I want to respond to Scott Broden's rambling letter on how swearing oaths under God is a sin and his distorted view of the 1st Amendment. One can make a valid biblical argument against swearing oaths but I believe that whether we swear to an oath of office or pledge allegiance to the flag is not a deal breaker in ones Christian faith. Having the proper understanding of God's plan of salvation or not is the deal breaker in my view. Everything else is working out our own salvation. In John Locke's 2nd Treatise of Government he teaches us that each citizen must give either his direct or tacit consent to whatever form of government that they decide to live under. The Founding Fathers and the citizens that were alive at the time of the Constitution gave their direct consent. Succeeding generations that were not alive at the founding have given their tacit consent. Swearing oaths of office for politicians and all others who say the Pledge of Allegiance are just two of many ways that citizens give their tacit consent to our form of government.
When we say under God we are acknowledging as Locke and our Founding Fathers acknowledged that our rights come from God and no state or man can legally take away those rights. God granted them and only God can take them away. Atheism has no place in a legitimate form of government. As is the case with far too many American's Mr. Broden has a distorted view of the 1st Amendment. Separation of Church and State does not exist. The 1st Amendment simply says that the separation is between the Federal government and the state governments. Each state can conduct it's religious affairs as it sees fit and the Federal government cannot interfere. If the state of Tennessee wanted the state religion to be Baptist, Catholic or whatever religion it wanted the Federal government could not interfere. If the citizens of a state wanted prayer in school, the ten commandments in its government buildings, or nativity scenes on courthouse lawns the Federal government has no say. Until 1947 the courts upheld this view of the 1st Amendment until the Supreme Court perverted it's meaning in Everson vs. Board of Education. The religious rights of Americans have been trampled on ever since.