The Real Meaning of Separation of Church and State

Driving to the public library, the DJ on the radio decided to spark some thoughtful conversation with his listening audience about the Pledge of Allegiance’s phrasing “One nation under God.” He wanted to hear people’s opinions about making children in public school say this portion of the Pledge and wondered if it fell under the Separation of Church and State clause.

In a way, I’m glad I didn’t have a cell phone else I’d be another person on the road who can’t drive and talk at the same time.

Many of the callers didn’t seem to understand the issue, or wanted to talk about something else entirely. Thankfully most of the callers had stopped calling by the time I left the library, headed for home.

Here’s the key point most people don’t seem to understand about God, The Pledge, and Separation of Church and State:

Church is not God; God is not church.

Church, in our government’s legal documents refers to a specific religion or sub-set of a religion. Our government will not endorse any one religion; therefore, the government maintains Separation of Church and State. Our government is not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Wiccan. And neither is the Pledge of Allegiance.

God is a high deity of pure light. God is found throughout the world under different names like Allah, Buddha, Jehovah, Ra, Odin, and even holds generic female names like Mother Earth Below, and The Goddess. God is bigger than us, bigger than any church one cares to build, and encompasses everything from the smallest atom in a speck of dust to our Sun and beyond. We are each a spark of God, created from divine thought. We are one nation, under God. We are one people, under God. We are one with God, even if you believe there is no God.

The issue people, in their clouded vision, are allowing themselves to get caught up in seems to be semantics. Although the United States has no official religion, it’s assumed the God in the Pledge of Allegiance is the Christian God, Jehovah. It’s not. It’s any God the person chooses to worship in their private life. It could be the Hindu God Brahman, or Allah, or Jesus, or nothing.

So what is a child in public school to do? If they follow a religious path, understand the God in the Pledge is their God, whatever name they use. If they do not wish to worship any God, they can remain silent during the part of the Pledge that does not meet their pursuit of happiness.

Perhaps when we realize that God is not going to fit inside a box, and God can have any name It wants, then this once hot-button issue will finally be put aside. Then, we as a nation, together, can pursue our religious, spiritual, and physical desires, with harm to no one, especially ourselves and our children. The God in me, sees, and loves the God in you.

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