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Does "under God" belong in the pledge?
in United States

By melanielustmelanielust 272 Pts
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.
joecavalrynatbaronsmeshotyoeEmeryPearsonNope
  1. Does "under God" belong in the pledge?

    19 votes
    1. Yes
      57.89%
    2. No
      42.11%



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  • Yes, because American was founded with the help of god.
    EmeryPearsonBaconToes
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com 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.
    EmeryPearson
  • Even if we should remove it, can you imagine what kind of controversy it would generate to actually remove something like that?
    EmeryPearson
  • agsragsr 840 Pts
    @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:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/27/opinion/one-nation-under-god.html
    agsrnatbaronsEmeryPearson
  • agsragsr 840 Pts
    @melanielust, that was really informative!  Thanks for sharing. 
    EmeryPearson
    Live Long and Prosper
  • I agree with @melanielust .
    melanielustEmeryPearson
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited May 2017
    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.
    SuperSith89EmeryPearsonSonofasonWokeWhaleNope
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • @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: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/penny-starr/education-expert-removing-bible-prayer-public-schools-has-caused-decline.  
    EmeryPearson
  • @Vaulk, you made great points.  However, the flip side is the message that atheists are not part of the country DNA?
    EmeryPearson
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited June 2017
    @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.
    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • CuriousGeorgeCuriousGeorge 107 Pts
    edited June 2017
    @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 560 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 God...it simply makes it near impossible to contest.  I mean...at 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"...it'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?
    islander507CuriousGeorgeWhyTrumpEmeryPearsonDFG44
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • @Vaulk, excellent argument.  That was certainly genius  at the time.
  • @Vaulk, your point well taken. Agreed.
  • VaulkVaulk 560 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.
    WhyTrump
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • meshotyoemeshotyoe 18 Pts
    edited June 2017
    Yes, it simpolizes the base of America.
    EmeryPearson
  • 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 560 Pts
    edited June 2017
    @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 personal...no 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.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/under-god-added-to-pledge-of-allegiance-2014-6



    melanielustEmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • EmeryPearsonEmeryPearson 122 Pts
    edited May 2
    No, due to the function of the pledge. If you specifically must be theist in order to recite the pledge honesty, then it's not serving it's function. 

    Only theists may be honest when pledging allegiance, and this doesn't apply to all theists either.

    The pledge only accounts for theistic loyalty to the country, as atheists must lie in order to recite it.

    It should not have been added, as if it is a tool, the action decreased it's value, as the pledge can only be honestly recited by theists.



    On a more personal note, I do not recite the pledge for this reason. As I must be dishonest or exclusive, which means I am not really making the pledge. I also specifically had all references of God removed during my swearing in for the Military, as I would have to be dishonest or exclusive, making the pledge meaningless.
    Nope
  • BaconToesBaconToes 189 Pts
    i fart cows
  • SonofasonSonofason 96 Pts
    @Vaulk, you made great points.  However, the flip side is the message that atheists are not part of the country DNA?
    I would argue that those atheists who are unwilling to acknowledge as Vaulk has said, that "the addition of "Under God" compliments the founding principles of our Nation", and therefore ought to be preserved, even if only for the sake of those believers who wish to preserve it, perhaps ought not be considered citizens of this great nation at all.  
    EmeryPearson
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 541 Pts
    Strictly speaking, it does not, since the US legally is a multiconfessional state and does not give preference to a single religious stance. At the same time, it makes sense tradition-wise, since historically the US was founded as a state based on a novel interpretation of Christian morals and beliefs, and proclaiming respect towards those morals and beliefs is somewhat expected from the person that wants to be the US citizen.

    I don't think the exact wording of the pledge is nearly as important as what it is supposed to symbolize. That said, if we could remove this line from the pledge without causing a strong negative emotional response from people, then I think it would be a reasonable action to take.
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited May 8
    There's something to be said about Atheist not being part of the Country's DNA.  That is, they're just not.  I'm sure that somewhere out there, someone has an all inclusive list of all the amazing achievements that arose from Atheism however, the establishment, creation and fundamental principles of the United States are not among those achievements.

