Pledge of Allegiance

July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Listen to this message. It was my radio commentary 11 years ago – 4th of July 2004.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

That’s the Pledge of Allegiance that we are so proud of, that holds us together as a nation born “under God.” And yet we have among us the critics that rail about separation of church and state – that went to court to try and strip “under God” out of our pledge. The U.S. Supreme Court just two weeks ago sustained those words but without the kind of ringing emphatic endorsement that is deserved. Take note that the pledge acknowledges God but it does not name any particular religion.

At President George Washington’s inauguration he placed his hand on the Bible as he took his oath of office. I put my hand on the Bible when I took my oath to serve President Reagan and the country as Secretary of Agriculture. I have a quarter in my hand and on it I read “In God we trust.” Never mind the fact that there have been those that would take those words off our currency. I know that we can’t pray in schools for fear of offending someone. However, the U.S. Congress still, to this day, opens its sessions with a message from their Chaplain.

Eleven years have passed – yet today, we still hear angry voices challenging our churches and their teachings. Our Supreme Court has ruled in favor of gay marriage. The Christian faith has not joined the Court on that one. I’m not wild about it either, but those are just words. It’s time to move on. The younger generation is ready.

Granted the effort to push God and Christ aside is still with us. Yet, I am encouraged to see the example set by the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and its congregation in Charleston, South Carolina. Sad as they were, they forgave Dylann Roof, a white kid who shot and killed 9 innocent black members of the church. The city came together, blacks and whites, to grieve the loss of their loved ones.

No riots, no looting, no destruction of businesses. Not like Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore, Maryland. Charleston sets an example for us all. That’s the country we love – “One nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”

Hope you have a happy 4th of July. If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to Have a great weekend.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.