God and public discourse.

Author:Wennerstrom, Steven
Position:Letters - Letter to the Editor

In December 2003, Church & State printed an article by Erwin Chemerinsky opposing the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance ("One Nation Under The Constitution," December 2003 Church & State). AU seems to be supporting that position. As a long-time supporter of AU, I appreciate all that has been done to maintain the wall of separation between governments and churches, thereby strengthening both. There are times, however, when that separation becomes more of a fine line than a wall. I think that changing the Pledge is just such a situation.

AU often quotes Thomas Jefferson as the father of the wall of separation as well as the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson often referred to God, both in the Declaration and elsewhere, without concerns of breaching the wall of separation or compromising church or state. His writings and words indicate that he felt God's existence is an undeniable fact of life, like gravity or love. In fact, without acknowledging God's supremacy as the Creator, the Declaration of Independence would lose much of its legitimacy and force. Who or what else could endow us with inalienable rights?

I hope that AU's current policy of opposing all references to God in public discourse becomes...

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