    Don't worry, there are several other worldviews that didn't have much of a hand in the Country's DNA either...Atheists aren't alone.  There is something to be said however, about how Christianity paved the way for Atheism to be acceptable as a worldview, more to follow on that in the future I'm sure but the simple fact is that Christianity is what pressed the advancement of the sciences, which ultimately paved the way for the justification of Modern Western Atheism.  Also while Christianity has a bloody history, Christians, unlike some religions today, don't kill people for being Atheists.  There's something to be said about the level of freedom that exists in our Country where Atheists and Theists can live in harmony despite the country's bedrock being rooted in Religion.
    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • funpersonfunperson 48 Pts
    Pledge shouldn't even exist IMO. I don't like unconditional alliances because it implies that you have to side with your ally even if you think they go wrong, so if somebody is not supportive of an action that America takes, he/she should not have to consider America an ally.
    EmeryPearson
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    @funperson

    If somebody is not supportive of an action that America takes, he/she may leave the United States and be free of citizenship there at any point.  No one can be compelled to remain a citizen of the United States.
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • BaconToesBaconToes 189 Pts
    the U.S. is not founded on the principle of Christianity. It was founded on the principle of religious freedom.
    EmeryPearson
    i fart cows
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    @BaconToes

    The United States Supreme Court has formally and officially acknowledged the Declaration of Independence as containing the fundamental principles of the United States and as being the mind and spirit of the Constitution.  That said, the DOI establishes firmly that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (Fundamental principles of our country) are unalienable because they are God given rights.

    If that somehow doesn't establish the foundation of the United States as Christian then I'm not sure what would.
    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • @Vaulk

    The Constitution is a wholly secular document, and is the ultimate law of the land.

    The Declaration of Independence is not law, nor is it precedent. 

    But either of these facts doesn't discount that 'under god' shouldn't be in the pledge, as you eliminate polytheists and atheists from honestly reciting it, limiting what group of citizens may actually recite it without being dishonest, or without modifying it. 

    If you see no issue with limiting the honest recital of the pledge to monotheists, then there is no problem. I don't share this perspective however.
    BaconToes
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited May 15
    @EmeryPearson

    Let me first fully and solidly acknowledge that the Declaration of Independence is not law, nor is it precedent.

    That being said, the United States Supreme Court is the absolute most powerful arbiter of the law in our land, they are the ultimate authority on what is and is not Constitutional and according to the supreme arbiter of the law...the Declaration of Independence is absolutely relevant when considering all things pertaining to the U.S. Constitution.

    So while technically you're correct that the DOI isn't law, the fact still remains that the DOI is the mind and the spirit of the Constitution...not to mention the entire fundamental principle of it.  Your argument is essentially that it's irrelevant what the Constitution is built upon...the fundamental principle of the Constitution doesn't matter...it's only what's technically inside the Constitution that determines it's secular status.  This argument is a misrepresentation of the truth at best and completely dishonest at worst and stands as an attempt to convince people that "How" something works isn't important.


    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • EmeryPearsonEmeryPearson 122 Pts
    edited May 15
    "the Declaration of Independence is absolutely relevant when considering all things pertaining to the U.S. Constitution." 

    I didn't say it wasn't. I am stating is not the law of the land, and is therefore superseded by the Constitution.

    "the fundamental principle of the Constitution doesn't matter...it's only what's technically inside the Constitution that determines it's secular status"

    Yes, legally, this is the case. The Constitution was written to reflect our positive (government) law, not natural(Deistic/Religious) law.  The positive law and functions of the government outlined in the Constitution while under perfect conditions, should reflect natural law, however the founding fathers realized we do not live in a perfect world. 

    It would be an assumption to claim that this statement of natural law was derived from Christianity, say more so than Deism, or the principles laid out by the founding fathers concerning natural law:


    1. people have equal dignity before God,
    2. God grants people rights or powers, some of which are transferable (alienable) and others not transferable (inalienable or unalienable),
    3. government is erected primarily to protect people’s rights,
    4. government is a fiduciary enterprise, subject to rules of public trust, and
    5. the people may alter government when it does not serve their purposes.

    Natural law does not equate to Biblical law. Theism doesn't equate to Christianity. God doesn't equate to Yahweh.

