1- No, I said stop complaining. If you can't be grateful to live in the freest society in the history of the planet, I say get out and try to find a better deal elsewhere.
I don't believe I, at any time, stated that I was not grateful. I also don't believe that I was complaining. I was only stating my own personal conviction that I do not believe having "In God we Trust" as a national slogan, or having "Under God" in the pledge is fully appropriate. But even if I was complaining, as you so aptly pointed out, this is a free country; I can complain if I want to. Telling someone they should leave if they don't agree with one particular facet of a nation's identity is juvenile at best.
I agree. Now let those who do believe, exercise their rights as well.
Certainly. I never said otherwise. I don't favor restricting personal religious practices at all. I only object when it seems as though the country is overemphasizing religious aspects when they aren't needed. The pledge, for example, is said to show our conviction to the country. We may choose to believe that it is a country under God, but requiring such a statement for non-believers strikes me as a little offensive. You obviously disagree with that assessment, and that is fine. We are all entitled to our opinions on the matter.
Didn't claim otherwise. But from the beginning we were overwhelmingly a nation of believers. Not necessarily believers in Christ, but certainly believers in God.
My point with the date was that prior to the fifties, it didn't seem all that important to have God mentioned in the pledge, and it was never conceived originally with that wording. It was only added later to differentiate our sense of national identity with that of those espousing communism and atheism. We were founded primarily by those who believed in God, but I think they were also men and women who hoped to escape the overbearing presence of religion in the government; that's why they left England, after all.
I'm really not that passionate on the topic, and as a Christian myself, I do believe this is a nation "Under God" and that we would probably be a little better off if more people felt that way. On the same token, whenever there is a mingling of government and religion, I get a little antsy, because things can quickly be taken too far, and I try to respect the belief--or non belief--of fellow citizens.