We might imagine United States Constitution is intended by its language to prohibit interference in religious matters by national government. What we have today is far closer to conventioners' hearts than language implies. When convention President, Franklin grew weary of a convention deadlocked for many days, he proposed that it was not without divine intervention they had so recently won a difficult and bloody war. Therefore, it only made sense they should call upon this power each day to assist in building of a nation. His compatriots voted no.
There was no place for divinity in creation of this nation. Each member of convention was free to pray each day as he saw fit. The deadlock would be broken by compromise. The Constitution was all about compromise thereafter.
Knowing state legislatures would never ratify a document that usurped so much sovereignty from states and their citizens, conventioners did an end run around legislatures to get document ratified by sympathetic, hand-picked committees. We got a secular framework by which sovereignty of citizen and state would slowly transfer to national government. This was a process and it took War Against States to complete power grab, intended from beginning.
Though its deficiencies are legion, my attention was recently called to supremacy clause. Whenever state law opposes national law, national law will be held to be supreme law of land. That is, an arrogant group of nation builders decided that all wisdom was vested in their work and wisdom of any state opposing theirs was null and void. That should tell us a little about attitudes of ambitious, who know what is best for everyone else, in all cases. The nation these men created has conformed to this spirit and this is why it is universally hated and despised around world.
In 1954, words, under God, were added to Pledge of Allegiance. It only took a week or two to remember them each day in classroom. But then, what is a pledge? What is allegiance? Why pledge it to an object such as a flag? What is a republic? What is difference between a nation under God and one not under God? How does one put a nation under God or remove it? Twelve years of government approved education never answered these questions and pledge seemed a silly thing to me, all those years. I had to join military to see how pledge prepared my mind for Oath of Allegiance I was now required to swear. That oath was more confusing still. It spelled out my duty to defend Constitution from all enemies and left me without a clue as to how that is done.
It was with great confusion that I would next need to learn that we could no longer recite Lord's Prayer in "government" school, just eight years after adding under God to pledge. This was not even a Christian prayer. It made sense for anyone who believed their relationship to God was father and child. I did not know about how offensive that was to atheists and agnostics because I did not know any. Even today, my mind is troubled that an atheist or agnostic would not want blessings that could come from this prayer, whether they believe in a Father God or not. If they could possibly be wrong, rest of us would cover their bases.
The next year, after all America's public school children ceased praying for nation every school day, J.F.K. was assassinated. J.F.K., I would later learn, was threatening to issue currency instead of borrowing from banks at interest, as Lincoln had also proposed. He also wanted to stay out of Vietnam, so now it's obvious why he had to die, as did Lincoln; who had just fought war money power wanted. So much for money power loyalty!
Since I was now free from praying in class every day, it never occurred to me to pray independently and I imagine most other students were happy to be done with this daily requirement. It would be many years before I would see that daily bread no longer came so easily and soon required both parents to work for it. It took a long time to see that while I was delivered from evil of direct involvement in Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of others were not so fortunate. Now I can't help but wonder how many national trespasses remain unforgiven and will be punished. In fact, I often think every American life needlessly lost, is a payment on an ever burgeoning debt of a people no longer under God, regardless of daily school pledges.