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CalCarp

What does "One nation, under God" mean?

Does it mean that we are all within that "big tent" of Supreme Being, ..and that we should use that reminder as we interact with each other? ..on a personal, and also a political and economic way toward each other? ..To "Treat our neighbor as our self"?Or is that "Under God" phrase more importantly intended as a reminder that our nation is NOT the Supreme Being, ..that we are definitely "under" God, and therefore need to watch our ideas of just how powerful our government should imagine itself.
Gray wolf:

@ Calcarp have you checked out this link yet?
http://liveqna.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!2933A3E375F68349!1982.entry

CalCarp:

Okay, thanks graywolf, ..I just went there and have now seen it. I'll have to pull it through my printer, though, and study it at dinner maybe to try and understand their position, ..if it IS a position they are taking. At first glance it was a little vague, don't you think? ..I promise I will look at it again, ..what do you think it wants? ..or does it want only to offer information, and "opportunities"?

Gray wolf:

I agree with you comment.
America can not act like she is God and she is Supreme.

CalCarp:

..Ah! ..but I know you, graywolf, ..and so I will point out, that it does not mean we should NOT act at all, ..just with a considered knowledge of our place, and of the consequences of acting (..or not acting, too!!)

CalCarp:

"Best answer"?? ..that is unfortunate.
Sorry, graybeard, but you neither answered the question, nor joined the issue.
You used my framework to propound your "America is a Wannabe Global Monster" propaganda.
Hope you enjoy the points.
I also hope Americans stop believing they can "wipe out poverty", by simply "taking from the rich".
THAT is the "God-like" delusion the "Omnipotent Congress" constructs, and delivers upon the public.
God's promises will be fulfilled, ..the promises of Obama's Congress will not.
Go ahead and enjoy your points, though.

Glenda:

United we stand, divided we fall
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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"United we stand, Divided we fall" is a phrase that has been used in mottos, from nations and states to songs. The basic concept is that unless the people are united, it is easy to destroy them. This is a counter to the maxim divide and rule.

CalCarp:

I agree with you very much! ..but then we get to a question of "Where do we go"? .."Where are we headed?" ..and "How do we get there?"
Sometimes "Under God" is viewed as "All things are taken care of for us", and there are therefore no decisions to be made.
I think we DO need to stand together, ..but with a clear idea of where we choose to go (..and I know you do too!)

Glenda:

I agree, God did not put us in the situation we are in, we did, the decisions made now will affect many generations to come, just saying divided we fall, cause we will, be destroyed, however, we are the ones destroying ourselves. I agree also we need a Clear Idea of where we go from here.make any sense?

Ricke124:

banding together as one under God.

CalCarp:

You mean we are like a team, following the direction of God, like a religious order?
Or more like the squirrel that respects the tree upon which it lives, but still has its attention on the day-to-day duties of life and job and family?

Soonvapor:

I say make kids pledge their allegiance to the flag at school every morning again-

Soonvapor:

"..indivisibly, with liberty and justice for all..."

CalCarp:

Well, the pledge does highlight that "One nation" part for us, and I think that is a good thing, ..an essential thing. I also think I agree with you that the "Higher Power" reference is intended to help us keep our "eyes on the prize" of those quality points of "liberty" and "justice". Thank you.

Looking4answers:

Who cares? The pledge was written by a socialist who wanted a way to increase loyalty to the government in order to strengthen the State. Furthermore, the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s. A bunch of kids forced to rattle off a loyalty oath like zombies? Yeah, real American. Screw the pledge.

CalCarp:

"Nature's God" is in the Declaration of Independence, and "under God" is in the Gettysburg Address. Why, Toggy? ..and I thought YOU were a "socialist"? ..and I thought Marx hated "God"? ..and were those kids also "forced" to learn the alphabet, too?
I don't think lifting our thoughts, (our hands!) or our hearts, is such a bad thing.

