A Word about God and Liberty
The other day I was listening to the radio in my car, a song came on and the words, “One nation under dog…” caught my attention. I have never understood the purpose for using that term, exactly. Is it meant to offend those who have faith in a higher power, a higher form of self that one is striving to achieve in their lives, or is it supposed to make fun of organized religions that are blamed for historical human oppression?
On FaceBook I saw a post the other day regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. As a child, I recalled, a short period of time when standing with my elementary grade class members to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, had become a private problem for me. I had learned all of the words and understood the meanings of each line for the first time. I questioned my own meaning of God and decided I wasn’t going to utter that word until I figured it out for myself.
I hadn’t believed in a white-bearded, elderly; yet all-powerful supernatural human-being look alike as I’d seen in paintings and illustrations. The women’s movement had begged the question as to whether or not God was a man or a woman, as well, by then. I thought, “Wow! They just don’t get it.” God isn’t a human being. God isn’t male or female. The paintings, illustrations and references to “Him” were for our benefit of communicating to one another about God.
When I first heard there was a movement to take the word, “God” off of U.S. currency, it was unbelievable to me. Had those people lost their minds? What was the point? Why was this so important as to go through all of the expense, time, and energy; along with causing offense to the rest of us who wanted to reach for an existence on a higher plane, whatever that meant for each one of us?
Back to The Pledge of Allegiance, as a child, I decided that I would say “God” during the pledge of allegiance again, because I knew what others didn’t seem to know. God was personal to me. I didn’t think that people, in the same religion or even the same church could have believed in the same exact God, down to every detail. I had God for myself and I knew what it meant for me. I could say the word and be proud.
Now, I want to see people respecting one another’s beliefs. America stands for something greater than its parts; it was built on faith in a higher power, faith in the people who wanted better freedom and opportunities and more for their families and future generations to come. Changing a word, in American culture, taking away from what it was built upon is not going to help anyone. From my point of view, it distracts and opens the door to taking apart what our nation stood for in terms of more and better and greater for those willing to put oneself to the test and strive for an existence above that of being enslaved to a monarchy or government rule.
Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Petition, The Right to Bear Arms, The Right to Equal Justice, The Right to Own Private Property…these were created by persons striving to improve lives, nationwide! One aspires to a greater way of life, follows certain guiding principles in order to create freedoms that are sacred to most human beings. Why? Because we have the power to make life better. God for me, is in each and every impulse to be a better human being.
by Thora Magnusson 2/1/13