One Nation Under God

Taken at Kaysville 4th July 2008

In my childhood in England I belonged to no church and religion was not part of my life — except in school. Religion was a required subject and it was in school that I learned many Bible stories. I didn’t believe in God and to me these religion classes were merely educational. However, I would be a poor, rickety specimen of manhood if I had not learned about the courage of David and Daniel, the history of the Jews, and the great moral lessons that flow from Christianity. In my Mormon faith some of my favorite hymns are those I would sing long ago at school assembly each day. Hymns such as All Glory, Laud, and Honor, Onward, Christian Soldiers, and Angels We Have Heard on High.

In some American schools the Pledge of Allegiance is recited complete with the 1954 addition of “under God.” In some quarters this is seen as very distasteful. But to me the addition seems to be more of a correction, an alignment with history. Consider the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. I direct you to a part of the fourth verse:

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’

So it seems the Pledge was lacking until it was configured to reflect our dependence upon our God. Further, with the numerous times daily one is subjected to the taking of the Lord’s name in vain just one positive reference to God should be welcomed by all. I would hasten a guess that all this fuss about trying to remove, or not to hear two words would boggle the minds of my school friends, now grown, back in England.