A few years ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the right of American school children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the words “under God.” Borrowing from the argument presented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the court said that the words “under God” are a bountiful statement of American history and philosophy, and so they can and should be a part of our nation’s pledge.
As the Becket Fund stated in its brief to the court, “It is uncontestable that since even before the Declaration of Independence, it has been an important part of our national ethos that we have inalienable rights that the State cannot take away, because the source of those inalienable rights is an authority higher than the State.”
Many of America’s Founding Fathers were resolute in their faith, and such is evident in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and numerous other historical documents. However, the religious underpinnings of our nation also formed the bedrock principle on which our nation was founded — that our rights are given by God and for that very reason, government cannot take them away.
Eliminating faith from today’s public square puts that core American principle in jeopardy. Eliminating all traces of faith from our history makes the destruction of that principle all but inevitable. The judge’s proposal to re-write the Ten Commandments should make us think twice about how far the envelope has already been pushed.
Rep. Randy Forbes, a Republican, represents Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District.