Looking4answers:

I am a socialist. I thought you weren't a fan of socialists so I was wondering why you would want kids to be forced to recite a loyalty oath written by a socialist. There's a huge difference between requiring that children be literate and requiring children to pledge their loyalty to the state. It's an absurd comparison and you know it. Not sure why you're bringing up Marx. Yes Marx hated religion, but he also hated socialism.

CalCarp:

This question was never about "The Pledge of Allegiance" in schools, or out of schools. It is about the common phrase "Under God".
Teaching kids "respect" is just another way of teaching children the "source of their power" whether that source be family, friends, employee unions, nations, or God. There is a reason to know the feeling of respect, it serves a purpose for the individual as well, not just the society.
Marx was a socialist, ..a communist is just a socialist who rides it all the way.

Looking4answers:

Yeah, I shouldn't have been so confrontational. My bad. I really don't have a problem with kids reciting the pledge and I really don't care about the whole Under God thing. I believe in God and believe that human rights flow from God to Man through the act of creation- and thus transcend any government. I just think that there's no point for forcing anybody to use "Under God" because that renders the phrase meaningless.

And another note on Marx- he was in no way a socialist. Marx detested socialism as socialism accepts and encourages an unequal division of wealth in society. A socialist society is another type of class based society and that is why Marx saw socialism as a set of false concessions that prevented the working class from rising up and destroying global capitalism.

CalCarp:

Togster, ..I hear you, and I agree with most, as usual, ..and I agree that "forced love" ain't love at all, ..but I don't see kids getting forced anything, do you?
Then again, if I tell my truck driving friend to save a few bucks for retirement, .am I "forcing my opinion on him", or am I just offering good sense?
If I tell a kid he should try fishing, he might say, "Stop that nonsense talk", ..but I'll probably say it anyway.
I believe Marx hated some who called themselves "socialists", because he saw them as weak for not demanding public control of ALL wealth.
That's not a hatred of socialism, ..that's a hatred of any "social" compromise in the name of peaceful coexistence.
To me, his "communism" is the socialist mindset taken to an extreme.
But, America prefers the "checks and balances" of a tri-partite government, with bicameral legislative houses , ..in order to avoid such "extremes".
Extremes are usually folly, no?

CalCarp:

I did consider the "God is on our side" interpretation, ..but wouldn't the phrase then be "One nation NEXT to God"?
We are said to be "Under God", both in the Gettysburg Address, and the Pledge of Allegiance. But I am not sure what "under God" means "On our side only".
I note that in the Declaration of Independence the reference is made using the words, "Nature's God", which includes everyone, on ALL sides.
I do agree the phrase reminds all of us to act decently, not to "betray" anyone, ...but I would NOT say it means we are "ruled by religion", there is not much done in Congress that I see as sacred (..except government paychecks! LOL)

Lyinn:

I think this refers to our having come to these shores to enjoy the freedom to worship as we choose, that we are united as a nation no matter the manner in which we recognize God.

CalCarp:

well, I believe the "under God", and the "freedom of religion" developed a LITTLE bit independently, ..but I do note that the England many Americans came from did have Kings that had sought to distance themselves from a few "religious issues" (..like divorce). Maybe "under God" was an attempt to remind us of "Who makes the rules"?
Also, ..sailing across a huge ocean, ..and stepping onto a naturally beautiful beach, can have a religious effect on your personality, ..maybe the inclusion of thoughts upon "the Creator" were a just way of saying "Thanks!"

Tangent Bill:

It is acknowledging that God is the supreme Creator and ruler of the universe, and that our freedoms are a gift from God, not the government.

CalCarp:

I like the thought that "America's Power" is not just a reference to some battleship 8,000 miles away, ..but also a consideration that what we do have here that is "good", is NOT necessarily the product of an "active government". In fact, maybe the truth is, that "Life is Good", ..and best so when we let nature have her way.
We need to be happy for what we have.

