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Does "under God" belong in the pledge?

The age-old debate. I don't think it does because not everyone needs to believe in God; even though our country was built by religious people, it was not built specifically on religious values. Our Constitution is also based off of freedom, including the freedom of religion and freedom of expression. This means that designating our national pledge towards theism, and arguably Christianity, is exclusive of other forms of religion and expression. It is fine for people to continue to use "Under God" in the pledge if they believe in God, but it is not necessary and should not be included in the official text.
  1. Does "under God" belong in the pledge?10 votes
    1. Yes
    2. No


  • joecavalryjoecavalry 151 Pts
    Yes, because American was founded with the help of god.
    DebateIslander and a lover. 
  • @joecavalry Then why was it only added recently? The phrase was added in 1954 as a political tactic to try and suppress modernism. Also before, founding fathers referred to our nation as "conceived in liberty" etc.
  • Even if we should remove it, can you imagine what kind of controversy it would generate to actually remove something like that?
  • agsragsr 485 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @melanielust, do you have any supporting evidence that it was added to support modernism?
    Live Long and Prosper
  • @agsr My bad, it was trying to suppress modern American communists in the 50s (who were generally atheist), not modernists in general. Here's a good article about it:
  • agsragsr 485 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @melanielust, that was really informative!  Thanks for sharing. 
    Live Long and Prosper
  • VaulkVaulk 198 Pts
    edited May 30
    Yes, "Under God" does belong in the pledge of allegiance and here's why.

    Our Declaration of Independence contains the fundamental principles of our Country. If the Constitution is the six pillars of our country then the Declaration of Independence is the foundation supporting the pillars.  That being said, our Declaration of Independence sets forth the justification of entitlement concerning our freedoms.  In layman's terms, the DOI explains why we are free and why we're going to stay free from tyranny and oppression.

    That all being said, the DOI explains plainly in the introduction paragraph:

    1. That a break in political ties is required and
    2. That the movement to separate is a given right by nature and by God.

    The Preamble (My favorite part) goes on to justify a rebellion against King George III.  The justification is an explanation of how the people of the Colonies all believe as one that there are certain truths that are self-evident (Obvious), that all Men are created equal and that they are endowed (Given) by God unalienable (Unable to be taken away) rights.  Among the rights listed as unalienable were "Life" "Liberty" and "The pursuit of Happiness".

    Lastly the Resolution: "We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor".

    This last part is equally important as the Representatives made it clear that they wanted their actions to be judged by God and were appealing to "His" authority.  The Representatives go on to state that they firmly rely upon the protection of "Divine Providence" (God's protection).

    Now I said all of that so that I can say this: this is The United States, we have a long established way of life here, our way of life and our principles are rooted firmly in certain beliefs and among those beliefs is the idea that we are entitled to "Life" "Liberty" and "The Pursuit of Happiness".  Moreover is the idea that we have been gifted these rights by a higher power and thus they cannot be taken away by anyone.  I don't think it's anything but normal that anyone who wants to be a part of this Nation be required to pledge their allegiance to our Country and to adopt our fundamental principles.  If any Citizen does not hold to our Nation's fundamental principles then I would personally question their Loyalty as a matter of reasonable doubt.
  • @Vaulk Wow.  Was ready to post my argument, but that really does sum it up.  May I add that taking God out of anything is catastrophic.  Schools for example:  
  • @Vaulk, you made great points.  However, the flip side is the message that atheists are not part of the country DNA?
  • VaulkVaulk 198 Pts
    edited June 4
    @CuriousGeorge , Just as other groups were not part of the Country's DNA at the time of establishment (Buddhists, Muslims, ect).  If Atheism was not written into the founding principles of the U.S. at it's establishment...then oh well.  I think maybe what you might have meant to insinuate (And I could always be wrong here) is that somehow my assessment means that Atheists by nature of belief aren't loyal to the United States because they don't believe in God.  So allow me to elaborate, believing that there's no such thing as "God" doesn't mean that you cannot acknowledge that a country has established itself as a free and sovereign Nation because they are "Under God".  So in layman's terms, you don't have to believe in God to respect that a Country's foundation is built upon the belief of God.  Our Freedom is God given as per our Founding Fathers, respecting that has nothing to do with your own personal beliefs.
  • CuriousGeorgeCuriousGeorge 52 Pts
    edited June 4
    @Vaulk, while what you are saying is valid, atheists feel somewhat aliienated when they hear how our country is established under God. It's not terrible and certainly can be accepted, but....
  • VaulkVaulk 198 Pts
    @CuriousGeorge, Well we're at the new age issue then...people's feelings versus the facts.  I'd consider myself a very reasonable person by any measure and reasonably speaking...the reason the Founding Fathers established our Freedom as a "God given right" is the same reason that most European Countries declared that the rulers of each country were blessed by simply makes it near impossible to contest.  I the time...who in their right mind would go against the "All mighty" and his ordained leaders of the world? 

