A great example of why church and state should always remain absolutely separate:
The mayor of Winter Garden, Fla. on Thursday had a man removed from a City Commission meeting after he refused to stand during an opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
As an atheist, I absolutely dread those stand and pray-or-pledge moments. And while I like to tell myself that I now stand out of respect to others, the truth is, my obeisance comes as much from a fear of standing (well, sitting) out as it does the desire to politely observe a societal norm. I got my share of nasty stares and verbal attacks when I was younger and more defiant. It just didn’t seem worth it.
But I never recite the Pledge of Allegiance—the “under God” part just sticks in my craw. And ironically, were I an observant Jew, I’m not sure I could pledge my allegiance to a flag regardless, a notion that sure does seem to contravene the second commandment prohibition on bowing down to graven images, at least in spirit.
So while some might click through the link and come back to argue that the man was tossed out for refusing to stand for the pledge, not the prayer, I’d argue same difference. As long as “under God” is in there, the pledge is a prayer. And as such it can always be used as a tool for ostracizing, excluding, and bullying nonbelievers.