Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and God!

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and God!

Ooooh! What a hornet's nest has been stirred up over a court ruling at the end of June 2002, and this after a lot of flag waving, oft repeated "God Bless America!" and the invoking of the blessings of the Almighty on this land following the shocking events of September 11, 2001!

The majority opinion of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals basically ruled that the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because it contains the expression "under God." Apparently in the warped minds of these jurists the reference to God is nothing less than the "establishment" of religion or something akin to that!

At any rate, there was a consistent expression of shock and outrage over this ruling which is bound to come before the Supreme Court eventually. People everywhere expressed their dismay and even the president made a response, reminding us that this is indeed a country "under God." And as a show of "in your face" response to this ruling a gathering of members of Congress publicly recited the Pledge with cheers and hand clapping at the conclusion.

But wait a minute -- maybe these "visionary" judges are on to something here. Maybe it would be expedient for now to remove that expression "under God" from the Pledge -- not because it supposedly is a violation of separation of church and state or whatever objection of that kind you wish to present, but rather for a far more significant and legitimate reason!

The "under God" phrase says far more than we want to really admit as a nation of over 285 million inhabitants.

For instance it says:

    we acknowledge that there is a God Who exists and upon Whom we are dependent for our existence and survival -- and we assume, falsely, that the phrase means we abide under the "blessing" of this God no matter what -- after all, this is a "Christian" nation, is it not?

    this God has revealed Himself clearly and has made known a code of moral, ethical, and spiritual laws which we are commanded to observe -- God did not put these before us as an option with a suggestion that if we feel so inclined, maybe we would like to consider observing a few of these at our discretion!

    this God chose at one point in human history to become human Himself in the person of Jesus Christ and voluntarily sacrificed Himself for the sins of every person in order to satisfy the demands of God's justice against our sins.

    this God calls all individuals and nations to give an accounting as to how they have responded to His revelation and each will ultimately be judged by Jesus Christ before Whom every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

However, questions need to be asked such as:

    How can we be a nation "under God" when we have set up our own little gods which have captured our devotion and loyalty?

    How can we be a nation "under God" when we have destroyed over 41 million unborn children in nearly 3 decades, and continue so at a daily rate of 3,700 or more?

Unborn Babies Killed
since Roe vs. Wade
January 1973

    How can we be a nation "under God" when the laws of morality involving human relationships are so blatantly defied and we tolerate the redefining of human sexuality, marriage, and family in sharp contrast as to how God has clearly defined these issues?

    How can we be a nation "under God" when the majority choose to use the common recognized day of worship of God as a day of pursuing pleasures, amusements, entertainment, business, and sports competition -- Sunday should be renamed Funday -- maybe some court can issue a ruling that will make that change! At least that name would more honestly convey the significance and meaning of the day to most Americans!

This controversial court decision is just another in a series of chaotic events in the life of a nation that has long since forfeited its right to claim to be a nation "under God!"

God, Who is extremely merciful, has been calling for some time for this country and its leaders to fully repent of all sin -- pride, the shedding of innocent blood, rampant idolatry and immorality for starters! But God's patience has its limits and if there has not been positive response within a reasonable time, then God's response becomes one of judgment. None of us will want to be here when that happens! The book of Revelation gives some indication of how unpleasant things will get at some point in the future.

Interesting is it not -- a crazy court ruling over a phrase "under God" gets so many people, including high ranking elected officials, so upset -- but in all the rhetoric we never hear a word about forsaking our sin and making things right with this God we claim to be "under!"

Now is that the epitome of presumption or is it not?

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way. Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. (Psalm 119:126-129)

June 28, 2002
by Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
W. PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy PA

For further reference see:

NOTE: Use return feature on your web browser to return here from the above areas.

Circuit Rider's Range (Home Area)
CR's Leap of Faith! OR The Whole Spread of CR's Range!
Bird's Eye View of CR's Range
What's New at CR's Range?
Return to Building Walls with Untempered OR Tempered Mortar!
How to Become a Christian

For comments, questions, or just plain old axe grinding,
contact C. D. Harriger by clicking on Penelope, efficient mail hostess of CR's Range,
and she will bring up the pre-addressed email form for you to fill out and send.