Sunday, March 21, 2004

Sunday Confessions

Things I am embarrassed to admit , I did not know...

1. The words, "under God," did not appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954 and "In God We Trust" was absent from paper currency before 1956. They were both added by Congress during the McCarthy age in an attempt to express our moral superiority over the atheist Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

2. In 1797 America made a treaty with Tripoli, declaring that "the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." This reassurance to Islam was written under George Washington's presidency, and approved by the Senate under John Adams.

3. The U.S. Constitution is a secular document. It begins, "We the people," and contains no mention of "God" or "Christianity." Its only references to religion are exclusionary, such as, "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust" (Art. VI), and "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (First Amendment). The presidential oath of office, the only oath detailed in the Constitution, does not contain the phrase "so help me God" or any requirement to swear on a bible (Art. II, Sec. 1, Clause 8).

4. All SIX of the first six presidents were Deists, not Christians. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Q. Adams Jr. were all Deists, as were later Presidents John Tyler, Millard Filmore, Abraham Lincoln and William Taft. Other non-Presidential revolutionary figures who happened to be Deist were Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen and two other framers of the Constitution, Hugh Williamson and James Wilson.

I think maybe I need to go back and take American History 101 all over again. I clearly was not paying attention all the time. I know this really disturbs me.

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