I don't know Michael Nedow, but I'm still going to pray for him. You know, I don't think he was raised right. I don't know that for a fact, understand, but I think it is a pretty safe bet.
In case you don't know, Michael Nedow lives out on the left coast - in the land of fruits and nuts.
He is the atheist who in 2002 convinced the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - also in California, by the way - to rule that it was unconstitutional to have school children say the Pledge of Allegiance because Ike Eisenhower added the phrase "under God" to it back in 1954 - when we were up to our eyeballs in the Cold War against the "Godless Communists" - and those are Ike's words, not mine. Now make sure you understand, the court didn't say they couldn't be required to say it.
Well, the Supreme Court of the United States had the good sense to dismiss Michael Nedow's case last year because he didn't have custody of his daughter and he was, supposedly, bringing the case on her behalf. I guess he was determined that she wouldn't have a very good upbringing, either.
Well, the old boy is at it again. Michael Nedow has found three other families who are convinced that their children's rights are being violated by hearing other children say those two "hateful" words - "under God" - and has filed a suit on their behalf. He has convinced Judge Lawrence Karlton to mimic the ruling of the 2002 court. He issued a cease and desist order against the pledge for three California counties. Now make sure you understand, the court didn't say they couldn't be required to say it. The court said they couldn't be allowed to say it. There is a huge difference. He issued a restraining order against children in three counties, preventing them from reciting the pledge, and if the ruling is upheld under appeal it will apply to the children in nine states.
One judge can prevent millions of children from pledging allegiance to the flag and acknowledging the hand of Providence on our nation and her history.
The very idea!
This country was born on the 4th of July in 1776 and the Declaration of Independence is the closest thing we have to a birth certificate. Old red-headed Thomas Jefferson was the primary author and he waited until, well, the very first sentence of that document to mention God. Look it up if you don't believe me. And he mentioned God several more times, too. You might be familiar with some of his terminology. "Endowed by their Creator," "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World," "with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence," God's all through it, y'all. It's all right there. Listen people, like it or not, God has been a part of our country since it's conception and Jefferson affirmed Him at least four times at the time of our birth.
But Michael Nedow is offended because people affirm God in the Pledge of Allegiance so he wants to put a stop to it. Or maybe he just wants his 15 minutes of fame. And now a California judge - that is "a" California judge - uno - one - singular, says that any mention of God in our Pledge of Allegiance violates our nation's Constitution.
In a pig's eye it does! Know what the Constitution says about the subject? In the Bill of Rights the First Amendment says, and I'm quoting now, understand, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." That's it. That is what the Constitution says about God and, other than the phrase, "in the year of our Lord" written beside the date, that is all the Constitution says about God. There is no need to look any further because there is nothing else there.
I don't know about you, but to me, acknowledging the blessings of God on our nation in the pledge to the flag is about as far from establishing a religion as Jane Fonda is from Toby Keith.
We need God in our country and we need God in our pledge and, regardless of what some may say, it is still our country, but it won't be for long if we don't stand up for what's right, and one nation under God is still right.
And by the way, the date was Sept. 17, which I believe is today. What a birthday present for the Constitution's 218th anniversary. That rumble you here is our Founding Fathers turning over and over in their graves over the way the courts of our lands are desecrating their creation.
Again, I'm going to pray for Michael Nedow and I'm going to pray for our nation - and I urge you all to do the same.
Darrell Huckaby is a Newton County native and the author of six books. He lives in Rockdale County where he teaches high school history. E-mail him at DHuck08@bellsouth.net .