ResearchPaper - Johnston Eric Johnston Mr. Ventura English...

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Johnston Eric Johnston Mr. Ventura English 1530 19 December 2005 America: God b less Government The customary acceptance of “God” in our national motto and in the Pledge of Allegiance is not a legal interpretation of our first amendment. Our present national motto is “In God We Trust” and the present Pledge of Allegiance contains the phrase “. . . one nation under god. . . .” Although the present versions of both are religiously derived, they actually originated with no references to “God.” The original national motto and the Pledge lasted until during the McCarthy era when the religious addition became standard. The currency on the other hand became faith-based during the civil war era. By presenting a universal belief in “God” amongst all citizens, the government is misrepresenting its citizens and breaking the first amendment’s establishment clause. In addition, the Supreme Court denies most attempts to remove the unconstitutional representation that all citizens of America are Christian. Many strong arguments against the legislation of religious involvement for the national motto and our pledge have been presented but a majority turned down. It is time for our government to construct alternatives in order to constitutionally represent its citizens. It is essential to begin by mentioning the Founding Fathers of the United States in order to determine the constitutionality of the nation’s motto and pledge of allegiance. Our founding fathers created the Constitution in order to provide a basis of equality and order. But there was a problem. They recognized that our Constitution was not perfect, and so they amended it. The area of our first amendment that relates to religious freedom states that “Congress shall make no 1
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Johnston law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .” The broadness of the establishment clause leads to two popular interpretations. Pro-religion-in-government supporters feel that this gives the government the right to exercise a belief in Christianity while others, against religion in government, interpret this as no specific religion can be recognized. To clarify the true meaning of the Establishment Clause in a letter he wrote to a Danbury Baptist, Thomas Jefferson commented “. . . legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” As many people may not know, the national motto began with no mention of “God”. The original “E Pluribus Unum,” which in Latin means “One from many,” was coined as our national motto by our founding fathers. It was established to coincide with the first amendment and did not, in any way, shape, or form, falsely represent America. Rather than separating Americans, it united them as a whole. Many people are also unaware that The Pledge of Allegiance did not originate with
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course ENG 100 taught by Professor Brown during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Fredonia.

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ResearchPaper - Johnston Eric Johnston Mr. Ventura English...

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