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Should the under God part of the Pledge of Allegence be removed or kept?

Opening Argument

Position: Against
Hello and thank you for accepting the debate? One issue I found while scrolling the website is whether the under God section should be removed, so I have set up a formalized debate to adress this issue. First off, we need a little bit of history. In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower added this section to the pledge of Allegence, and for a controvercial reason. This was during the opening of the Cold War, where the Soviets were atheist and we hadn't really chosen yet. The Soviets can be proven atheist as described by Karl Marx, in that in a communist society, there is no room for religion in the government style. This section was actually added to distinguish us from the Soviets, in that we believed that such a God exists. If you think about it logically, America is a mostly Christian country, while there are groups here and there that say otherwise, the major 70 percent of Americans are Christian, according to http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/. This reputable national study also shows that while 22% of Americans are unaffiliated, only 3% are Athiest. Therefore, in order to keep with the majority of Americans, this was added to the pladge, in order to safeguard a country with a God. Now, one might argue that "It doesn't correlate to the other religions and goes against the first amendment, which states freedom of religion." To this, I would say that you are absolutely correct, but it does NOT go against the first amendment. In fact, a Supreme Court case in 1943 that still holds today, the court ruled that "no person can be required to recite the pledge." (https://www.britannica.com/event/Pledge-of-Allegiance-to-the-Flag-of-the-United-States-of-America) From this case, although the pledge will have many dissenters, the pledge is (a) constitutional, and (b) still relevant.

Thank you for your time, and I await the cross-examination by my opponent. 

Points For:

12


Points Against:

13



Votes: 2

Debate Type: Lincoln-Douglas Debate


Opponent: Nope

Time Per Round: 48 Hours Per Round

Affirmative Constructive

Cross Examination - Affirmative

Negative Constructive

Cross Examination - Negative

First Affirmative Rebuttal

The Negative Rebuttal

The Second Affirmative Rebuttal

Voting


Arguments

  • Affirmative Constructive | Position: For
    NopeNope 158 Pts
    I accept your challenge and their will be mistakes in spelling. Sorry in advanced. The pledge of allegiance has you recognize liberty, justice, unity and more recently monotheism. The pledge is not meant to represent the united state but rather their values. Monotheism is not a national value. I am a strong believer in the separation of church and state. "According to the Texas Education Code, the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence is required from students daily. Students' parents or guardians can give written permission to have their children excluded".Image result for polls for how many non religious kids feeling like they have to say the pledge in school
    40% is a lot of people feeling required to say the pledge in school. If you make kids feel like they need to or have it in a law and give them the impression they need to then take out god. No dominant religion should be the religion of the state. If the pledge of the state has god then that means that the government favors that religion. So most of the US is Christian that means very little in thies cases.
  • Cross Examination - Affirmative | Position: Against
    Thank you for your arguments, for the cross-examination, I will ask you several questions that you may / may not answer, though answering them will improve the argument. Thank you for the visual as well :).


    Question 1: You show that 40% of Americans feel required to say the pledge in school. Does that represent Americans outside of school, and if not, would the Supreme Court Case of 1943 negate this study?

    Question 2: How does the pledge of allegence favor one religion when it condones the 70% of people who have many different religions but still have one God? (i.e.. Evangelical Protestant, Catholic, Presbyterian) 

    Question 3: If the children in the study could be excluded with a written note, what makes the Pledge so bad to hear / approve if you have reasonable oppertunity not to be a part of the speech?

    Question 4: While the Pledge of allegence supports values of the United States, what makes liberty and justice for all be worse than under God? After all, liberty and justice don't occur in some cases in the United States.

    Thank you for your time with these questions, I hope that most of these will be answered.
  • Negative Constructive | Position: Against
    I did not see that the opening was just indruductions, so I believe it would be most fair if I didn't post anything here and have my introduction, which I though would be a constructive, be put in place here. Sorry for the inconvenience!
  • Cross Examination - Negative | Position: For
    NopeNope 158 Pts

    WilliamSchulz It is OK. I will start by answering your questions in you cross examination.

    Answer to question 1: On the poll the title answers that. US teen ages 13 17. Here is the source if you want it: http://news.gallup.com/poll/13267/teens-feel-pressured-recite-pledge.aspx Yes the kids are not actually required but they feel like they are. Some might not be informed. Some might be afraid of people judging. But non the less the feel like they don't have a choice. If you are going to include god you should not give kids the impression they have to say it.

