That's the sign I saw prominently displayed over the entrance of a business, along with several American Flags. It was the weekend of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Patriotic fervor had flags displayed as abundantly as they were right after the event (when a $15 flag shot up to $40 overnight, but I digress...)
One nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible. Just like that. BIG BOLD letters for the under god part, and my immediate thought was, "How divisive."
This is not a patriotic statement. Patriotism was second there. It was a religious statement, and the statement was, "Under GOD, suckahs! Yeah! You got that right. UNDER GOD!" It was capitalized to make a statement; no matter how many of us liberal heathens are out here, this person was nose-thumbing. This person was taking a solemn occasion and using it to further the notion that this is a Christian nation. If it weren't, the UNDER GOD would not have been in big, bold letters.
Let me go on the record here saying, whever my own opinions on the "under God" addition to the pledge, my rant is not a religious one, in the same way the display of that sign was not a patriotic one. It's involved, but not the crux.
One nation, indivisible.
How powerful that is. Without the qualifier, there are no conditions to that indivisibility. There are no groups left out of the equation. Do you see where I'm going? There was never a time when this country was a Christian nation. Before Europeans ever arrived on the shores of North America, there was a huge nation of non-Christians. The notion that it's a Christian nation has ever been false, but so let it be written, so let it be done. In 1954*, UNDER GOD got added to the pledge, and The United States of America became divisible almost by mandate.
If you want "UNDER GOD" as part of your plegde, that's your choice. I have not said those words since I was a very little girl and didn't really listen to the sounds I was uttering. When I got to high school, I very quietly omitted the words from my pledge. I love this country, despite and because of all the nonsense that goes around hiding the bigger issues from the public's scrutiny. I will go on record as saying that separation of church and state has never been more of a myth than it is now.
Whatever your faith, or lack thereof, we need to become one nation, indivisible. Maybe we never were. As long as that qualifier overshadows the indivisible part, we never will be.
*Many attempts were made to add "Under God" to the pledge. It was added in McCarthy era America, though it was President Eisenhower (raised Jehovah's Witness and baptized Presbyterian in office) who finally passed it through. Wikipedia actually has a good account, if you're interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/