Director of J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University
Pro to the question "Should the Words "under God" Be in the US Pledge of Allegiance?"
"In summary, civil religion has been for much of American history, and remains, a vital cultural force. It is manifested in our own day in prayers at presidential inaugurations, the invocation used each time the Supreme Court itself hears argument ('God save this honorable court'), Thanksgiving and National Day of Prayer proclamations, the words 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance, the phrase 'In God We Trust' on coins, various Scripture quotations inscribed on government buildings ('Moses the Lawgiver' is the inscription above the Supreme Court's bench), and even the often recited, ritual presidential benediction 'God Bless America.'
All of these practices are violations of a strict notion of the separation of church and state. Yet they form a rich tradition of practices that are culturally and judicially accommodated. That the judiciary continues to validate these practices without elevating them to constitutionally protected status is an appropriate fusion of the separationist and accommodationist traditions that form the background of church-state relations in America."
Religion and the Continental Congress, 1774-1789: Contributions to Original Intent, 2000
Experts JD's (lawyers), US Presidents, federal appellate opinions, US Founding Fathers, Members of Congress, members of state legislative bodies with significant involvement in, or related to, the "under God" conflict and/or government and constitutional law, and those with PhD's in government, constitutional law or other relevant fields. [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Director, J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University
Professor of Political Science, Baylor University
Editor, Journal of Church and State
Fellow and Director, International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief
Advisory Council, Interfaith Religious Liberty Foundation
Advisory Board, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Member, Religious Liberty Council of the National Council of Churches U.S.A.
Appears in Who’s Who in American Law
Appears in Who’s Who in the World
Special Counsel to the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs
Human Rights Achievement Award, Freedom magazine, 2000