    Answer to question 2: Simple it favors monotheism. Even if most of the US believe in monotheism it still favors that kind of religion to others.

    Answer to question 3: There was a poll. But my Texas point was not a study. It is just a law in Texas. It makes it difficult to get excused from having to say the pledge. It builds on my point that kids are often under the impression they have to say the pledge.

    Answer to question 4: I am confused by this last one. "what makes liberty and justice for all be worse than under God?" Liberty and justice is better than god in the pledge. They are the values in which the US is built on. But under god is not an US value. It is a value for most US citizens but freedom of religion is a US value. The pledge to reflect that rather then it's most largest religion. Liberty and justice belong in the pledge because they are the values of the US. Liberty and justice don't appear everywhere in the US but it is still a large value of the US which we strive to achieve. Monotheism is not a national value which the nation strives to achieve.

    Er... So I guess I should cross examination your first post. I think you made two main augments. You talked about how the pledge aligns with most US citizens. To that I say having the pledge align with most US citizens beliefs does not matter because like I said that is not the purpose of the Pledge of Allegiance. Like I said the pledge is about the national values in which the nation was built to protect. Like freedom of beliefs.  

    Then you talked about how it is not a violation of the first amendment. True but as I said before 40% of teens feel like they have to site the pledge. Many kids feel obligated to recite the pledge many of which don't know they don't have to. This could be a violation of their beliefs. If it is hard or they don't know they can avoid not having to site the pledge then it is still a problem. What is the point of not having to do something if you don't know you don't have to.

    Hope that all made sense. : )

  • First Affirmative Rebuttal | Position: For
    NopeNope 158 Pts
    Sorry but this is one of my first times doing this type of debate. I guess I was supposed to ask questions last round so I will do it this round (answer which ever ones you wan't to) sense I already answered and refute your position last round to be fair. It should not matter to much sense both rounds were in a row.

    Question 1: What do you mean by "mostly Christian country"? Does this just mean we are made of mostly Christians or maybe we have mostly Christian values.

    Question 2: Why would the government want to keep with the majority of Americans in this way when changing the pledge to add god?

    Question 3: You said that the court ruled no one is required to say the pledge. How is this applied in schools? How aware are people of this ruling?

    Question 4: How is the pledge still relevant? From my understanding it was added to help unify the nation agents the Soviet Nation. But now the Soviet Nation is gone. Maybe I miss interpreted.

    I look foreword to your response. : )
  • The Negative Rebuttal | Position: Against
    Hey!

    This is my first time using this formal debate mode, so I am still figuring it out as well. I will start by answering your questions, discussing your answers to my questions, and then beginning my rebuttal of your points. Similar to the PM, I misspoke my question in the Cross-Ex, I meant why is under God worse than liberty and justice. Although I won't use your responce, I will answer my own question and provide some rationale.

    Answer to Question 1: Good question! When I said "mostly Christian country", I meant that America has Christian values (mostly Protestant) and believes in one God. On top of that, Christianity represents 70% of the American population.

    Answer to Question 2: To begin, the Pledge of Allegence is supposed to be a sign of loyalty and patriotism toward our country, and as above when keeping with the 70%, America wants to state that ruling does not come from its government, but it comes from some sort of divine power. Think about it, if there was no God, then how were we created or put in place, and if there were multiple gods, wouldn't there be a lot of cosmic trouble visible on Earth or more polythiest religions? Therefore, by admitting that there is a divine being, under God was kept with the pledge. 

    Answer to Question 3: At a school enviornment, people stand for the pledge, but being in high school myself, virtually nobody except a few recite the pledge, because their phones are more important to them. (No kidding) Although most students do not know about the ruling, admittedly, nobody would really care about it if 80% of people at school don't say it anyways.

    Answer to Question 4: Similar to Question 2, the pledge of Allegence is supposed to be a symbol of loyalty to the flag and to our country, making it relevent to have immigrants and newcomers looking for citizenship to recite to display loyalty to our country. While the Soviet Union is gone, it does not dismantle the need for the pledge, it merely was one cause for an addition to the pledge.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Your answer to Question 1: Your answer is good and makes sence. While 40% does not represent a majority, you are correct that it may in fact be an issue with the pledge. 

