Thursday, July 1, 2010

On mixing politics and religion

Ok, I didn't really do much for Pagan Values Month. Oh well. However, I am here today to talk a little about religion. Kinda sorta.

This particular post was inspired by Anne Johnson over at The Gods are Bored. In her most recent post, she talks about the words "under god" in the Pledge of Allegiance. You might say that she sorta disproves of the presence of those two little (or not so little) words in the pledge. Her post got me thinking.

I usually don't think about the words "under god" when I say the pledge. I used to never think about them at all, until I was attending a flag ceremony in Girl Scouts and the girl next to me left those words out. I thought that was strange, so afterwards I asked her about it and she said "I don't believe in god." I was surprised, but I decided that what she did made sense. If you don't believe in god, why should you have to say the words?

And having those two words in our Pledge of Allegiance, are we saying that there's something wrong with the people who don't believe in god? Could it be that we're implying they aren't properly patriotic? Hmm....this was actually a line of thought that only occurred to me as I was typing up this post, so I'd have to think on it...

But onto what I was actually trying to work my post towards, which is that some of us believe in polytheism. Those of us who pray to multiple deities come across the words "under god" and we immediately wonder, "which one?" Obviously Jesus is the god who the words are intended to mean, but does it have to be him? Can't it be someone else?

And yet, whose name should be in the pledge? Who should we ask to look over the entire USA? Maybe someone who was here to begin with? After all, unless we go with a Native American god/dess we'll have to import a deity from somewhere else. But hey, why not? We're the USA, we like outsourcing jobs! So why not this one?


Ok, I had actually meant for this post to be somewhat serious. And I've managed (I think) to be both serious and silly in this post. Why? Maybe because when politics get mixed up with religion you sort of have to either laugh or cry.

What do you think?


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I read Anne's post too. She said "under God" was inserted into the Pledge in the 1950s. So that suggests to me that it was probably a Cold War paranoia kind of thing to make it clear that Real Americans are not Godless Commies. Which would be the same as saying there's something wrong or unpatriotic (or at least suspicious) about people who are atheists.

Sarita Rucker said...


Waeben said...

I think "under God" is a silly and unnecessary addition to the Pledge.

But, having identified as a Pagan since I was 13, I used to just change the words to "under the Gods".

But to your questions, I think that's exactly what the insertion was meant to imply, that is, true patriots are God-fearing Christians.