One nation under god, leave it in or take it out?
The American Pledge of Allegiance has been embroiled in controversy ever since the phrase "under God" was added by Congress in 1954, following a campaign by the Knights of Columbus to change it. The Pledge, as it was conceived initially by Francis Bellamy in 1892, did not include the phrase. It read: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." From 1954 onward, the pledge would read: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."
The debate regarding the phrase "under God" revolves around a number of questions. Mainly, the debate regards whether it is consistent with the separation of Church and State, or the Establishment Clause in the United States Constitution? Does it establish or favor a particular form of religious belief? Does it give favor to believers over non-believers? Should we allow for leniency here? Is the phrase consistent with the use of religious wording by the Founding Fathers in certain founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence? Is it legitimate to consider our rights as endowed by a creator, and include this interpretation in everything that follows in the US Constitution and things like the Pledge of Allegiance? Is the Pledge more of a cultural or historic expression than a religious expression or prayer? Is it more about affirming the historic place of faith in American history and in the lives of the Founding Fathers? Is it an important expression of patriotism, or can such patriotism be sufficiently expressed without "under God"? Does "under God" put inappropriate pressure on citizens and Children in school to profess a belief in God? Is it coercive? Would getting rid of "under God" eliminate the controversy, or would it worsen it? What is the overall balance of pros and cons? Should "under God" remain, or should it be eliminated from the American Pledge of Allegiance? (courtesy of debatepedia)
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
No as an American you have to pledge allegiance to the country
and flag. And currently to God first. This is wrong, you might as well ban atheists from joining the army; or government or being American altogether. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance]]
In the contrary, the phrase was added during the 1950s to fight the Atheist. Atheism is/was associated with communism. Since this nation is a democratic nation, they did it protect the nation identity. If we go back to history, the US core principles are base on a supreme deity. The words were added to either force atheist, polytheistic, to convert to the dominant religion, which is Christianity, or to exclude them out. ------Mando 103
In addition, some of the founding fathers did not believe in a god. While most were Christians, believing in the divinity of Christ, some were deists, believing in a "watchmaker god" who created the universe but did not involve himself in its affairs, and a few, including Thomas Jefferson, are now widely believe by scholars to have been atheists.
Its not a prayer.
The mentioning of God shows respect for different religions, different Christian sects, and non Judeo - Christian religions, Muslims, Jews, Hindu people and Native peoples.
The fact that the phrase,"one nation under God" mentions everyone that believes in a Creator does not exclude those that do not believe in one. It was intentionally put there, after all to anounce that we are all united, here,under one flag, in this Nation.
It was obviously never meant to offend atheists. If atheists were offended then, (when it was added, around 1940s) they should have said something then.
If it offends atheists they should refrain from saying the phrase. It is easy to solve this problem. Atheists: say the Pledge, just dont say the phrase"under god".
The American pledge of allegiance is not a prayer. The words “under god” were added as a form of respect to our nation. Atheists do not have to recite the pledge of allegiance if they don’t want to, or engage in any religious practice of which they disapprove. "Under God is not a prayer, nor an endorsement of any religion reciting the Pledge is a patriotic exercise the country has is not a religious one. “ Congress is permitted to add the words “under God” to government materials because the phrase doesn’t “establish” any specific religion” (undergodprocon.org). The majority of Americans want to preserve the nation pledge, which represents our loyalty and devotion to this country. Our American pledge simply emphasizes freedom and unity.
The point is if Americans are free to believe/do/roam as they wish; then why should atheist Americans be forced to say "one nation under God": when they do not believe in a creator?
This excludes atheists from being American by saying that Americans are united as a nation under God rather than simply united despite their differences.
The common belief in God in America is no longer relevant in our times and should thus no longer be treated as the bond that unites America.