    So likewise, in turn, the United States' Freedom and Sovereignty were established as "The will of the All Mighty".  I don't honestly see how it could have been any other way at the time.  Can you imagine any group of self-respecting people at the time claiming to be free from the rule of Britain simply because they "Thought it was better that way"?  You can't rally a nation to rise up against tyranny, oppression and the strength of an Army with "Natural ideology"'s never been done.  While it makes sense and is reasonable to propose realistic ideas and reasonable cause as the motivator to fight and most certainly sacrifice one's own life...people won't do it.

    I'd honestly like to see a social experiment where two sides were pitted in competition with each other to see who can execute an uprising first.  One side would be religious idealists and the other would be Scientists devoid of religious belief.  Both groups could be subjected to equal discrimination, oppression, tyranny and injustice and the goal would be to determine which set of principles were more likely to justify and therefor be the proximate cause of an uprising against said maltreatment.  The issue of course would be that no one in the groups could be from the United States as they would be preconditioned (Biased) to believe that they are entitled to freedom from tyranny and oppression.

    My point is simply that the Founders of our great Country were brilliant Men, they used the most powerful driving force in the World to justify their actions  Instead of proposing that Britain had treated the Colonies in an unethical manner...they suggested that Britain and more specifically King George III was against God.  Due to the very nature of the vast majority of Colonists being Christian...that was not acceptable and served as more than enough reason to rally as a Nation against those that would defy God's laws.

    Pretty smart huh?
  • @Vaulk, excellent argument.  That was certainly genius  at the time.
  • @Vaulk, your point well taken. Agreed.
  • VaulkVaulk 198 Pts
    While we all agree that it was a great idea...our Founding Fathers certainly weren't the first people to use Religion as a political driving force lol.
  • meshotyoemeshotyoe 18 Pts
    edited June 4
    Yes, it simpolizes the base of America.
  • Really great arguments here - but I just wanted to say I wasn't talking about taking it OUT of the pledge, just whether it should have been added in the first place.
  • VaulkVaulk 198 Pts
    edited June 5
    @melanielust ,

    Good point, we got a little off topic there.  I suppose in order to determine whether or not it should have been added, we'd have to take into account why it was added in the first place and whether or not the reasoning was justified.  I read a great article from the Business Insider explaining that:

    1. The original Pledge of Allegiance (Which didn't contain the words "Under God") was written by a Minister named Francis Bellamy in 1892. 
    2.  It wasn't until 1948 that an attorney named Louis Bowman added the phrase "Under God" during the Pledge at a meeting for the Sons of the American Revolution, claiming that Abraham Lincoln (16th POTUS) used the phrase during his Gettysburg Address.  Transcripts of the Address confirm that Lincoln did indeed state that "The Nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom". 
    3.  Now, ect ect, POTUS Eisenhower ended up meeting Bowman, heard his version, liked the phrase and during the height of the Cold War suggested that Bowman reintroduce the bill to congress suggesting the addition, Bowman had tried before and had been rejected.  POTUS Eisenhower also had "In God we Trust" added as the Nation's Motto 2 years later...apparently he was very Religious.

    Now I don't see any ill-intent in this but on the other hand the addition wasn't necessary.  It would appear that the addition of the phrase to our Pledge was more of a personal preference to a select few.  I would however, have to argue that while the nature of the Bill was one seemed to oppose it.  In fact it wasn't an issue until very recently.  Likewise, the Declaration of Independence is brimming with references to God being the bestowing authority of our Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.  Honestly I could go either way on this but I'm leaning more towards the "Under God" being in-line with the DOI.  If the DOI had included a reference to each Man's right to refute God as an existential being...then later on down the line I don't think anyone would have found it improper to add a phrase to the Pledge along the lines of "Unless you don't believe in God".  Likewise in this regard, the addition of "Under God" compliments the founding principles of our Nation and I personally believe it should be there.

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