    But I consider this irrelevant, as my point is that modifying the pledge to include 'under god' precludes a large group of American citizens from honestly reciting it. Which decreases it's value as a pledge. 

    http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/03/26/the-relationship-between-the-declaration-of-independence-and-the-constitution/
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited May 16
    @EmeryPearson

    Although in order for something to be secular it must not be connected in any way, shape or form with religious or spiritual matters...somehow you've concluded that the U.S. Constitution (The fundamental principles of which are rooted firmly in religious ideology and furthermore acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court as being so) is a Secular document.

    I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree that the underlying principle and foundation of the Constitution being Religious somehow still allows for secular status. 

    "But I consider this irrelevant, as my point is that modifying the pledge to include 'under god' precludes a large group of American citizens from honestly reciting it. Which decreases it's value as a pledge". 

    You are absolutely correct.  Also take note that the phrase "Under God" does not mean "Some" God or "A" God, or "Your" God....but "God".  This means that every other Religion that does not subscribe to the Man in the Sky and his Son Jesus Christ is also excluded from honestly reciting the pledge. 

    You might also be shocked to know:


    1. When the Constitution was created, almost every state had a state religion and subsequent State Churches.  
    2. Historically, U.S. Politicians at all levels were required to be graduates of Christian orthodox universities in order to hold office.
    3. Emblazoned over the Speaker of the House in the US Capitol are the words "In God We Trust." - Our Nation's Motto
    4. The Supreme Court building built in the 1930's has carvings of Moses and the Ten Commandments.
    5. God is mentioned in stone all over Washington D.C., on its monuments and buildings.
    6. As a nation, we have celebrated Christmas to commemorate the Savior's birth for centuries.
    7. Oaths in courtrooms have invoked God from the beginning.
    8. The founding fathers often quoted the Bible in their writings.
    9. Every president that has given an inaugural address has mentioned God in that speech.
    10. Prayers have been said at the swearing in of each president.
    11. Each president was sworn in on the Bible, saying the words, "So help me God."
    12. Our national anthem mentions God.
    13. The liberty bell has a Bible verse engraved on it.
    14. The original constitution of all 50 states mentions God.
    15. Chaplains have been in the public payroll from the very beginning.
    16. Our nations birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, mentions God four times.
    17. The Bible was used as a textbook in the schools.


    Now some organizations have tried with great effort to remove and undo these things over time...most have met with failure while some have been somewhat successful.  Try as people might though...you can't make the non-secular aspects of our Country disappear...no matter how many people's feelings are hurt over it.

    We live in a Religious Country that's founded upon Religious ideology and we're regulated by laws that are firmly rooted in Religious principles...and nothing is going to change that.  No one is forced to participate in the experiment here...that said, atheists are welcome to stay and be disgruntled about not getting their way.  
    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • EmeryPearsonEmeryPearson 122 Pts
    edited May 24
    @Vaulk

    "Although in order for something to be secular it must not be connected in any way, shape or form with religious or spiritual matters..."

    This is incorrect, in order for something to be secular, it must merely seperate state from relgion. Which the Constitution guarantees. 
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/secularism
    "The principle of separation of the state from religious institutions."

    "somehow you've concluded that the U.S. Constitution (The fundamental principles of which are rooted firmly in religious ideology and furthermore acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court as being so) is a Secular document."

    This is a Straw man, as the Constitution demands separation of church and state. This is what makes it Secular. It could be wholly based off of biblical law, and still be secular if it demanded a separation of church and state.

    "I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree that the underlying principle and foundation of the Constitution being Religious somehow still allows for secular status.  "

    Yes, it seems so, I am unable to take your definition of what secularism is over definitions offered by dictionary sources. Anything which demands a separation of Church and State is actively practicing secularism, religious roots don't change that fact.

    "Now some organizations have tried with great effort to remove and undo these things over time...most have met with failure while some have been somewhat successful."

    I would say the vast majority have been successful.
    Separation of Church and State is a Constitutional issue, which has been affirmed by the supreme court multiple times.