The "unity" ends if Atheists have a different pledge.
yes, but the word "under god" violates the first amendment, which is freedom of religion. Jon Carroll, from The San Francisco Chronicle, wrote " As a matter of common sensible and obvious. Under God' is intrusive and unnecessary in a pledge of patriotism; we're not speaking as believers; we are speaking as citizens" (Carroll). The word forces an individual to praise some form of a divine creator, god or what ever you want to call it. The phrase limits a citizen freedom to choose what religion he or she wants to be part of.---Mando 103
It was not written to offend anyone.
Issacson writes "it is probable, however that they would have disapproved of people on either side who used the Lord's name or Ten commandments as away to divide Americans rather than as a way to unite them"
Exactly what this writer states supports this quote the pledge should be left alone it was not meant to separate Americans it was meant to unite all nations. If the founding fathers and editors of the constitution and the pledge knew that this "one nation under god " statement wad going to bring revival and separate people in general maybe this addition to the pledge would have never appear.
it offends people now.
Remember when the star trek intro was changed to say one instead of man as in the original?
obviously "going where no man has one before" wasn't "meant" to offend anyone; but gender neutrality became important and desirable as times changed.
The pledge needs an update according to the needs of the times.
The need of unity is not met when/where atheists are not included
or are being told to recite a different pledge from their fellow Americans.
Its purpose is not for worship.
It says "one nation under god " it's not specific toward what god there are many types of gods my god can be budah yet others god can be Jesus. Still when pledging to the flag we are not praying we are pledging honoring the flag of the United States.
It 'does' declare allegiance to God and Country.
one is patriotic if one alleges loyalty to one's nation; the god-requirement is void.
Most people, Atheists, say our founding fathers wanted nothing to do with religion. That is not completely true; Benjamin Franklin proposed to pray before their labors for guidance. It was the protection of the Divine he was looking for, along with the best for his country.
According to In: Law and Legal Issues, “When did they add under god in the pledge of allegiance?”--
“The phrase "under god" was added to the Pledge in 1954 by President Eisenhower, he said, after adding these words, "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be country's most powerful resource in peace and war."
America has a history of religious faith, religion is not going any where. Today the american citizens have the right not to have faith in nothing--if that is what they choose. President Eisenhower added the words in good faith, today the words want to be removed in for a lesser reason.
Never did I say the founding fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. In Gary Goshgarian and Kathleen Krueger's book "Dialogues An Argument Rhetoric and Reader" in Chapter 13 (pg. 574 -line 10) it says: "When Benjamin Franklin proposed during the Constitutional Convention that the founders begin each day of their labors with a prayer to God for guidance, his suggestion was defeated." All I said is most Atheists say "Not even our founding fathers wanted anything to do with religion." Benjamin Franklin obviously did. He wanted the best for his country, who doesn't?
I understand our founding fathers were long gone before the line was inserted in the pledge and had nothing to do with inserting the line. After all, even you got that. Right?
yes leave it
When this was added it was with the intenions of bringing people together during times when people live with fear in their everyday lives and it worked out really good since no one brought it up. In 2001 when we suffered one of the worst attacks this country has ever receive no one ever said anything when on tv and radio commercials on stickers the words it read “in god we trust ” or even worse the commercials on tv had an American flag and in between the 13 red and white stripes id read in big blue letters “in god we trust ” no one ever said anything about it. So its ok to refer to god when America its hurting but not on our everyday lives?
So, Ben was not inserting this in the pledge to protect the divine. This line was only put in long after he died.
Really, the founding fathers have nothing at all to do with this.
Professor Douglas W. Kmiec of Pepperdine University - School of Law, “Oh God! Can I Say that in Public?”
“Pledge of Allegiance cannot contain the words "under God." The dissent in that case correctly recognized that the words of the pledge are not prayer and, thus, not unconstitutional. The majority opinion, on the other hand, creates bias against religion and turns the First Amendment on its head. However, legislative history reveals that the addition of "under God" to the pledge was done in an effort to prevent the expansion of government and denial of civil liberties. "Anchoring basic rights upon a metaphysical source is very much part of that structural separation [between church and state], for without God, the law is invited to become God" (Kmiec).