    Your answer to Question 2: Be careful when making distinctions! Monotheism represents a string of religions, and not one religion alone. Monotheism represents ALL religions that believe in one God, and some examples are Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Latter Day Saints, etc. When the government favors monotheism, it is not favoring one religion, it is favoring the existance of one God.

    Your answer to Question 3: While your answer about the poll is correct, your first affimative states that (a) the children can be excused, and (b) only a moment of silence is required. Therefore, although some students may feel like they have to say the pledge, it is made clear that the students are given reasonable oppertunity not to be a part of the pledge, only to give respect to the flag with a moment of silence.

    Your answer to Question 4: I apoligize again for mistyping. I will talk about why under God is not worse than liberty and justice for all. Similar to my Question 2 responce, the American government believes that their ruling power comes from a divine being, and not by their own accord. If we were to judge under God by the fact that it may not be relevent or present in all cases, can't we argue the same about liberty and justice? This is because liberty and justice do not occur in every case and trial in the United States. Jim Crow certainly wasn't "liberty and justice for all." However, we keep this in the pledge because it represents an overarching value that we strive to achieve as a country, and under God is no different. We strive to make the best choices for our country, knowing that there is a divine power watching over us and keeping us safe.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    To conclude, I would like to make one final rebuttal. In the negative cross examination, Nope states that 40% of teens feel like they have to recite the pledge, which could be a "violation of their beliefs." I assure you this is not the case. Similar to the Texas poll / law, children are given oppertunity not to say the pledge, only to give a moment of silence. Second, with the Supreme Court case of 1943 stating that no person has to say the pledge, there is no violation of beliefs, because if there was something you didn't agree with, you would have the right to not recite the pledge on your own accord. 

    To conclude, the pledge represents an overarching view of America's beliefs, in which we strive for perfection as a nation, and the under God represents the fact that there is a divine being who watches over us always, as mentioned in documents like the Delaration of Independence, our currency, and the Emancipation Proclamation. 

    Thank you for your time.
  • The Second Affirmative Rebuttal | Position: For
    NopeNope 158 Pts
    REBUTTAL TIME!

    The values we wish to protect include justice and freedom. Another is freedom of religion. Recognize a god because that is what most Americans believes contradicts are national value of freedom of religion. Wail most of the citizens believes it came from one god not all do. We don't all agree on the where thies values came from. God is not a national value. Most citizens believe in him but this does not make it a national values. The addition of under god in the pledge may represent most of it's citizens it is not a national value like freedom of religion. It miss represents are national values. And the government favors one string of religions over others. That means it still favors Muslim over Greek in this way. It should not. A lot of people do not know of the ruling that they do not needed to say the pledge. Many may be misled in to thinking they have to say the pledge. The problem is not that they have to but that many may not know they don't have to. If they don't know then having god becomes more of a problem. I don't believe under god is as equal a value as justes and freedom. Are founders had ideas on where are values came from but the idea are values came from god is not a national value. We have freedom of religion after all. Thoes values are are national values regardless of where they came. Even if the government makes clear something through a law or court case does not mean people are well aware.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Summery time
    In conclusion I believe the pledge of allegiance should not have "under god" because although it fallows the first amendment many may not be aware or it is difficult for people do avoided saying the pledge mostly in school and it may align with a majority of us citizens values it does not align with the values of the nation in freedom in region in that it impales god is a national value which it is only an individual citizen values which is the purpose of the pledge. I have to agree with the American Human Association I am going to sit out the pledge until the under god part is removed. Check out  https://americanhumanist.org/news/2014-09-atheist-group-asks-everyone-to-sit-out-the-pledge-of/ if you wan't to know how the American Human Association is protesting agents the pledge.

    I guess after this people vote. Good voting! : )



  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 1 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 0 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 1 Points
    Conduct (Against): 1 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 5 Points

    Total Points (Against): 6 Points

    Explanation: Both sides did a nice job with their arguments, although a bift out of order.
    Spelling/grammar  was better by the Con. Sources were better by the pro.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Vote
    NopeNope 158 Pts
    Persuasive Argument (For): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 1 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 1 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 7 Points

    Total Points (Against): 7 Points

    Explanation:
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