Sonnamae:

Bellamy's original Pledge read, "I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."The Knights of Columbus in New York City felt that the pledge was incomplete without any reference to a deity.[4] Appealing to the authority of Abraham Lincoln, the Knights felt that the words "under God" which were from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address were most appropriate to add to the Pledge. In New York City on April 22, 1951, the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend their recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings.The Knights of Columbus tried repeatedly, but they were unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade the United States government to amend the pledge. . It was a Presbyterian minister who made the difference in 1954 by preaching a sermon about Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. According to Docherty, what has made the United States both unique and strong was her sense of being the nation that Lincoln described: a nation "under God." Docherty was troubled by the fact that it did not include any reference to the deity. Without such reference, Docherty insisted that the Pledge could apply to just about any nation. He felt that the pledge should reflect the American spirit and way of life as defined by Lincoln.After the service concluded, Docherty had opportunity to converse with Eisenhower about the substance of the sermon. The President expressed his enthusiastic concurrence with Docherty’s view, and the very next day, Eisenhower had the wheels turning in Congress to incorporate Docherty’s suggestion into law. On February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. On Lincoln’s birthday, four days later, Oakman made the following speech on the floor of the House:Last Sunday, the President of the United States and his family occupied the pew w

Glenda:

great answer, rettag,

CalCarp:

Thank you rettag, for all this info!
But I don't think God was necessarily "something missing" from America, ..or anywhere else in the world, for that matter.
Can we just say it was added as a "reminder" of a greater concern than our everyday troubles? ..and if it IS a reminder, a "pointing" to something that we would be better off to keep in our thoughts, ..that the object of our view (..God) must have been there to be observed?
Again, the long ocean voyage, and the landing upon these shores surely must have given our founders an appreciation for the sanctity of life. (Why some here allowed the contamination of slavery to also come to our shores, is easy to see as a betrayal of the generosity which nature had shown to them!)
I do not see an appreciation of our life, to be a burden.
I think I owe a "Thanks" for my good fortune..

Sonnamae:

Thank you for the great question, It really got me thinking. I had fun trying to answer.

CalCarp:

You did very well.
Okay, ..it's your turn tomorrow!!!

Looking4answers:

Who the hell cares? Having "under God" only motivates those who believe in God. Furthermore, those who believe in God don't need the government to constantly remind them of their beliefs. Those people would have the same faith weather or not we had "Under God." The founders were products of the enlightenment. They were religious- but they didn't trust religion. We were never intended to be a government under God- we were to be a people under God- but that doesn't require government. And this all leads me back to: w h o c a r e s ?

Sonnamae:

@ThatOneGuy
Thank you for asking. I CARE !

Looking4answers:

I shouldn't have answered that way. I was in a confrontational mood last night.

Me:

We are one nation not 50 little ones, Under God I think it means he is watching over us and guiding us to TRY and do what is right by mankind ..I don't think it means we are to enforce his will, if it was the founding fathers would have made us a theocracy ..And I think the founding fathers envisioned America being a shining Beacon of Hope for the rest of the world , To let the world see what could be....We are not and never was intended to Globe trot around the world forcing OUR way of life and political views on the rest of the world...After all that is how america came to be, we left a tyrant to TRY and form a more perfect nation , And to let the world see what could be and can be with a little Hope and Faith

CalCarp:

I agree whole-heartedly with your first half, Randy, then I disagree entirely with your second half.
We are not a theocracy, I agree, yet that reminder of "Nature's God" (Declaration), and "Under God" (Gettysburg) are reminders to keep our thinking and our behaviors turned toward the good. To the degree that we do that, we remain that "Beacon of Hope".
Yet, I don't forget that in the South, many riches were gathered by forced labor, and in the North, General Washington handed out 100 lashes to any soldier caught drunk on duty as a guard.
What was so attractive about America?
Maybe you will agree to complete your sentence, "To let the world see what could be..."
If what? ..What is it you see as the source of light for that Beacon?