    State relgion has been eliminated. 
    You can no longer demand religious tests for elected officials.
    Ten commandments outside of historical exceptions, are being removed from public court houses. 
    You are not required to invoke God in court.
    The founding fathers stated that the US was indeed, not a Christian nation, but a secular one.
    Not all presidents(Too include founding fathers) have sworn in on a Bible, nor are they required to.
    The Bible is banned as a textbook in school.

    "We live in a Religious Country that's founded upon Religious ideology and we're regulated by laws that are firmly rooted in Religious principles...and nothing is going to change that.  No one is forced to participate in the experiment here...that said, atheists are welcome to stay and be disgruntled about not getting their way.  "

    We live in a secular nation, as affirmed by the Constitution and Supreme Court. And as things are going, you are welcome to stay as well, so long as your willing to accept that Christianity isn't deserving of special treatment and will be stripped of such.

    But this is irrelevant, as we already agree on my original point. "You are absolutely correct"
    BaconToes
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited May 26
    @EmeryPearson

    Well thought out.  I suppose we can agree to disagree however, since we both agree that our Nation is currently built so as to prevent Atheists and other practitioners of Religions other than Christianity from honestly pledging their allegiance to our Flag and what it represents...then I'm not sure how we still disagree about the Secular status of our current Country.

    It would seem than any Country that is truly Secular would follow suite and would not require you to acknowledge the existence and authority of God in order to honestly pledge your allegiance to it.  You've actually made the most convincing argument for the conclusion that our Constitution is not Secular because if it was...you wouldn't need to acknowledge God in any aspect in order to "Honestly" pledge your allegiance.


    Also, we can agree that the Principle of the separation of Church and State is secularism...but the existence of that separation does not necessitate a that our Constitution be a secular document.  If something is built upon a Religious principle...it cannot be secular...that however, does not exclude it from including secular rules.  "You can't legally be forced to recite "Under God" in the pledge (Secularism) but the pledge none-the-less includes the phrase "Under God" (Non secular).


    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • EmeryPearsonEmeryPearson 122 Pts
    edited May 30
    @Vaulk

    "Well thought out.  I suppose we can agree to disagree however, since we both agree that our Nation is currently built so as to prevent Atheists and other practitioners of Religions other than Christianity from honestly pledging their allegiance to our Flag and what it represents...then I'm not sure how we still disagree about the Secular status of our current Country."

    This is a straw man, I would not claim that a pledge of allegiance which invokes a deity makes a nation wholly non-secular. I do claim, that is is less effective however.

    "It would seem than any Country that is truly Secular would follow suite and would not require you to acknowledge the existence and authority of God in order to honestly pledge your allegiance to it. "

    This assumes the pledge is meaningful to begin with, and that a single example of religious bias is enough to declare a nation non-secular.

    "Also, we can agree that the Principle of the separation of Church and State is secularism...but the existence of that separation does not necessitate a that our Constitution be a secular document.  If something is built upon a Religious principle...it cannot be secular...that however, does not exclude it from including secular rules.  "You can't legally be forced to recite "Under God" in the pledge (Secularism) but the pledge none-the-less includes the phrase "Under God" (Non secular)."

    The Constitution is a secular document. There is no mention of deities (Literal secularism), and likewise, it demands separation of Church and state.(Secularism as governance)

    "If something is built upon a Religious principle...it cannot be secular...that however, does not exclude it from including secular rules."

    This is incorrect, as established, secularism is separation of church and state. This caveat is irrelevant.
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited May 31
    @EmeryPearson

    Your disagreement is noted however, does nothing to refute or disprove the premises and conclusions I've made.  You also seem to have concluded that secularism (The principle of separating the State from Religious institutions) is the same thing as Secular (Not connected with religious or spiritual matters) which is a false equivalence fallacy.  

    Saying that the State and Church must be separate from one another does in fact equate secularism...but if (Hypothetical) we said that it's separate because God wants it that way...then the separation occurs for religious reasons which makes the act (Not the principle) Non-secular.

    I NEVER argued that secularism doesn't exist within the Constitution...I said specifically that it's not a Secular document and there's a huge distinction to be made between the two.  

