Under God

“O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” (2 Chronicles 20:6, NIV 1984).

My Musings – This coming Monday (June 14th) is flag day in the United States. Flag day celebrates the adoption of the American flag by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. While previously celebrated, it was officially recognized as a national holiday in 1949, albeit one of the lesser holidays.

As I write this, I am reminded of a serious recitation by comedian Red Skelton on his weekly television show in 1969. I remember watching it the night it aired. Here it is:

We had just finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he [Mr.
Lasswell, the Principal of Vincennes High School] called us all together,
and he says, “Uh, boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the
Pledge of Allegiance all semester, and it seems that it has become
monotonous to you. Or, could it be, you do not understand the meaning
of each word? If I may, I would like to recite the pledge, and give you
a definition for each word:

I — Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge — Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity.

Allegiance — My love and my devotion.

To the Flag — Our standard. “Old Glory”; a symbol of Freedom. And
wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given
her a dignity that shouts “Freedom is everybody’s job.”

Of the United — That means we have all come together.

States — Individual communities that have united into 48 great states;
48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided
by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that’s love
of country, of America.

And to the Republic — A Republic: a sovereign state in which power
is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and
the government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders,
not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation — Meaning “so blessed by God.”

Indivisible — Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty — Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live
his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

And Justice — The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with
others.

For All — For All. That means, boys and girls, it’s as much your
country as it is mine.

Now let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance
to the Flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic, for which it stands;
one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country,
and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God.
Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said, “That is a prayer” — and that
be eliminated from our schools, too?

I remember being shocked when he omitted the words “under God.” Then he closed with the last paragraph and my entire family was touched. How prescient of him. How sad that many now do omit these two words. Respect, loyalty and dignity of what the flag stands for are being eroded in some quarters, while being elevated “above God” in other quarters. The people who once came together (united) are increasingly divided mocking it indivisibility. Liberty being superseded with threats, fears and retaliation (or cancellation). And forget about the principles of dealing fairly for all.

My Advice – There is one constant. Some will deny it. Others will simply fail to acknowledge it. Doesn’t matter, because the reality is, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over [which means we are under] all the kingdoms of the nations.” It’s all right to be “united to a common cause, and that’s love of country, of America,” and what the flag stands for. But worship God. Not “over all,” but only.