One nation under whose authority?
Commentary by Zenmar

We applaud the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling with regard to the
Pledge of Allegiance. “God” needs to be removed from the Pledge of
Allegiance. It has long been established by the Constitution that as a
nation we don’t endorse one particular religion and one particular god. But
now comes the realpolitik. Despite what the Constitution states, the United
States of America has established a de facto religion.

Being expected to say “God” instead of “Buddha” or “Tathagata” during the
Pledge of Allegiance is evidence of the establishment of a de facto religion.
It needs to be ended. In the meantime, non-Christians are being treated
like second class citizens when it comes to their religious freedom. Just
imagine what would happen to an Asian Buddhist if a white American
fundamentalist heard the Asian saying, “One nation under Buddha” during the
Pledge of Allegiance. It is almost certain that he or she will be heckled by
Christians or worse still, receive serious death threats. In fact, Dr.
Michael Newdow, who filed the lawsuit with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals, has already received a number of death threats which I am fairly
certain did not come from Buddhists.

America has always been religiously intolerant if you’re not a Christian.
To be a Buddhists, declaring your faith is still frowned upon. Fifty years
ago calling yourself a Buddhist would be the equivalent of declaring that you
are a homosexual. In fact, there is still plenty of so-called closet
Buddhists in America.

With the ruling by the Circuit Court, as a reaction, expect to see a good
example of Christian triumphalism. Expect to see your corrupt, bloated
Congressmen declaring his faith in God, shamelessly trying to garner
potential votes from his fanatical Christian supporters. Also, expect to see
your favorite columnist or talk show radio personality wax self righteous,
declaring his belief in God, the same God who in the Bible ordered the
execution of men, women, and Children, and said he was jealous. Pay
attention to how these self righteous wind bags gang up on non-Christians,
telling us if we don’t like God, to leave this country.

So what can Buddhists and non-Christians do to show their displeasure at
being treated unfairly; being forced to become members of a de facto American
religion that believes in almighty God? Probably not very much. Remember,
you’re in the minority. With regard to religious freedom, you have no rights
in America unless, of course, you espouse the Judeo-Christian brand name
religion.

Although I don’t recommend this, Buddhists could take a lesson or two from
the children of Abraham and apply their tactics. Let them see how it feels
to be pushed around and bullied by religious bigots. For starters, think
about filing a lawsuit in a Federal Court to ban Christmas as a legal
holiday. Try to get “In Buddha we trust” printed on American currency.
Think about smashing Judeo-Christian objects calling yourself an iconoclast.
If you’re a high school or university student, make non-Buddhists respect
your religion. Start up a campus crusade for Buddha. Proudly display the
swastika, the symbol of the Teaching (Dharma). Teach your heathen friends
about Buddha’s compassion and let them know that he is superior to any and
all gods. Give your heathen friends a copy of the Five Precepts so they can
begin to learn how to act civilized. Lastly, make them sit in silent
meditation during special events. Tell them they can pray if they so choose.