The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

One Nation Under Darwin

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Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, and evolutionists are celebrating worldwide that they are nothing more than bags of meat and bone with electricity running through them. “Praise Darwin from whom all matter flows!,” their doxology goes. The religious character of Darwin is evident in the way those from the Freedom From Religion Foundation are commemorating his birth. Their billboards look like stained glass windows! Soon we’ll be seeing signs pointing us to First Church of Charles Darwin. Oh, wait, it’s the local public schools.

I want to celebrate, too. Michael Newdow has been pestering the Supreme Court to rule that the phrase “under God” found in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. While I disagree with him on historical and constitutional grounds, I’m willing to push for a more accurate Pledge given the worldview shift that we are experiencing in America, especially in our government schools where the Pledge is repeated in ritualistic fashion by government subjects. I’m willing to join Newdow in his campaign to forego the use of “one nation under God” for the more accurate “one nation under Darwin” or “one nation under the divine State.” The second option is more awkward, but it’s much closer to the truth.

Early in the Pledge’s history, there were a number of people and groups that dissented from being required to say the Pledge, for example, Mennonites, Jehovites, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.[1] The Mennonites objected because of their pacifist beliefs. The tiny sectarian group called the Jehovites considered pledging to be an act of idolatry.  

Some conservatives who argue for “under God” are doing so by claiming the phrase has no religious meaning. This is the position of former Solicitor General Theodore Olson. “Olson argued that the phrase is viewed as an ‘acknowledgment’ of religion’s role in the lives of America’s founders.”[2] It’s not that our nation is actually under the sovereign rule of God, he argued, but only that people once believed that it was. Olson’s argument is common:

Many pledge proponents offer secular justifications to fit Supreme Court rulings. They claim “under God” isn’t any sort of religious exercise or prayer but simply a factual acknowledgment of the nation’s past heritage of faith, for patriotic rather than religious reasons.[3]

If this is true, then why not have the Pledge read, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, which people used to believe was one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

If we follow Olson’s claim that the phrase should be viewed as nothing more than an “acknowledgment” of religion’s role in the lives of America’s founders and not an “endorsement” of God, why not replace “one nation under God” with “one nation under slavery”? Children would not be “endorsing” slavery, but they would be acknowledging slavery’s role in the founding of America.

To be consistent, Newdow wants every religious reference removed from all official U.S. documents. This would mean a rewrite of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and all 50 state constitutions, or at least the creation of an archival system that would allow students to see these documents only after they graduate from their government schools and are truly free citizens or if they get a note from mommy and daddy giving them permission to see the “historical pornography.”

If “under God” is removed from the Pledge, to be consistent, new coins would have to be struck and paper currency reprinted so they would no longer carry the motto “In God We Trust” but “In Darwin we Trust.” Francis Scott Key’s “Star Spangled Banner,” our National Anthem, would have to be rewritten because it carries the line, from which our nation’s motto is taken, “In God is our trust.” Or we could just replace the whole thing with John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the anthem of today’s atheists. There were some very nasty men in the 20th century who did not just imagine there was no religion; they acted as if there was no religion. 

The Supreme Court opens each session, even the one where the Pledge case has been heard, with a marshal saying, “God save the United States and this honorable court.” This would have to stop. And I guess government employees could no longer claim December 25th as a paid holiday because it would be an endorsement of the Christian religion. This is the case I would like to see argued before the Supreme Court. To be consistent, all government employees would have to work on Sundays and Christmas. Allowing government workers off on these days is an implicit endorsement of the Christian religion. Public schools should also be opened on Saturday and Sunday because they are religious days. (The Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday.) We don’t want to give the appearance that government is endorsing religion. Give government workers and public school kids Monday and Tuesday off. There would be a practical benefit in addition to the required secular status of the days off. The nation’s highways would be less congested on these two non-religious days since government employees and public school children would be at home, sleeping in on their weekend.

So in celebration of Darwin’s birthday, let’s force the issue. Maybe then Christian parents will get the message that government schools are not neutral and Darwin is their god.

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[1] Richard J. Ellis, To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance(Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005), 85
[2] Richard Willing, “High court grills Pledge plaintiff,” USA Today (March 25, 2004), 3A.
[3] Richard N. Ostling, “Pledge ‘under God’ battle makes for unusual alliances,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 13, 2004), B5.

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