Sunday, May 2, 2010

No, We are NOT a Nation “Under God”!

ABOVE: Brainwashing anti-Commie card for kids, from 1952.
How did the claptrap of a nation “under God” ever get started? Most historians point to the alterations in the original words of the pledge of allegiance (composed in 1892 by Socialist minister Francis Bellamy), rendered by a pathetic, fraidy cat insecure U.S. congress ca. 1954 because it was petrified of not being exclusive enough in the club of nations. The big, bad Soviet commies had scared them to a tee.

The original pledge by Bellamy never used or had the words ‘Under God”. As a young student at St. Leo School in 1952 Milwaukee, the words WE used when we recited the pledge were:

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."

There was no “under God” in the words. But two years later, hysteria reigned as the despicable McCarthy hearings heated up (Sen. Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin, under the aegis of his “House UnAmerican Activities Committee"- made his name by conducting an inquisition of military, actors, decent citizens, political leaders….in order to discern who was a “real American” and who was a commie or commie symp). The whole McCarthy circus was an outgrowth of the unthinking political fear, demagoguery and hysteria at the time, which had otherwise sober people looking for ‘Reds under the Bed’.

The hysteria was so incredibly severe that capitalist, baseball card producers found it briefly necessary (I guess to show they were “real Americans”) to manufacture ‘Communist Recognition’ cards such as the one shown of Mao Tse Tung, which I happened to have saved from 1952. The gist was to: a) portray the main commies in the world as the next thing to demons or the boogieman, to scare kids into fearing communism without even knowing about it, and b) brainwash a whole generation of children, including to spy on and report their parents if need be.

In this ratty (rat out your neighbor or teacher or parent) environment, the alteration of the words in the Pledge to include “under God” was inevitable. Since it was widely accepted that only the absolute “godless” could ever be commies, then the thinking in the retarded congress was that, "Hey, if we include the words ‘nation under God’ we will automatically distinguish the United States from all the godless nations. And we will be above them too!”. Add to this the instigation of the Knights of Columbus (which had begun using the changed pledge on its own from 1951, and campaigning for it) and all the pieces were in place to deform Bellamy’s words.

And so, the ad hoc, mutating words were signed into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954. Thereby, a sinister collusion of religious malcontents and wacko "commie" (e.g. godless) haters, had officially begun a perverted path toward a de facto theocracy, trampling the Establishment Clause and rights of unbelievers in the sordid process. This reached its apotheosis with the Supreme Court’s recent cross ruling (see earlier blog) but even before that saw an even more outrageous manifestation when Bush Senior (now believed to have been the key CIA station chief at the time JFK was assassinated in Dallas) said in a 1988 campaign stop in Chicago:

"I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

Of course, the man demonstrated himself to be a total idiot and fascist to boot. Atheists are every bit as much citizens as any Christian, since this isn’t a theocracy and citizenship isn’t contingent on god belief. (No new citizen for example, is required to take an oath to God or even swear on a bible that he or she will believe in god to accept American citizenship)

Bush therefore was way out on a limb, and his thinking as distorted and misbegotten as other things he said while president. (Oh, and let’s not forget his “godly” Christian use of the racist, “Willie Horton” ads to attack Dem candidate Mike Dukakis in the same ’88 campaign. ) However, this hasn’t stopped certain pastors, who seem to have had their brain cells hijacked (by who knows what) blathering gibberish such as:

“And if they (atheists ) are considered NON-citizens , then they should NOT be allowed to vote in ANY free elections ..PERIOD !! That INCLUDES city , county , State , AND Federal elections”

Well, sorry to disabuse you, bubba, but we aren’t “considered non-citizens”! We are able to vote because thankfully the Christian Taliban like yourself haven’t taken over all courts, justices, and the whole U.S congress YET! When you do, and elect a Taliban Xtian president, maybe you’ll get your wish and be able to ban us from voting. (Like you did to American blacks throughout the South in the 50s because under the Bible they were the “sons of Ham” and considered “hewers of wood and drawers of water” – chattel with no voting rights. )

But, unable to keep African-Americans from voting (since the Voting Rights act passed in 1965) it seems the only target left is atheists!

As I already showed also in a previous blog, the “God” the Founders invoked was not a theist God but a DEIST one. This is an important distinction, never mind people like a certain FLA pastor like to conflate the two in order to make a specious case. A case predicated on citing state constitutions which have no heft on the level of the federal constitution (which only recognized a Deist “Creator” or God).

The states’ constitutions, no matter how many times they cite “God” or “Supreme powers”, have no mandated and specific rights. Thus, as Prof. Gary Wills notes ('A Necessary Evil: A History Of American Distrust Of Government', Simon & Schuster, 1999, p. 108) there's no such entity as “states’ rights). Only citizens can have rights, under the Bill of Rights, and since atheists meet every real criterion for citizenship (under the U.S. Constitution) their rights trump the artificial “powers” and prerogatives of the states. Thus, no state can ever ban an atheist from exercising his or her franchise based on “godlessness”. (For this same reason, states can’t impede or remove a citizens’ unenumerated rights under Amendment IX of the Bill of Rights). As Alexander Hamilton first observed, governments have prerogatives, people have rights - so Hamilton referenced "abridgments of prerogative" in the state to protect rights of citizens. In other words NO state could exercise any prerogative to rescind a right already granted citizens under the U.S. Constitution.