    Lastly, making an individual point during an argument against a particular premise does not constitute a strawman fallacy.  I've made no misrepresentation of any proposition with or without the intent to defeat it instead of arguing against your premises or conclusions.  

    Your very own argument includes your referenced issue of "Atheists cannot honestly recite the pledge".  I never put emphasis on this issue...I merely used your own argument that it shouldn't be that way.  And I happen to believe that you are correct...if our Constitution were truly Secular (mind the difference between secularism and secular) then this issue would not exist.



    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • EmeryPearsonEmeryPearson 122 Pts
    edited May 31
    "Your disagreement is noted however, does nothing to refute or disprove the premises and conclusions I've made. "

    Likewise, neither do your disagreements. You have yet to refute or disprove the premises or conclusions I've made.

    "You also seem to have concluded that secularism (The principle of separating the State from Religious institutions) is the same thing as Secular (Not connected with religious or spiritual matters) which is a false equivalence fallacy.  ""

    This is incorrect. I distinguished that they are in fact, two different concepts in my reply.

    "Saying that the State and Church must be separate from one another does in fact equate secularism..."

    Yes actually it does. Separation of Church and State is a legal term denoting government favoritism of relgion/non religion.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/separation_of_church_and_state

    "but if (Hypothetical) we said that it's separate because God wants it that way...then the separation occurs for religious reasons which makes the act (Not the principle) Non-secular.""

    Citing your relgion for enforcing secularism, would be favoring that relgion, making the act and principle non-secular. This is a paradox.

    "I NEVER argued that secularism doesn't exist within the Constitution...I said specifically that it's not a Secular document and there's a huge distinction to be made between the two.  "

    And I disagree. It is Secular "Not connected with religious or spiritual matters", as it makes no mention of religious or spiritual matters outside the demand of Separation of Church and State. This is how you chose to define 'secular'.  And it demands Secularism "The principle of separating the State from Religious institutions" through the First Amendment. This is how you chose to define 'secularism'. I am using these words how you chose to define them.

    "
    Lastly, making an individual point during an argument against a particular premise does not constitute a strawman fallacy.  I've made no misrepresentation of any proposition with or without the intent to defeat it instead of arguing against your premises or conclusions.  "

    I can concede this. This is more akin to false equivalency. A nation with a non-secular pledge = A wholly non-secular nation. This does not equate.

    "Your very own argument includes your referenced issue of "Atheists cannot honestly recite the pledge".  I never put emphasis on this issue...I merely used your own argument that it shouldn't be that way.  And I happen to believe that you are correct...if our Constitution were truly Secular (Non based on secularism, mind the difference) then this issue would not exist."

    This is incorrect as well. A example of religious bias does not make the Constitution non-secular. The Constitution is capable of being secular  independent of Flag Code. Your logic does not follow. This also assumes that the Constitution is perfectly interpreted and enforced. Historically, this simply hasn't been the case. Otherwise issues such as slavery could not exist either.
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited May 31
    @EmeryPearson

    I'm seeing that the large hangup here is the disagreement on what "Connected" means.  Secular means "Not connected with religious or spiritual matters".  So let's dive that instead and I'll show conclusively how the U.S. constitution is connected with religious and spiritual matters.

    The error I've found in your logic is that you've asserted the lack of mentioning of religious or spiritual matters equates to the document being secular.  There is no requirement for a mentioning of God, religious matters or spiritual matters in the text of the constitution in order for it to be considered non-secular and the lack of mentioning is not evidence that the document is secular.  If you've found any such standard (Legal or otherwise) that demands the existence of text that makes specific mention of God, religious or spiritual matters in order for something to be considered non-secular then please state it otherwise this is your personal preference...not a standard.

    The U.S. Constitution is connected  with religious and spiritual matters through it's founding principles (Which are established in the Declaration of Independence) and the connection is furthermore established officially by the supreme arbiter of the United States ~ The United States Supreme Court.  

    1. U.S. Supreme Court officially establishes that the foundation of the Government is the Unalienable rights clause of the declaration of independence that establishes God as the bestower of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Cotting v. Godard, 183 U.S. 79 (1901), the Court stated:

    The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government."

