- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 18, 2001

All too many of the secular eggheads in education are having a hard time in America now, trying to hold up around those who put their faith in God, country and George W. Bush.
They shift uncomfortably in the presence of "one nation, under God," recoiling in mock horror at what it all means, seeing unimaginable problems with the sweeping tide of patriotism.
It was so much easier to be smug and condescending before Sept. 11, to be above it all, to be a fountain of contrived ideas.
It was not hip to be a patriot before Sept. 11. It was not hip to say the Pledge of Allegiance, to wave the red, white and blue, to fill the air in public with chants of, "U-S-A, U-S-A." It was considered bad form, a sign of jingoism, an affront to the good people of the world.
The good people of the world wave their flags, too. But somehow, it is different. They don't wave with as much gusto as Americans. They wave their flags back and forth only five times a minute. Americans double the output. That is the difference. So the flag-waving patriots in other countries are good. We are rude.
Alas, the real world has come to the doorstep of the secular eggheads in Leonardtown, Md., in Arlington, in places all across the nation, where the appeal to God to bless America is being heard.
You have to be incredibly sophisticated to understand why this appeal comes with layers of complexity and doubt. You have to be in the American Civil Liberties Union camp to understand the concern with a student who distributes posters bearing the words, "May God Bless Our Country."
Perhaps this thinking goes with those who want to understand Osama bin Laden and his evil kind, as if there is something to understand, as if "kill all Americans" is negotiable.
They are too funny. They must check their common sense instead of their egos at the front door.
The separation between state and church can be a fuzzy proposition if you ever have bothered to read a greenback, where in clear language are the words "In God We Trust."
In God, we trust.
One nation, under God.
God bless America.
The latter message merited the attention of the ACLU after an elementary school in California displayed the words on its marquee. The ACLU thought it was "a hurtful, divisive message," which is preposterous. Maybe the principal should have demanded the ACLU operatives to submit to a Breathalyzer.
The three words are still there, thank God, and try not to be too upset with the poor souls who apparently believe it is nitwit business as usual in America.
Some of them have made a career out of being obstinate. Ours is a free country, after all. They are the rhetorical equivalent of a car wreck, their heads put on television so we can rubberneck while saying, "How stupid can you get?" If you didn't know better, in some cases, you might think they were auditioning to be a self-parody on "Saturday Night Live."
In Madison, Wis., the school board has reversed an earlier decision not to allow the Pledge of Allegiance in classrooms after residents wondered if board members were smoking some leftover "good stuff" from the '60s.
Questions for the out-to-lunch board members: Do you know America is at war after being attacked on Sept. 11? Do you know expressions of patriotism go with the effort?
These concepts should not be too hard to grasp, even for touchy-feely types who must not be partial to the fundamental benefits of breathing. Most of America's students said the Pledge of Allegiance last Friday anyway, all the high-minded reservations be darned. That is "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The pledge, rough though it may be, is the least all Americans can do in these uncertain times.
Even the previously fashionable conscientious objectors at H-B Woodlawn Secondary School in Arlington, initially unimpressed with the new Virginia law mandating the pledge each morning, have felt their patriotic passions stirred following Sept. 11.
Good for them.
And God bless America.

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