By Grace Vasquez
I remember when I first moved to Central Florida and was on the air I pronounced Oviedo correctly, in otherwords, in its Spanish pronounciation. I got blasted on the air and told to go back to Mexico! Sheesh (people I’m from Texas, three generations deep). I apologized because I didn’t realize the local pronounciation of Oviedo was O-VEE-DOH. So, I opted to pronounce it the way locals do afterall “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” right? Right.
I know now how the locals felt when I tried to change the pronounciation of a dearly loved city, albeit I didn’t do it out of disrespect but rather my upbringing however, that didn’t lessen the anger I triggered. Well, now there is a woman who is seeking to become an American citizen but she has now filed a lawsuit over the words “So help me God” from the United States citizenship oath. I’m beginning to feel a tinge of anger now.
Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo, a French national and atheist who has lived in the U.S. since 2000 with a green card, says that the inclusion of the phrase is an unconstitutional violation of her religious freedom. Her lawyer, Michael Newdow, drew attention for a similar Supreme Court case in 2004, when he argued that the Pledge of Allegiance should be rewritten to omit “under God.”
Now according to reports, this is Perrier-Bilbo’s second attempt at citizenship. The Sacramento Bee reports Perrier-Bilbo’s first time at citizenship was in 2009, when she was offered the chance to participate in a private citizenship ceremony that would allow her to omit those four words. But the fact that the oath includes them at all is what she’s objecting to now. Perrier-Bilbo says that the use of “God” in the oath makes her “feel less than a full new citizen.” Okay, but what about the rest who do believe in God? Do our veiwpoints and beliefs count any less?
The secularization of our government documents, money and I honestly feel, our American culture has been going on for decades and sadly, in some cases successfuly.
I’m all about respecting another person’s beliefs but why is it that those who have some kind of religious faith always seem to be sacrificed for those who do not have a belief in God or follow a religion? If this woman wants to live here in our United States of America then perhaps she should remember “When in Rome…” God Bless America, land that I love. ~grace