Did President Obama remove the words “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and order that it be banned from all government buildings in the nation?

NO, HE DID NOT.

That story has been repeated time and again this week in the media. It appears the source was a website called TD Alliance, which is associated with another spoof page titled Fox News the Facebook Page. (That site is in no way associated with the real Fox News, although readers may be confused about that.)

Anyway, it’s not true; so save your angst. Maybe you can apply it here instead:

Did NASA really ban the word “Jesus” from its publications?

YES, APPARENTLY THEY DID.

That report comes from the real Fox News, where Todd Starnes reports:

The name of Jesus is not welcome in the Johnson Space Center newsletter, according to a complaint filed on behalf of a group of Christians who work for NASA.

The JSC Praise & Worship Club was directed by NASA attorneys to refrain from using the name ‘Jesus’ in club announcements that appeared in a Space Center newsletter.

Liberty Institute has stepped up to defend the employee group which wrote, in the May 28, 2015 edition of the employee newsletter JSC Today:

Join with the praise and worship band “Allied with the Lord” for a refreshing set of spring praise and worship songs on Thursday, June 4, from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Building 57, Room 106. (The theme for this session will be “Jesus is our life!”) Prayer partners will be available for anyone who has need. All JSC civil servants and contractors are welcome.

And this week, NASA has issued a statement which, Starnes notes, does not refute the claim. The statement reads, in part,

“Consistent with federal law, NASA attempts to balance employee’s rights to freely exercise religious beliefs with its obligation to ensure there is no government endorsement of religion. We believe in and encourage open and diverse dialogue among our employees and across the agency.”

It remains to be seen how this will be resolved.

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And while I’m talking about government and its attitudes toward faith, let me throw in one more news item that has me smiling. I read a few weeks ago about some “charms” which President Obama carries in his pocket. At that time, the writer listed three:  a rosary which had been presented by Pope Francis during his U.S. visit; a diminutive Buddha that had been presented by a Buddhist monk; and a poker chip for good luck.

I hate to think that a rosary–one blessed by the Holy Father, no less–should be given equal stature, alongside a poker chip in the President’s pocket. But today I read that the “charms” (his word, not mine) are apparently increasing. Also bringing him “good luck,” President Obama explained to a CBS reporter, are guitar picks from Bruce Springsteen and a small image of “Lady Guadalupe.” (Perhaps she’s a long-lost sister of “Lady Gaga” and “Lady Antebellum”?)

Anyway, the President considers Our Lady of Guadalupe–as she is known to Catholics and others throughout the world–as a reminder to work on immigration reform.

Cover Image:  “If My People” by artist Jack E. Dawson. Jesus (note the wound in his hand) is repairing the American flag.

And here (below) is a video explaining the symbolism hidden in “If My People.”