Daily Dare: Dare to Stand

posted in: Hope for America | 1

George-Docherty-and-Dwight-Eisenhower1On February 7, 1954, President Dwight D Eisenhower attended a service at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. In his sermon, Reverend George Docherty, made a profound suggestion for a change in the Pledge of Allegiance:

There was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristics and definitive factor in the American way of life. Indeed apart from the mention of the phrase, the United States of America, it could be the pledge of any republic. In fact, I could hear little Muscovites repeat a similar pledge to their hammer and sickle flag in Moscow with equal solemnity. 

Reverend Docherty goes on to explain that adding the phrase “under God” to the Pledge would set us apart from the militantly atheistic communism that had enslaved 800 million people and threatened the rest of the free world. His reasons for suggesting the phrase “under God” will undoubtedly surprise, and perhaps, shock you.

Docherty georgeThe pledge of allegiance seems to me to omit this theological implication that is fundamental to the American way of Life. It should be “One nation, indivisible, under God.” . . .Of course, as Christians, we might include the words “under Jesus Christ” or “under the King of Kings.” But one of the glories of this land is that it has opened its gates to all men of every religious faith. . .There is no religious examination on entering the United States of America – no persecution because a man’s faith differs even from the Christian religion. . .”If we were to add the words ‘under the church,’ that would be dangerous. … It must be ‘under God’ to include the great Jewish community and the people of the Moslem faith and the myriad of denominations of Christians in the land. … What then of the honest atheist? … He cannot deny the Christian revelation and logically live by the Christian ethic, and if he denies the Christian ethic, he falls short of the American ideal of life.”

So the next time someone complains about “under God” in the Pledge, let them think about what they would do with “under Jesus Christ” or “under the church!”

Two days after Reverend Docherty’s sermon, U. S. Representative Charles Oakman, who had been in attendance, introduced a bill to add the words “Under God” into the pledge, explaining, “One of the most fundamental differences between us and the Communists is our belief in God.” A few days later, President Eisenhower signed the bill into law with these words:

eisenhowerFrom this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this redediation of our youth, on each school morning, to our country’s true meaning. . . . In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence {existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level} of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.

In recent news reports, the American Humanist Association is asking Americans to refrain from standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance until Congress removes the phrase “under God.” Let us not only, stand, but stand taller, and pray and pray with faith that “one nation, under God” not only keeps its rightful place in the words of our Pledge of Allegiance, but in our “American way of life.”

Daily Dare: Dare to stand up for the United States of America, dare to stand in prayer for the United States of America, and stand up in faith declaring we are indeed, “One Nation, Under God.”

School children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in 1899
School children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in 1899

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