Bellamy's(original author of the pledge) granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there."-[[http://www.oldtimeislands.org/pledge/pledge.htm]]
How/when did adding under God t the pledge help in the expansion of civil liberties? Is there any evidence of this?
Yes, we must separate God from the state and the argument on the left states that the best way to do this is to include him in the state???
The best way for any rational/logical/stable-minded person to separate something from another is to exclude the thing.
That is a secular society/state/govt. does not interfere with nor include the name of God in its dictum. Unless it is not secular.
Taking the phrase out will cause conflict, leave it.
Pretty week point there. It will cause more conflict than the one we are having now. Which is debating on taking out or leaving the line.
Doing away with the line will not reslove conflict. There are more religious people than there are atheists. Taking the line out will spark some sort of religious war.
I understand that Atheists do not believe in a higher being. The point that needs to be understood is that U.S. troops still stand together even if they believe in some higher being or not. They are still indivisible. So why cause separation of people. By saying "under God" it opens up a variety of certain higher beings a that people believe in. Yes, the word "God" goes for a certain religion, but we understand that the word is a higher being. The phrase isin't meant to divide Americans, but unite them.
the best way to remove conflict is to resolve the issue by doing away with the line altogether.
P.O.I :Atheists don't believe in a creator.
Somebody lost to the point of this; entirely.
Not a secular government.
"Secular Government" by Stan and Jonathan. On April 20, 2010.
"Further, the vast majority of government has religious connections. No, I'm not talking about "In God We Trust" on our coins or "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. I'm talking about things like the crime of murder which has been labeled a crime because of the Judeo-Christian ethic that Man was made in God's image. Other cultures don't share the same criminal code. But because of religious perceptions, many of our laws are crafted to reflect those perceptions. Our rights, in fact, were defended by the Bill of Rights because of the belief in a Creator who endowed them.
Eliminate religion from government and things will need to change if we are going to be consistent. Obviously "Under God" and "In God We Trust" have to go. All trappings of religion would need to follow. No congressional prayer. Holidays are gone, at least as far as the ones that have religious links. Many government entities close for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Good Friday, and more. Martin Luther King Day celebrates a man whose vision of racial equality was formed by his understanding of Christianity. That had better go. No member of the government would be allowed to vote his conscience if it was informed by religion. That, I suppose, would require thought police of some sort. Of course, some things would get easier. Defending human life would become a far lower priority. That's a religious value completely without basis in an irreligious government. Aiding others in crisis would stop. I mean, clearly it hasn't gotten us any allies for our generosity around the world, so what secular reason would there be to keep it up? Health care could go. Medicare and social security could be terminated. Taking care of people is primarily a religious notion. Oh, sure, some misguided anti-religious people care for others as well, but on what basis? Probably some leftover religious influence. Churches would lose their tax-free status. The concept of personal freedom would become harder to defend. (After all, we just eliminated our lawmakers' rights to vote their conscience, right?) The military could eliminate chaplains. Well, all chaplains related to anything government could go. Judges would stop sentencing alcoholics to AA. And on it goes. You see, religion has its fingers in everything. They would take quite a bit of prying to get out.
The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." (For those sad Americans who don't understand that "respecting" in that sentence is not about "no law showing respect to", it actually means "no law in relation to".) The goal, as it turns out, of a genuinely secular government, is to outlaw religion. If, for instance, I was in government work and my beliefs mandate that I live my life by certain principles (as they do), this secularization would not allow me to freely exercise my religion. It would mandate that no one in government could freely exercise their religion. The positive values that religion offers would be erased from government, and government would become a frightening thing -- more than it is today. And what it is today is a product of some 50 years of the secularization of government. Are we sure we want to go that way?" (Stan and Jonathan).
A number of states in America do not award capital punishment but life imprisonment to those found guilty of murder.
Laws differ from state to state and as such have no religious bearing/inclination.
