The First Amendment of the US Constitution forbids the Church from dictating its dogma on the affairs of the State. So does that mean that the word “God” should be purged from the Pledge of Allegiance and other government property such as US currency? Should the Supreme Court intervene and declare the addition of this word, since the 1950s, unconstitutional?
It will not be necessary since “God” as portrayed by the government is actually the God of Reason, which covers everyone from atheists to believers of all faiths, as evidenced by the symbol of God—the Eye of Providence—on the Great Seal of the United States, which portrays a secular, not a Christian God. Some people oppose the use of the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance because it goes against their personal beliefs, which is protected by the First Amendment.
In 1954, a Joint Resolution of Congress amended the 1942 Flag Code and added the words “under God” to the Pledge. President Eisenhower was influenced by George Docherty, a Presbyterian pastor, into signing the bill through Charles Oakman, a Republican Representative from Michigan, after hearing the pastor’s sermon, which was based on Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. However, Lincoln was influenced by the Freemasons, but postponed his membership due to political reasons, as asserted by the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon.
The masons’ idea of “God” is secular and all-encompassing, including theistic religions like Christianity and quasi-non-theistic faiths such as Buddhism. Freemasons also popularly use the secular symbol of God, the All-Seeing Eye or the Eye of Providence, as displayed on the US one-dollar bill, which shows the Great Seal. It was through their influence, indirect if not direct, that masons such as Benjamin Franklin, somehow inserted a secular “God” into government. However, some people are ignorant of the meaning of “God” in government and question its presence.
Christians naturally think that it refers to the God in the Bible, so they are in favor of it. American atheists and agnostics, of course, do not want a Christian God in government, dictating to them what to do. However, the US government is neutral or secular. Unlike the Dark Ages, where the Church controlled government, the United States separates the affairs of Church and State by law. The First Amendment of the US Constitutions guarantees the freedom of having any religion or no religion at all.
This was established because the Church has historically been wrong as proven by the multiple apologies of Pope John Paul II, during his reign, for more than 100 offenses or crimes including torture, murder, imprisonment and slavery during many periods, such as the Inquisition, the Age of Imperialism and World War II, all done in the name of God (Stourton 1). Protestant Christians have also perpetrated the same atrocities, as many Irishmen or Spaniards will attest.
Thus the American founding fathers, many of them being influenced by the teachings of the Freemasons if they were not masons themselves, established the United States in the name of the God of Reason instead of the dark Biblical God, as Joseph Campbell, author of the Power of Myth, asserts. And as Rodney St. Michael says in Sync My World, the masons have a quasi-non-theistic view of God, similar to the Buddhist view. In fact, the Eye of Providence is a Hindu-Buddhist symbol dating back to ancient Egypt and decorates Buddhist temples such as the ones in Nepal.
Buddha is also called the “Eye of the World” as mentioned in Buddhist scriptures such as the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. This idea, as the Dalai Lama has explained numerous times, respects the religions of all people and even the beliefs of atheists and agnostics. The Dalai Lama is a leader of Buddhism and has supported secularism publicly whenever he addresses world leaders, including George Bush, who awarded him a Congressional Gold Medal. Indeed, Hindu-Buddhist influence, directly or through the masons, was probably important in the decisions of the American founding fathers.
But many Americans do not know this, so they question the presence of “God” in the US government, even if the one-dollar bill clearly does not show a Christian cross but a Hindu-Buddhist Eye of the World, a symbol borrowed by the Freemasons in their support of the belief. Those who support it in the Pledge of Allegiance mention that it is not religious and does not violate the US Constitution. For example, the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals, on March 11, 2010, declared that the “God” in the Pledge is not religious.
Thus the presence of the word is constitutional. And regarding the Pledge, Barrack Obama also says, “Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation (of the Church and State) – context matters. ” And the context is secular. On the other hand, those who do not support it still believe that it is religions. The American Humanist Association, for instance, thinks that since 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance has been “imposing a religious belief on those without such beliefs.
The Humanist Society also asserts that “Reciting ‘under God’ is a religious act. ” In other words, they are not convinced that it is not religions. Perhaps this is because they have not heard about the quasi-non-theistic explanation of Buddhist philosophy from the Dalai Lama. The Pope himself has admitted the Church’s errors and conceded to the secular work of the Dalai Lama by inviting him to lead several interfaith meetings starting in 1986.
In the first ecumenical World Day of Prayer for Peace held in Italy, for instance, the Dalai Lama was seated next to Pope John Paul II and was given the honor of speaking first to a delegation of 160 religious heads from 43 faiths, including Christians from various denominations, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Shintoists, Sikhs, Animists and so forth. As reported by the National Secular Society, the Dalai Lama says, “Secularism does not mean rejection of all religions.
It means respect for all religions and human beings including non-believers. He also compares various beliefs to different types of medication needed by different kinds of people; different strokes for different folks, as the NY Daily News reports: I never say Buddhism is best. Buddhism has been best for me. Each person is different. I cannot say what is best for 100 people: Their own religion is best for them. It’s like medicine. We cannot say pick one medicine, this is best for everybody. Indeed, as the National Secular Society’s vice president, Terry Sanderson says:
It is not often that we can raise a cheer for a religious leader, but the Dalai Lama is sensible to say that a universal ethic is better than one based on religion. Secularism asks us to keep our religion to ourselves, which enables us as human beings to share what unites us rather than what divides us. Truly, in the end, “God” in the US government, whether in the Pledge of Allegiance or anywhere else, is secular and covers everyone, whether a believer or non-believer; thus, it is constitutional and does not need to be purged. The Federal Courts are right, but it will take some time for people to understand it completely.