Story last updated at 11:12 a.m. Thursday, July 11, 2002

'Under God,' not Satan
Dear Editor,

This is in response to Emily Johngren's vote to remove God. You may not know this, but ...

Two men interested in education and Columbus Day celebrations were Francis Bellamy and James Upham. It is still unknown which of the two men actually authored the words that were to become the Pledge of Allegiance. It was published anonymously and not copyrighted.

James Upham was an employee of the Boston publishing firm that produced "The Youth's Companion," in which the pledge first appeared. Francis Bellamy was an educator who served as chairman of the national committee of educators and civic leaders who were planning the Columbus Day activities.

On Flag Day -- June 14, 1923 -- the pledge received major attention from adults who had gathered for the first National Flag Conference in Washington, D.C. Their conference agenda took note of the wording in the pledge. There was concern that, with the number of immigrants living in the United States, there might be some confusion when the words "my flag" were recited. To correct this the pledge was altered to read: I pledge allegiance to "the flag of the United States ..."

The last change in the Pledge of Allegiance occurred on June 14 (Flag Day), 1954, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words "under God." As he authorized this change he said: "In this way, we are reaffirming the transcendence 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 and war."

Emily seems to be claiming to speak for the Christian community while trying to embrace all beliefs under a One World Religion. Our nation started crumbling when prayer was removed from the school system. From there, the Ten Commandments came under fire. Now, the powers that be want to remove this nation from under God's protection.

True believers in Christianity are a minority. It is written that many are called but few are chosen. One can be patriotic, but the law is only one master can be served. That one master is God the creator.

I will not vote to remove the name of God in order to make someone "feel comfortable" who believes that by killing many through his own act of suicide he will be rewarded in heaven with 10 prostitutes. That is more like a "reward" that Satan hands out. That, neighbor, is what it all boils down to: under God or under Satan.

We all get to decide. Better sooner than later.

Candus K. Cornett

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