Vague reference to God
• The Pledge of Allegiance does not say under a specific God. By far, I have not heard someone one say the “one nation under Buddha” or “one nation under Jesus Christ.” There are a lot of different religions and sects, along with their distinct gods. “God” was used as a universal name to include everyone’s different god. I believe in separation of church and state, nevertheless we all believe in a God or “something” such as science or man. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance is not a religious practice, neither was it made to offend anyone. It is a demonstration of respect for ones nation. Atheists should not feel they are excluded from reciting the pledge. On the contrary, Atheists can demonstrate their love and affection for our nation by excluding “under God” as the recite the pledge
I think the people on the pink side of this debate need to acknowledge this fact.
Vero103- In reference to what Joe says about the vagueness of a deity in the phrase "under god" I believe that he is entirely missing the point. In the pledge of allegiance it is written to say "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands one nation, under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all"
First off the pledge is a vow ; Secondly there are many religions such as Scientology and atheists who do not believe in a supreme being. The people who urge the public that saying"under god" is okay and thus should not feel excluded are incorrect. They need to see it from other side if someone changed the pledge to state "Under the Goddess" to fit a Wiccan perspective it would be called blasphemy therefore making the pledge religion based.
The founding fathers religious though they might have been, knew that they came to the New World in search of religious freedom and thats why they made government and religion separate. We cannot as a country chose to uphold the constitution whenever it fits our views exclusively. The phrase "under god" was what was in trend in the 50's and because of a craze sweeping the nation Government who should have been upholding the constitution let themselves get caught up in it. Obviously its a clear clear violation and should be restored to the pre-war version
"Freedom of religion, not freedom from religion"
Atheists believe there's no God. The pledge trounces their belief in no god whatsoever.
Vero103- The U.S Government is set up so that the people are protected from tyranny and there are checks and balances in place so that one may not take over the other. In the Constitution itself it says "the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation. to support this constitution; but no RELIGIOUS TEST shall ever be required to any officer or public trust under the Unites States." why is it okay to violate its purpose? The first amendment states that "CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" The United States Congress VIOLATED this amendment in inserting under god because it makes the pledge a vow with respect to a religious figure.
leave the phrase "Under God"
The phrase is not offensive
The word god is symbolic to the faith of a nation
Leave the pledge alone. Changing or habits would change everything we would have to learn a new pledge. In elemetary they teach us the pledge so that later in life we can have a perspective on life and develop beliefs.
Yes the constitution does state freedom of religion which means one can choose whom to pray upon. Still the word "god " is a universal term so leave the pledge.
Take it out
Also, your argument seems to be 'well most people don't agree so what's the point in trying to change anything'. That's a terrible argument - if it held any weight at all it could be used to justify anything from slavery through apartheid and to deny rights to women and gays. Generally overturning oppression DOES involve swimming against the tide; it is hard but it needs to be done.
Only put in "under God" in 1954 because of the war against famously 'atheist' Communists
The current version of the Pledge of Allegiance reads: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.''- [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance]]
God was not mentioned by the founding fathers and the pledge has already been changed 4 times; changing it once again to include atheists as part of the American populous shouldn't be a problem. However excluding American atheists from the pledge because of a still-burning hatred for the Reds/'Commi's is unacceptable.
Hollywood wouldn't be producing X-mas movies with an almost entirely Jewish cast every year if God wasn't.
Next thing you know cowboy images will be offensive.
God has nothing to do with patriotism.
the cross on the flag,
the founding fathers were all free masons: believers in a creator. The British crusades resonate deeply in American history.
American patriotism is full of historical cross/jesus/prayer references.
American wars were/are all about the merge of patriotism with faith. Be it the civil war, the world wars and the cold war(the latter not technically being a war). [[http://teetee199thlibgodandcountry49.webs.com/a20GOD20AND20COUNTRY_mgban2-1.jpg]]
. The word “under god” were added as respect, it was expressed as patriotism, even with out the word “under god”.
the phrase "under God" should not be included
Citizens of America should be free to choose whatever they believe in. They should not be excluded only because their belief system does not include a deity.
Bottom-line: Take 'under God' out because it is unconstitutional.
The phrase "under God" is not uniting people.
