June 29, 2002
Honorable Zell Miller
257 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Dear Senator Miller:
Because of the extremely vocal public response to the recent court ruling declaring our Pledge unconstitutional, I am compelled to express my disappointment in this response by both our citizen body and our elected leaders.
An American citizen exercised his Constitutional rights through the appropriate measures of redress regarding the phrase "under God" that was added to our original pledge in 1954, in his opinion, violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment. A three-judge panel ruled in his favor to agree that it is indeed unconstitutional.
The vocal majority, presumably God fearing Christians, expressed outrage at both the finding of the court and this American citizen, in the most revealing display of hypocrisy the modern world has ever seen. Seething anger, rage, and CRIMINAL death threats eminated from this patriotic Christian body toward a fellow American citizen, for exercising his rights to seek freedom from this type of religious influence over his and his family's lives.
To add insult to injury, our elected officials, Senators and Representatives alike, banded together in rolling thunder to unanimously & effectively condemn this man's wishes for religious freedom.
I never in my life expected to see such collective government-endorsed oppression of one of our own, and am ashamed of these actions by our citizens and representatives. This emotionally-charged public response is the very reason the establishment clause was written, and validates the need to maintain clear separation between governments and religion.
I ask you finally to consider which God are we under as a nation that would inspire and condone such a vehement, oppressive response to the rights of an American citizen?
For this reason, more than any other, I hope to impress upon you the urgency to support legislation to restore the pledge to its original 1892 wording that excludes the phrase "under God."