the past 200 years. And the worst of this story is that they appear to be doing it in the name of Jesus.


Anyone who has studied the basic design of government in high school should understand that the three branches; executive, legislative and judicial, work as a check and balance system to assure the absence of political tampering.


A few years ago I was alarmed when the courts began changing legislative law in various rulings. In effect, the judges, who were holding appointed positions and were not elected, were writing new law. Then in 2004 we had a clear case of our legislators attempting to manipulate the actions of the court.


Research has shown that this was not the first time Congress tried to block the high court from taking action on controversial events. Gun rights laws have been a major and most controversial target.


During the debate on the House floor, supporters of the “Pledge Bill” insisted that Congress always had the authority to limit federal court jurisdiction. They said the bill would protect an affirmation of religion that is part of the national heritage.


That argument, in itself, is a crock of horse manure. Congress never had the authority to limit court decisions, just as the courts should not be in the position of writing law. The courts are in place to interpret laws written by Congress and making sure these laws are not in violation of the Constitution.


While the pledge has been around for about 100 years, the phrase "under God" is relatively new. The original wording of the pledge has been altered several times since first published by Baptist minister Francis Bellamy in 1892. The words “under God” were added by an act of Congress in 1956. The motivation for the change was inspired by intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus.


The Pledge of Allegiance, once a revered statement of support for a nation founded by men who truly sought to build a model form of government, has not only been tampered with. The concept of government it describes no longer exists.


For example, the United States technically is no longer a republic. While we still think we are electing our representatives to state and federal seats, the election system has become so flawed that the outcome is often fixed. The last president the people really elected and sent to Washington may have been John F. Kennedy.


Lobbyists with deep pockets are sent by big business interests to control the direction of legislative action. The wishes of the electorate are largely overlooked. 


And if you think we have liberty and justice in this country, you are living a pipe dream.


Yet I see people stand at public meetings all across the land, blindly put their hands over their hearts, gaze at the flag, and say the words to that pledge. They have been saying this pledge all of their lives, know the words by heart, and never stop to think of what the words mean. And those who may consider the words, probably still believe them to be true.