    1841

    The Amistad, 40 U.S. 518 (1841)

    It is to be remembered, that the government of the United States is based on the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence, by the congress of 1776; "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and that to secure these rights, governments are instituted."


    Here is the connection, where the U.S. Supreme Court officially ties the Fundamental principles originating in the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution of the United States, the securing force of these principles.

    1886

    Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886)

    But the fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, considered as individual possessions, are secured by those maxims of constitutional law which are the monuments showing the victorious progress of the race in securing to men the blessings of civilization under the reign of just and equal laws, so that, in the famous language of the Massachusetts bill of rights, the government of the commonwealth "may be a government of laws and not of men." 

    AND HERE

    Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963)

    These are not, it must be stressed, cases like Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 , in which this Court held that, in the sphere of public education, the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the laws required that race not be treated as a relevant factor. A segregated school system is not invalid because its operation is coercive; it is invalid simply because our Constitution presupposes that men are created equal, and that therefore racial differences cannot provide a valid basis for governmental action. Accommodation of religious differences on the part of the State, however, is not only permitted but required by that same Constitution.


    The mistake you've made in concluding that the U.S. Constitution is a secular document is done by taking a twentieth-century concept like "secularism" and reading it back into the Constitution. You've taken a concept that didn’t even exist in the eighteenth century and attributed it to the framers of the Constitution. Unfortunately, this is a very common error.  The reality is "God" is in every word of the Constitution, including the punctuation. Below the surface of the words in the Constitution, there is a mountain of ideas that made its formation possible. The belief that God exists and that all nations of the world are subject to Him sits on the summit of that mountain.

    This is what connects the U.S. Constitution to Religious and Spiritual matters...not the inclusion of a specific statement or specific words.  And again...there's no standard that states "A document is secular if there's no text included within the document that makes mention to God, Religious or Spiritual matters.  The standard for the word "Secular" is that there can be no CONNECTION with Religious or Spiritual matters.  Since you've already used this definition and agreed to work off this standard then I have successfully shown a valid and distinct connection between the U.S. Constitution and Religious and Spiritual matters.


    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • EmeryPearsonEmeryPearson 122 Pts
    edited June 4
    "I'm seeing that the large hangup here is the disagreement on what "Connected" means.  Secular means "Not connected with religious or spiritual matters".  So let's dive that instead and I'll show conclusively how the U.S. constitution is connected with religious and spiritual matters."

    Simply quoting a single religious or spirtital matter within the Constitution, would prove this.

    "The error I've found in your logic is that you've asserted the lack of mentioning of religious or spiritual matters equates to the document being secular. "

    Secular: "Not connected with religious or spiritual matters."
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/secular

    This is the literal definition. The Constitution is without any connection to religious or spiritual matters. If this is not true. Please provide any evidence of a relgion or spiritual matter contained within the Constitution.  

    "
    There is no requirement for a mentioning of God, religious matters or spiritual matters in the text of the constitution in order for it to be considered non-secular and the lack of mentioning is not evidence that the document is secular. "

    This is incorrect, per the definition of Secular. It would need to cite religious motivation, or a spiritual matter in order to not be secular.

    "a : of or relating to the worldly or temporal secular concerns
    b : not overtly or specifically religious secular music
    c : not ecclesiastical or clerical secular courts secular landowners"
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secular

    The Constitution is relating to worldly and temporal secular concerns. This is the very definition of Secular. The Constitution makes reference to exactly zero religious and spiritual concerns outside the demand for Separation of Church and State. If this is untrue, please, cite where in the Constitution such references exist.

    If you've found any such standard (Legal or otherwise) that demands the existence of text that makes specific mention of God, religious or spiritual matters in order for something to be considered non-secular then please state it otherwise this is your personal preference...not a standard."

    It's not me you're having an issue with, it's the definition of Secular. Without any references to religious or spiritual matters within the Constitution, in addition to it's demand of secularism. It is a secular document. If your able to cite a religious or spiritual matter within the Constitution, you're welcome to, as this would disprove my claim.

