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FIRST-PERSON: Federal Court says America no longer one nation ‘under God’

LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)–In what must be considered one of the darkest days in American legal history, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to omit the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.

In a nation that was born out of reverence for and dependence on “the Creator” and “Divine Providence,” we are now reduced to eliminating any words referring to a Deity solely because they may offend a few people.

As we prepare to celebrate America’s 226th birthday, the nation we know and love is at a historic crossroads as civil libertarians and radical leftists attempt to strip the religious fiber of our founding from our present-day existence. This action is founded in a literal hatred for the America of our founding.

My good friend Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel and a man who has fought next to me in a few religious freedom battles, stated, “The absurdity of this opinion is what mandates that it be overturned. There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about the phrase ‘under God’ in our pledge.”

Staver noted that to issue this ruling because one person said they were offended is “an outrage.”

“Most people,” he said, “are offended every year when they make their checks out to the Internal Revenue Service, but that does not give them a constitutional right to sue to abolish the IRS.” He added, “The federal court spit in the face of our veterans who shed their blood for the freedom we enjoy. If the Pledge is unconstitutional, then our currency is also called into question. Such a thought is intolerable.”

Constitutional attorney Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice agreed, saying, “The finding that the phrase ‘under God’ … is an endorsement of religion is very troubling. … The recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — including the phrase ‘One nation under God’ — is part of who we are as Americans.”

That’s the key — there are forces at work in our nation that want to change who we are and who we have been. They want a completely secularized society that does not even recognize the God for whom our Founding Fathers expressed great fondness and dependence.

We are literally watching the re-writing of American history.

I agree with Family Research Council President Ken Connor who said, “If the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, so is the Declaration of Independence.”

He’s right. We might as well burn all the flags, tear up the Constitution and start over so that every “offended” person in this nation has the “right” to feel good and comfy.

Actually, it’s time to go to war.

It is high time that God-fearing, freedom-loving American people stand up and say, “Enough is enough!” If we don’t do so right now, we will soon lose this culture war, as Pat Buchanan has defined it.

I, for one, am not going to sit back and allow this imbecilic decision to go unchallenged.

In fact, I am immediately launching a national campaign to gather one million names on a special petition this week — yes, this week! — in order to encourage the reversal of this decision.

The petition states: “As an American citizen and a person of faith, I am deeply troubled that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has outlawed the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag in American public schools. This nation was founded upon the Judeo-Christian ethic and, over many years, has been often re-affirmed as ‘one nation under God’. America will be observing her 226th birthday July 4. This judicial blemish must not be allowed to dampen our national celebration. I plead with every U.S. official with authority to impact the reversal of this heinous ruling to use that authority now. With our nation at war and the awesome challenges we face in this new millennium, we must not alienate God, people of faith and the recognition of our national character.”

This is how I’m going to war. Will you join me?

Please join in this urgent petition and help me gather one million names that will be immediately forwarded to the nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, all 535 members of the U.S. Congress, all 50 state governors, every member of our 50 state legislatures, and President George W. Bush.

If we act together, we can quickly garner one million names to petition our leaders to immediately step in and overturn this ludicrous decision.

In the meantime, I urge all Americans — in public school classrooms, at public gatherings and anywhere else — to pledge allegiance to Old Glory often and loudly. They can’t put us all in jail!
Falwell is pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va., and chancellor of Liberty University.

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  • Jerry Falwell