NBC wants to end the Pledge of Allegiance as we know it. At least that's what their manipulative editing of children reciting the pledge during Sunday's broadcast of the U.S. Open suggested, casually eliminating the phrase "one nation under God." As you may recall, the POTUS himself is a big proponent of omitting "endowed by our Creator" when reciting the Declaration of Independence. Men intoxicated by their own self-worth often have trouble recognizing the truths others hold as self-evident.
To their credit, NBC has apologized to those who were offended by the omission, but hasn't apologized for the decision per se. Keep in mind this happened during the broadcast of a golf tournament, arguably a more conservative venue than your neighborhood Methodist church, where commentators whisper between shots and often explain in meticulous detail arcane rules and traditions. And yet we are supposed to believe that editing God out of the pledge was a whoops-wasn't-paying-attention momentary lapse of oversight.
In other news, NBC also left out Tiger Woods, but to be fair he voluntarily withdrew from the contest before the cameras began rolling. God, to my knowledge, had every intention of being part of the event assuming he was invited. And therein lies the problem. We live in a nation that is increasingly ashamed to invite God into their lives, both publicly and privately.
Walk through the urban centers of America's biggest cities and you will hear talk of horoscopes, yoga, feng shui, and all sorts of new age recipes for healthier minds and bodies, nearly every one a belief anchored in superstition, but the absence of talk about God is deafening. How did this come to pass in a nation where every state constitution makes mention of the Almighty? Is our Pledge of Allegiance still meaningful without including this phrase? What does it mean to be "one nation removed from God"?
At this point, the agnostic, master-cleansing Leftist (though probably not an atheist) would bring up the fact that "one nation under God" wasn't added to the pledge until 1954 as a response to the red scare prompted by the dangerous "us vs. them" mentality of McCarthyism. This statement is only partially true, underselling the threat of Communism and the strong impression made by Soviet-produced propaganda of the era.
Communism was by its own design completely devoid of the idea of a higher power. It was sold as an ideology that rejected God, placing all its faith in man's ability to remake a utopia here on earth. As a result, Communism had to kill God and replace Him with government. Otherwise, people might get the idea that God blessed them with personal wealth and property that they were free to do with as they chose, to share with their poverty-stricken neighbors and hoard from the government thieves. Worshiping the state became the Soviet Union's New Religion - a way of preventing individual altruism. Either the Motherland provided you with every one of your needs or no one could. And the latter wasn't an option, because it would prove Communism failed to live up to its utopian promise
Meanwhile, Americans had spent the previous decade disposing of a German nation that practically worshipped the Nazi flag and a national socialism that sold the idea of state-controlled destiny, ignoring the law of God and destroying millions of innocent lives without remorse. The Soviet Union under Stalin sold a similar dangerous ideology, although under the guise of Communism. Combined, both nations were responsible for the genocide of over 50 million people.
You can imagine hearing the Pledge of Allegiance in the United Stated during this era, itself only 60 years old and the brainchild of American socialist Francis Bellamy (who did not write, as rumored, the hit song "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Banner, Would You Hold it Against Me?"). It didn't help that Mr. Bellamy also invented the Bellamy Salute, in which American children recited the pledge while saluting the flag with their arm extended in a gesture eerily similar to "Sieg Heil" (see photo above).
Thus, in an effort to stand out from the murderous and godless Soviets and Nazis, our Judeo-Christian roots became crucial to our national identity. Since God was not a controversial figure in America at the time, credited by George Washington, John Adams, Ben Franklin, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln as being the guiding Light that brought Liberty to our shores and freed men from tyranny, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill to add the language "one nation under God" to our pledge. The rest is history, although not exactly well-known history.
It seems strange to me to think many Americans would prefer to ignore this part of our heritage, even though it is Christianity more than any other factor that led slavery to be abolished and later reignited Martin Luther King's civil rights movement. In fact, a pledge that fails to reflect our community of founding values and instead focuses on our common statehood seems alien to me, crossing the line into what some might describe as idolatry. In fact, this case has been made by many Jehovah's Witnesses, with or without the God language included, and the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance has been challenged (unsuccessfully) all the way to the Supreme Court both before AND after "under God" was added.
Unfortunately, the only thing being challenged on Sunday was the decision-making skills of NBC producers. I, for one, would like to see them attempt the same thing at the next NASCAR event.