June 24, 2011

Should God be Erased From the Public Square?

The latest effort to erase God from the Pledge of Allegiance was recently aired on the NBC network. The Founding Fathers believed that the people would only be able to retain their liberty and successfully self-govern under our unique Constitution if they remained a just, moral and virtuous people, living in accordance with the Laws of Nature (God’s laws).

Elimination of the “under God” phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance aired by NBC is another attempt by some people to purge all religious references from the public square, often on the mistaken belief that the Constitution created a wall of separation between church and state. While the Constitution does not create a wall between church and state, it expressly restrains the federal government from establishing a “national” religion and from interfering with the free exercise of religion.

Those involved in airing the Pledge with “under God” edited out, by censoring free speech and meddling in the free exercise of religion are clearly violating tenets of the First Amendment. These people wrongly believe that the constitutional ban on the federal government establishing a state religion requires the removal of God and religion from all civil discourse or public display, and that this peculiar interpretation of the ban supersedes and justifies counteracting the constitutional prohibition against interfering with the free exercise of religion.

If the majority of the people were to take a similar, extreme position on “separation of church and state” turned away from the Laws of Nature, ceased to recognize the Creator’s hand in mortal affairs (including government) and the people failed to retain the character qualities of integrity, morality and virtue, constitutional guarantees could not prevent the degradation of liberties and civil rights, and “self-government” would dissolve into the tyranny of mob rule and ultimately result in chaos.

Those who thought to erase God from the Pledge were ill-advised and exercised poor judgment. NBC is encouraged to take responsible remedial action in this regard to assure that such a breach of the public trust does not recur.

Actively seeking to eliminate references to God and religion in the media and passively allowing this kind of censorship to go forward is no less bigotry than that exercised against race or gender, and is no less harmful to the nation, and to the confidence of the nation in the media.

Steve Burke CEO NBC Universal steve.burke@nbcuni.com

Mark Lazarus Chairman of NBC sports mark.lazarus@nbcuni.com

Liz Fischer Vice President, Corporate Communications (212) 664-4825
liz.fischer@nbcuni.com

Kathy Kelly-Brown Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & Media Relations (212) 664-3457 kathy.kelly-brown@nbcuni.com

Adam L. Miller Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs (212) 664-7330 adam.miller@nbcuni.com

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