For many Americans, July 4 is a day of patriotic celebration of the country’s independence, but at the same time, for many others, it is also Indivisible Day. The day calls for awareness and promotion of the idea of separating the state from religion. Former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura believed that the phrase ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance goes against the Establishment Clause of America’s Constitution in educational settings, namely schools. Such statements from Ventura were not taken lightly, especially after his explosive interview with “Playboy” in which he was quoted saying that “religion is a sham and crutch for weak-minded people.” While many opposed Ventura’s stance, many others still lauded his viewpoint stating that he was merely talking about people’s unity as a nation.
History of Indivisible Day
The first Indivisible Day was commemorated in 2002 by Jesse Ventura, who, at the time, was Governor of Minnesota. Ventura was born in 1951 as James George Janos in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Starting from 1969 to 1975, he served in the U.S. Navy. This time period was also when the Vietnam war was taking place, but Ventura did not go to combat. In the coming years, Ventura started getting into professional wrestling. He made his stage name Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, picking the surname from a map. He wanted to project his persona as a ‘bully-ish’ beach bodybuilder. After winning several wrestling matches and awards, he retired and started commentating and acting, appearing in movies like “Predator,” “Zorro,” and “Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe.”
It was in 1998 that he joined politics, running as a Reform Party nominee for the state of Minnesota. His win in the election was the only major win for the political party. He is known for many of his controversial statements, one of which happens to be about Indivisible Day. After being approached by the Atheists of Minnesota for Human Rights, he declared his objection against the use of ‘under God’ in America’s Pledge of Allegiance in school settings. Many rose up against Ventura for his comments, but Ventura maintained that patriotism should come from the heart, not from the law. Furthermore, he remarked that he wasn’t attempting to divide the nation but to bring it together in unity without the ‘crutches’ of religion. Two major questions arose from this debate: 1) Should students be allowed to not say the Pledge of Allegiance and be excused?, and 2) If the ‘under God’ is divisive in and of itself of America as a nation since there are multiple faiths?
Indivisible Day timeline
A Mennonite is convicted after his daughter refuses to pledge in her school.
Prior to 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance did not have the phrase ‘under God’.
Ventura’s interview with “Playboy” is published, and he is criticized for his remarks on religion and its separation from the state.
The Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, declares July 4 as the first Indivisible Day.
Indivisible Day FAQs
What is indivisible action?
Indivisible is a progressive movement in the United States initiated in 2016 as a reaction to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
How does religion relate to the state?
The state remains neutral when it comes to religion. There are no defining values, and the state acts as a ‘ring’ or a ‘circle’ where different religions and interests can exist, allowing active and equal participation in social life.
What is the importance of religion to the state?
Religion can help a state devise an ethical framework that can act as a regulator for civilians and their lives. Such a framework allows for people to behave ethically and build character based on empathy, respect, and harmony.
How To Observe Indivisible Day
Read the Pledge of Allegiance
Read the Pledge of Allegiance to get a better understanding of what it asks of an American citizen. While you’re at it, you can research the history of how the Pledge of Allegiance came into being, and how it has been edited through the years.
Before you make any decision, make sure you are aware of all the facets. Once you have understood every detail, you can decide for yourself, but in doing so, make sure that you are under no pressure from anyone or anything. This should solely be your decision.
Talk to your loved ones
Start a conversation about this topic to understand other people’s viewpoints. It will put your own stance in perspective and will allow you to adjust your viewpoint where necessary.
5 Facts About Religion/State That Will Blow Your Mind
God/Divinity mention by state constitutions
The U.S. Constitution has no mention of God, but each state has its own references to God or some form of divinity.
Most U.S. presidents were Christians
Most presidents of the U.S. were Christians, but a few like Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson did not have any religious affiliations whatsoever.
Americans believe presidents should have religious beliefs
About half of Americans believe that elected presidents should have strong religious beliefs.
Favored biblical influence on American laws
28% of Americans believe the Bible should influence how American laws are made and implemented.
Mostly Christians in Congress
Congress has always been largely made up of Christians, with nine in 10 identifying with Christianity.
Why We Love Indivisible Day
It’s a celebration of unity
While Jesse Ventura’s comments were taken to be hurtful and disrespectful, one of his messages was to bring the nation together in unity. Unity, as a nation, will help reach new frontiers much more easily and effectively. As they say, “united we stand, but divided we fall.”
It’s a celebration of patriotism
Whether you are patriotic towards your country for the sake of your religion or for the sake of your heart, it should not matter because patriotism should only serve in uniting each other with our fellow citizens for the sake of the betterment of the country.
It’s a celebration of awareness
One of the things that Indivisible Day teaches us is how important it is to remain informed about important matters. Before you make a decision, you should have all the crucial details down to the T.
Indivisible Day dates