In order for states to be able to deny atheists (or Jews, or Buddhists or any other minority) voting rights, then, they would have to be able to withhold all the Bill of Rights in the particular state. Since states’ exercise only powers and prerogatives – no rights- this could only be feasible if they secede from the federal system. In that case, their dubious constitutions would take the place of the federal one with its Bill of Rights. But are states willing to risk another civil war, or more likely – have federal troops enter to staunch an uprising (like seems to be brewing in Oklahoma where a law is on the books for a state militia to thwart any federal might).

Thus, the pastor’s bloviated flatulence to the effect:

“So , my friends , are we a "Nation Under God ?" YES , we ARE ! In fact , ALL fifty states acknowledge God in their state constitutions . That's RIGHT - ALL FIFTY !! Now , are they ALL "wrong" ? See for yourselves”

Means absolutely nada, nothing…..since state constitutions founded on state powers and prerogatives are trumped by actual RIGHTS ceded all citizens under the Constitution of the U.S.

Nevertheless, certain Florida pastors, with more hyperbole and bluster to show than knowledge or sense, deny this. Else they wouldn’t spout such crap as:

If they want to flex their political anti-Christ muscles , let 'em move out of this Country .”

Not bloody likely, so long as we are AMERICAN citizens, we will exercise our rights as every other citizen, including voting! You will not get rid of us that easily!

Of course, this type of idiocy can only issue from a person who is also incapable of discriminating atheists from Muslims. Because the same pastor asserts:

“Need I remind you all of the following U.S. servicemen that were also atheists , in that they did not believe in God , as well as being anti-Christ :- In March 2003, Capt. Christopher Seifert and Maj. Gregory Stone of the Army's 101st Airborne Division were killed in a grenade attack at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait, that wounded 14 other officers. Sgt. Hasan Akbar was convicted by a court-martial in 2005 and sentenced to death..- Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 12 people and wounding 31 others . The military has had other problems as well. Ali Mohammed, an Egyptian-born Islamic fundamentalist who helped plan Osama bin Laden's bombing of the U.S embassies in Africa, had served as a sergeant with the U.S. Army”

One wonders how anyone calling himself a “pastor” can be so mentally lame or misinformed that he confuses Muslims with ATHEISTS! Because all the above were identified as following Islam, or recent converts to Islam, hence NOT ATHEISTS!

But we already know the pastor’s limited argumentation skills require synthetic conflation to get anywhere. Since he is patently unable to find or identify any genuine atheists who were servicemen that committed heinous or dastardly acts (to make his disgusting case) he dredges up cranky Muslims and re-names them “atheists”. In the same manner, as we earlier saw- he used the ruse of “true religion” v. “False religions” to make the specious case that most wars were not fought over religion. How could they be when he redefines the term religion so narrowly you can count the “true religions” on one hand!

But the most amusing quotation of all from this part time pastor is the following:

“Lastly , my friends , having grown up in the 60's , I recall a truism that still holds today ; "America , Love it - or LEAVE IT !! "

Interesting, that this issues from a guy who hates his president, portrays him as a witch doctor with bones hanging out of his nose and denounces his (current) country and government as “socialist”. I would think he’d follow his own advice and maybe set up a new ministry…say in Haiti! All those people could use his help. Anything to escape SOCIALISM! Oh wait, if he did that he 'd probably lose the privilege of being daily brainwashed by Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the other propagandizers at FAUX News!

As for the rest of us, who’ve actually studied the Constitution and Bill of RIGHTS, we'll remain as long as we are needed to defend this country against the religious zealots and theocratic enemies of civil liberties. We will ensure so long as we can take a breath that they don’t gain total control and turn the U.S. into another Talibanized mockery, or another Iran ruled by Ayatollahs.

1 comment:

janidebar said...

"Only citizens can have rights, under the Bill of Rights, and since atheists meet every real criterion for citizenship (under the U.S. Constitution) their rights trump the artificial “powers” and prerogatives of the states. "

That's an exceptionally brilliant point which shows that Bush Sr. (Much like Junior) hasn't even read the Bill of Rights. Under those, atheists certainly have the right to vote, and the only way they could lose it if the state they live in secedes from the union and requires that its own constitution takes precedence.

Under those conditions, states can become mini-dictatorships and do anything. Even make new voters take a state loyalty oath, or a belief in God oath before being issued a state ID card allowing their franchise.

In other words, like the "Nuremburg laws" under Hitler and the nazis. Maybe that'e why your brother likes the idea of taking away atheists' voting rights so much, he's a nazi at heart!