Another article for the union:
In God We Don’t Trust
The United States of America is not, never has been, and hopefully never will be a Christian Nation. The US was not founded upon Christian ideals. The founding fathers were not Christians. Thomas Jefferson, the man who penned the declaration of independence, was respectful of the teachings of Jesus as a moral philosopher, but he was not a Christian. Likewise, the rest of the founding fathers, as was common amongst enlightenment thinkers, were not Christians. Most of them were deists. This meant that they did not believe in any sort of personal God who answered prayers or performed miracles. The God of the founding fathers was an apathetic god, designing the laws and constants of the universe and leaving it to its own devices. The list of deist forefathers is a long and prominent one, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.
At any rate, the personal belief systems of the framers of the constitution are irrelevant because the first amendment clearly shows that they intended to keep church and state separate. The first amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The language is quite clear. Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of any religion. That means you can’t legislate what is written in the Bible, or the Koran, or any other alleged divinely-inspired book. So is it ok to refuse homosexuals the right to marry, simply because the Bible views homosexuality as wrong? No, it isn’t. Nor is it legit to ban abortion simply because the good book says that “God knew you in the womb.” If any of this sort of thing is going to fly in the legal system, it better be backed by some good logical reasoning and while abortion might come close to having logical reasons against it, I can say with certainty that there are definitely no good secular reasons to bar homosexuals from marriage.
In the same vein, the inclusion of the words “under God” and “in God we trust” in the pledge of allegiance and on our money is absolutely unconstitutional. An ignorant person might say, “but doesn’t the first amendment support freedom of religion, but not freedom from religion?” Nope. But, even if it did not mean freedom from religion, the inclusion of the capital “G” God on the dollar bill is clearly the establishment of one type of religion over another. Ever hear of polytheism? Animism? Eastern spiritualism? Scientology?? There are many religions in the world that do not believe in the monotheistic sky-god of Judeo-Christian tradition, and there are countless more that I could just make up on the spot! Not to mention, “under God” and “in God we trust” weren’t even added to the pledge and to our currency until the 1950’s in the midst McCarthyism, which, in my opinion, is the closest we have ever come as a nation to theocracy and American fascism.
It is apparent that a wall between church and state is necessary for the success of any governing body that guarantees freedom to all of its citizens. For freedom to exist, every individual must be able to exercise his own freedom, until he or she is treading upon the freedom of another. It follows that minority groups are not impeding upon the “rights” and moral codes of Christians when they move to have “under God” removed from the pledge, ask for mandatory prayer to be removed from government run schools, or ask for the same marriage rights as the rest of the population. On the contrary, if any of the above are put into law by a Christian majority, then the line between exercising personal freedom and limiting the freedom of another has been crossed and we have ventured into the realm of coercion and tyranny. America is not a Christian nation because America is a free nation. It cannot be both.