Every religion has a God or non-God; Atheists can think of God as science or nature; it is really semantics that people are making issue with.
It doesn't force people to have a religion. In baseball games or big occasions, people stand for the pledge. Certain people don't say the pledge or the phrase "one nation under god", but they do stand to respect the flag and America. As I said in an earlier arguement; True!.....they do not share the same religious beliefs but American troops do stand and fight together no matter what name they call God
I totally agree when you talk about atheists and I agree with you but if they were really so concern about god in the pledge then they also should of said something when after 9/11 the phrase in god we trust became so popular. During that time people became very united and that was the intentions of the supreme court when they added this the word “god” in the pledge.
Who is really saying the Pledge of Allegiance?
Atheist parents tend to be finicky about what their kids say in school. Just as creationist parents would not be happy with their children reciting "there is no God"; atheist parents do not want their progeny saying there is.
As a child I did understand that God is the creator of all things; do not undermine the intelligence of children. If atheist/agnostic parents think that God is a lie; they shouldn't be happy about their
children being taught to lie in school.
When they are older do they finally realize the pledge’s meaning and words. Reciting the pledge is teaching them to say something united with others their own age. When they say it they are saying it united and it also disciplines them.
Mostly when they don’t want to do it is because they got lazy or tired of repeating something over and over, not because it doesn’t agree with their religion or something. Saying the pledge isn’t making them have a religion but teaching them something about America. The pledge isn’t making anybody have a certain religion and religion isn’t mixed with education just because of two words.
Just remember your childhood, did you know what you were saying when you repeated the pledge? Did you know what it meant?
Children are required in school to show respect to their peer’s. The students by standing up they are showing respect to our country and the heroes who fought for everyone rights. Also, develops some type of patriotism which is very needed in today's society. Children need to know the importance of our country and what people did to make this the country what it is today. The word “under god” is not promoting any religion reciting the Pledge is a patriotic exercise the United States has is not a religious one. Since an early age children are taught about the history of our country which is very important to know and understand. Our heroes did everything to fight for our freedom and rights. Our history is what makes us unique and is important to learn our history because we will know what our people when through to fight for this country. The books are based on facts and there are no lies when we have facts and grounds from the people that were there and book to back the true. mickey-mary
violates the constitution
How does it express patriotism?
The current pledge may no apply to everyone
Yes America is probably the most diverse country in the world and therefore the word god was use so you decide who your god or creator is. And if the none believers (atheist) really feel like that about the word god why didn’t they brought up when the twin towers were hit? Was it because they were also trusting in god like everyone else ? times like those its what bring people together and that was exactly why it was added.
Under God proclaims Christianity
In addition, there are beliefs systems that worship more than one God, or none at all. Saying the "pledge of allegiance" to a god that you don't believe in, in school, at public functions, in government proceedings, etc is tantamount to forcing people to pledge against their religious (or non-religious) beliefs.
the word god is a general word
The founding fathers created this nation with a creator in mind and most of the founding fathers were freemasons and the catholic church did not approve of them. So how can the the word god be address as someone that does not approve of them. The word god is a general use for any religions leader or creator and just because the majority of people in the Unites States believe in jesus chirst it does not mean it’s being use in that way
Separation of Church and State
The fact that the word god its in the pledge of allegiance does not mean you have to believe in any religion at all. The phrase was added with an intention of bringing people together and as a form of respect to the founding fathers but never to insult or brake any amendments. When has god been use in a wrongfully way? If you teach your children to belive in a specific god then he is going to refer to that god every time s/he uses or hears that word. People needs to start making such a big deal out of nothing because at the end of the day if this really was to get voted on and the majority of people are Christians what do you think its gonna happen ?
God doesn't exist.
Those that argue it's a moot point as there is no evidence to refute the existence of god need to accept that the burden of proof is on them for making such far fetched assertions in the first place. If you make a ludicrous claim it's on you to prove it, not me to disprove it.
Mentioning god in the pledge is just pandering to fundamentalist cult members who oughtn't be encouraged in their superstition.
What do you think?