One of the most internal-conflict-generating issues to me is the controversy on the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. On the one hand, I have no problem saying the Pledge with those words. They do not conflict in any way with my own religious beliefs. On the other hand, it certainly seems that the atheists' fight to avoid saying the words is the same as my fight in the 7th grade to avoid singing Christmas carols, with their explicitly Christian words, and thus my instinct is to support them.
But the atheists' position in many of their legal fights has been grossly intolerant of those who, like myself, firmly do believe in a God, including some ideas that might actually be loosely subsumed under the heading "intelligent design." So I find it uncomfortable to be allied with them. And when we look at the most recent Pledge fight, in which an atheist father sued on behalf of a daughter who did not share his beliefs, it seems to me that the atheists on their part are equally coercive as their religious counterparts, and I cannot accept that.
Is there some way to civilly and rationally discuss this issue? Even more importantly, is there some way of settling this issue that will respect the rights of all people involved?
Against Civic Division - In *National Review*, I dig into the implications of Bret Stephens's satirical proposal to deport poor Americans.
1 week ago