MTYT: "Godless billboard" causes controversy

By Gary McNair - bio|email

A very few words have a whole lot of people talking. You've probably heard about that controversial billboard on Carolina Beach Road. "One Nation Indivisible" is the message from a secular group that wants to take the words "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I couldn't disagree with them more. "In God We Trust" is the official motto of the United States. So why would we not want to acknowledge God in our Pledge of Allegiance?

I don't think that phrase is really about the existence of God. It's much deeper than that. It's about accountability. It's about morals and principles, and the notion of setting aside self-interest for the greater good. A nation under God is the creed of a people who have lost themselves in something so much bigger than themselves.

This also reminds me of a Voltaire quote that drives home a point I also believe strongly in: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Now I don't think I want to die for those who choose to distance themselves from God. But I know they have the right to do it, even on a billboard on Carolina Beach Road.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me.

Emailed comments from viewers:

I see the message of the billboard as very positive.  It promotes the idea that people who don't subscribe to a theistic worldview can be just as patriotic as our religious friends.  We're upstanding members of your community, and we want to feel included in civic discourse.  Mentioning 'God' in mottos and on currency isn't such a huge deal, but I would hope that Jews, Christians, and Musilms could understand how it might be a little annoying to this growing segment of the population.


Throughout history, a nation that turns their back on God suffers the wrath of God.  It is apparent our nation is now under God's wrath, yet we still continue to dismiss Him.  I am reminded of the 40 year journey to the Promise Land, that should have only taken 11 days, because of disbelief and self serving, only 2 of the thousands actually made it to the Promise Land.  His word says "Be ye not deceived, God is not mocked, what so ever you sow, that shall you reap."  More importantly it is written that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord.


I heard your comment this evening about the new billboard on Carolina Beach Road.  You were very fair in presenting your opinion on the subject and I appreciate that very much.

Up until I was in third grade, in the early '50s, there was no 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance.  I remember this clearly because it took me and several others in my class to relearn the new pledge with 'under God' added since we were just in third grade.  It was merely,  'one nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.'  There was not too much controversy about the change that I recall because it was a different time.  My family was Christian and all of my friends were also, although different sects of Christianity.  I am no longer in the Christian faith but neither am I agnostic, atheist nor a secularist.

I am not offended by the 'under God' in our Pledge of Allegiance, but I do resent the extremist Christians with their intolerance of any other spiritual belief or religion, that does not agree with them.  Some of these folks even believe that about 2/3 of Christians are not 'true believers.'  This group is even trying to change the history of this nation by promoting the idea that Christians, intolerant Christians like themselves, founded this country.  In reality, many of the Founders of our nation came here from Europe due to persecution by Christians.  The Texas text books have taken out Thomas Jefferson because he was a deist.  Ridiculous! !

Things have gotten very nasty in the discourse of religion in this country.  A nation that was founded on tolerance of religion is now dangerously divided by extremely conservative 'Christians' who are intolerant of others and are politically active in changing the very basic foundations of our country.  So, I will continue to say 'under God' in the pledge of allegiance, but I will NOT accept the most extreme interpretation of that phrase.

Thank you for your comments.  I do enjoy hearing them.

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