It is an act of defiance.
Some, though, see it as a symbol of faith.
It is the simple reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in government chambers before a Manteca City Council meeting.
There are those who believe this ritual that is accompanied by a prayer usually delivered by a different member of the faith community is an act of treason. One must separate church and state. Of course, there is no such clause per se in the Constitution. The first words of the sacred First Amendment reads simply, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
In other words, Congress isn’t allowed to pull a King George by dissing established religion and creating one to suit their morals. The forefathers were wise indeed. They must have known that King George would be a Boy Scout compared to the cesspool of gutter morality and situational ethics that is all the rage today in the soiled halls of Congress.
The historical perspective of religion and the constitution is lost on those who seek to sanitize anything remotely to do with God - as the founding fathers perceived Him some 235 years ago.
Poway Unified School District in the eastern suburbs of San Diego is bent on doing just that with a little help from the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals based in the god-forsaken steel and concrete canyons of San Francisco.
The school district ordered math teacher Bradley Johnson to take down class banners saying “In God We Trust,” “One Nation under God,” and “God Bless America.”
The court in all of its worldly wisdom has decided words on a paper constitute religious cohesion and endorsement while granting Muslin students in Bay Area schools the ability to use a wrestling room through the day for prayers as being non-invasive and non-committal to religion.
Perhaps the school district would have been more comfortable with Johnson posting American currency on the wall instead as long as only the front side was shown. We must not have those four incendiary words “In God We Trust” corrupt impressionable minds in a high school math class. One can’t have teens breaking out in prayer or - heaven forbid - shouting hallelujah when the teacher announces a surprise math test. Nor should one risk offending those in the class who don’t believe in God either in the abstract form or as tied to a specific religion.
It’s a given that Poway Unified won’t allow constitutional blasphemy in its classrooms by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance that contains those offending words “One Nation Under God.” And rest assured no child ever shall let the song “God Bless America” be sung from their lips while standing on sanitized government land where all that is posted and uttered will be absorbed 100 percent by impressionable young minds and adhered to 100 absolutely.
Perhaps the day will come when Poway Unified will no longer accept American currency to pay property tax bills so it won’t run the risk of appearing to officially endorse a religion.
It would be keeping with the assault on all things Judeo-Christian when it comes to the First Amendment.
The assault is endless. San Juan Capistrano has fined Chuck and Stephanie Fromm $300 for defying the rules of the crown by conducting Bible study in their home where more than three people gather on Sunday morning in their family room or patio. A Bible study is an act that constitutes a need for official blessing in the form of a conditional use permit. The Fromms appealed the planning decision to the city and lost. They now face a $500 fine per meeting if they continue. Let’s just hope that the Fromms don’t pay in cash marred with those offending words “In God We Trust.”
There is a middle ground in the First Amendment debate.
But obviously it can’t be found in Southern California where the state’s oldest building is still in use - the chapel where father Junipero Serra celebrated mass in the 1770s. Bet you that they don’t learn about the California missions in Poway Unified. That would be celebrating the ultimate horror - the establishment of a beachhead of organized religion in California.