CalCarp:

..In your second half, you sound like you are saying that America "trots around the world, ..forcing our way of life".
And you seem to be calling someone (..George Bush, I guess) a "tyrant".
Is that what you are saying?
Can you name those places where we have done that?
And, do you believe "Hope and Faith" is all it takes to ensure that our attempt at a "more perfect nation" survives?
Have you heard about the dozen or so pirate captures of international ships off the coast of Somalia recently?
Do those ships' workers, now held captive, have "hope and faith"? ..of what?

Me:

Hope and Faith is the source for the Light
and what could be is a more perfect nation
and i didn't say we was a theocracy. I said if the fathers wanted that to be they would have set it up to be that way
No no I'm not calling george bush anything , I was referring to KING George of England...The founding fathers left England to form a more perfect Nation..
and yes with a little Hope and faith and a lot of hard work our Nation will survive..
and as far as the pirates go the US could do a lot to redeem its self around the world by doing something to stop them , but our own laws prevent that. And i hope the Sailors on them ships do have hope and faith in their own countries
Some might say Iraq is one of them countries that we have forced our way on, However I don't feel that way, The United States just cant be perceived in looking like that is what we are doing

Me:

The American Dream...Is the Hope..and to have faith in yourself to do all you can do to achieve that dream...thats what its all about...thats why so many are willing to die to get here , and why so many will die to try and stop it..

to many around the world feel that America Has lost her way

CalCarp:

Thank you, Randy, for the ideas! I agree with just about all your statements (..it takes, "Hope and faith and a lot of hard work".)
That part about the "..hard work" is the tough part, for that is the part where we have to decide what we are going to do, to deserve the fruits of that "hope and faith". When another country is at war, ..do we step in and stop the fight? When ships are captured in open seas, do we go get them back? That is the greatest responsibility related to that blessing of "Free Will", which was endowed to us "by our Creator".
It is the tough choices which are the hardest.

CalCarp:

The one concern that you have, and SO many other people these days, ..is that "opinion of other countries about our choices".
While we all live together in the same world, ..and we want to be "good neighbors", I do not want all of our American decisions to be "voted up or down" by countries overseas. They often do NOT want to see us successful.
If it were baseball, should the Yankees pick the Red Sox' opening pitcher?

Valentin Alsina News:

One nation under God-----means that God is above it all. We are not above Him----no matter what law we create----we will never be above God. Under God means that we submit to the Authority of the Creator. People need to GET that.

CalCarp:

How are people NOT getting that, chris?
And even if you agree that at least somebody "gets it", ..does that enlightenment tell them what next year's tax structures should be?
..or whether we should respond to the possibility of 200 nuclear warheads being taken by terrorist forces in Pakistan?
Those are tough questions, How do we survive mentally, spiritually, ..and physically, too?
How do we "Keep our eyes on the Prize", ..Yet at the same time, to quote Bruce Lee, "Never take your eyes off your opponent".

Valentin Alsina News:

CalCarp---People are not getting it when they believe they alone are in control of their destiny. Not only are THEY in control---but God is in control as well. We have the Faith---He has the Power. He gives us the Authority. When you feel that you have anything outside of God's Power---you are just fooling yourself. At that point you are working at enmity with God. It is better to work WITH God on the issues of the day---than against God. We need the Wisdom of the Creator to answer those questions you have. We are not smart enough on our own to accomplish it.

CalCarp:

I believe it is also possible that the words "One Nation", ..and "One God", could also have been included in our nation's documents for the purpose of moving toward our goal in the world, which was the "Equality of treatment" people received from our nation's laws. We wanted, and needed, Unity. A leading phrase was, "E Pluribus Unum" (..One from many). With the founding documents' highlighting the fact that we "all come from the same origin" and are "all equally blessed, by the ONE Creator", ..a unity of people and purpose is pointed out to us to be our condition, within which we design our lives and our nation. With those words, many public issues are decided: Slavery, Equal Education, tax burden, religious freedom, ..even abortion. We can live up to "equal treatment", or not. That will determine the answer to whether "America" has survived. I believe God desires, and instructs us, to live up to the unity of equal treatment..

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