Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Under God" Pastor is Dead; the 1950s Still Very Much Alive

The original Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was written in 1892 by a Baptist who also happened to be a Christian Socialist. The original did not include the words "under God" after "One nation." I prefer the original wording and intention of the Pledge when I recite it.

Fast forward to 1952, when a Presbyterian pastor DC lobbyied for the words "under God" to be written into law after "One nation" from his pulpit:
[He] delivered a sermon saying the pledge should acknowledge God in 1952 at Washington's New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, just blocks from the White House.

On Feb. 7, 1954, he delivered it again after learning that President Dwight Eisenhower would be at the church.

Congress inserted the words a few months later.
The Presbyterian pastor just died. It's too bad that the co-mingling of God and government--which leads to both oppression and idolatry--couldn't have died with him.

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