Letter — O’Reilly’s spin lacks logic
On the Tribune editorial page July 8 there were two pieces on the issue of whether “under God” has a rightful place in the Pledge of Allegiance.
One was a “Viewpoint” written by Bill O’Reilly. One was written by a reader, Rick Soule. One was foaming at the mouth but presented no clear logic. The other, the one that I wanted to write but was afraid to write, was a reasoned exposition on separation of church and state. Thanks, Rick, for doing the research and putting a reasonable spin on this important topic.
In checking the Sunday news online, I saw a headline, “President Bush recites the Pledge of Allegiance in church.” For goodness sake, this man is in complete denial about the separation of church and state. Evidently so is O’Reilly and so are many others.
Why is it that those who take their religion so literally are so eager to vehemently force it on those who choose to practice other religions, or who choose to view religion in a cultural and historical rather than in a literal context?
To those people, I say, “leave it alone.” The country will stand, and stand much better, without coercion or fear that a given point of view is not “right.” The country will stand with the pledge as originally written. Then most of the original founding fathers will rest better in their graves, having founded the republic in large part because of the intrusions of religious fanaticism into government in their previous home countries in Europe.
We “other” people have just as much claim to “truth” as those who are somehow convinced that they have all the right answers and have a mission to jam it down our throats. Nobody is presenting any proof of anything, so I personally choose to go with logic. I think that many others really hold this view, but are “afraid” to say so. This is a sad commentary on our society.
To those who say, “you don’t have to say the pledge if it offends you,” I say that you have hijacked the pledge for religious profit with two words which do not belong. It was “our” pledge, ALL of us, and it should again be. I am as patriotic as you, and you have a nerve if you prefer that I be left out. You can recite the pledge just as proudly without those two words. If not, you are missing the meaning of democracy.
To Rick I say, thanks again for going out front. I hope that there are not too many irate calls, or anything worse. Too bad that fear has to be an element in this. It’s definitely unreligious. You had the guts to stand out front and instead of hiding as originally planned, I am standing out with you so that you do not stand alone.
William D. Bandes