    "
    The U.S. Constitution is connected  with religious and spiritual matters through it's founding principles (Which are established in the Declaration of Independence) and the connection is furthermore established officially by the supreme arbiter of the United States ~ The United States Supreme Court.  "

    So your suggesting the connection exists outside the Constitution? The Declaration of Independence isn't the Constitution. And the Supreme Court has affirmed the secular nature of the Constitution:

    McCollum v. Board of Education
    "[The facts] show the use of tax-supported property for religious instruction and the close cooperation between the school authorities and the religious council in promoting religious education. The operation of the state's compulsory education system thus assists and is integrated with the program of religious instruction carried on by separate religious sects. Pupils compelled by law to go to school for secular education are released … in part from their legal duty upon the condition that they attend the religious classes.

    To hold that a state cannot, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, utilize its public school system to aid any or all religious faiths or sects in the dissemination of their doctrines and ideals does not … manifest a governmental hostility to religion or religious teachings. … For the First Amendment rests upon the premise that both religion and government can best work to achieve their lofty aims if each is left free from the other within its respective sphere."

    Torcaso v. Watkins
    "... We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person "to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion." Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs."

    Engel v. Vitale
    “that, by using its public school system to encourage recitation of the Regents’ prayer, the State of New York has adopted a practice wholly inconsistent with the Establishment Clause.”

    Abington School District v. Schempp
    "The reading of the verses, even without comment, possesses a devotional and religious character and constitutes in effect a religious observance. The devotional and religious nature of the morning exercises is made all the more apparent by the fact that the Bible reading is followed immediately by a recital in unison by the pupils of the Lord's Prayer. The fact that some pupils, or theoretically all pupils, might be excused from attendance at the exercises does not mitigate the obligatory nature of the ceremony for ... Section 1516 ... unequivocally requires the exercises to be held every school day in every school in the Commonwealth. The exercises are held in the school buildings and perforce are conducted by and under the authority of the local school authorities and during school sessions. Since the statute requires the reading of the 'Holy Bible,' a Christian document, the practice ... prefers the Christian religion. The record demonstrates that it was the intention of ... the Commonwealth ... to introduce a religious ceremony into the public schools of the Commonwealth."

    Epperson v. Arkansas
    The overriding fact is that Arkansas’ law selects from the body of knowledge a particular segment which it proscribes for the sole reason that it is deemed to conflict with a particular religious doctrine; that is, with a particular interpretation of the Book of Genesis by a particular religious group.[8]

    Lemon v. Kurtzman
    Establishment of the Lemon Test:

    The statute must have a secular legislative purpose. (Also known as the Purpose Prong)

    The principal or primary effect of the statute must not advance nor inhibit religion. (Also known as the Effect Prong)

    The statute must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion. (Also known as the Entanglement Prong)

    Factors.

    Character and purpose of institution benefited.

    Nature of aid the state provides.

    Resulting relationship between government and religious authority.

    Stone v. Graham
    ""This is not a case in which the Ten Commandments are integrated into the school curriculum, where the Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like. [See Abington School District v. Schempp.] Posting of religious texts on the wall serves no such educational function. If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause of the Constitution."

    Wallace v. Jaffree
    "(a) The proposition that the several States have no greater power than to restrain the individual freedoms protected by the First Amendment than does Congress is firmly embedded in constitutional jurisprudence. The First Amendment was adopted to curtail Congress' power to interfere with the individual's freedom to believe, to worship, and to express himself in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience......

    (b) One of the well-established criteria for determining the constitutionality of a statute under the Establishment Clause is that the statute must have a secular legislative purpose. The First Amendment requires that a statute must be invalidated if it is entirely motivated by a purpose to advance religion.

    (c) The record here not only establishes that 16-1-20.1's purpose was to endorse religion, it also reveals that the enactment of the statute was not motivated by any clearly secular purpose." "...The State's endorsement, by enactment of 16-1-20.1, of prayer activities at the beginning of each school day is not consistent with the established principle that the government must pursue a course of complete neutrality toward religion. But in extreme cases a religion will be followed and enforced in the schools."

    Edwards v. Aquillard
    " The court further concluded that

    the teaching of "creation-science" and "creationism," as contemplated by the statute, involves teaching "tailored to the principles" of a particular religious sect or group of sects.

    Id. at 427 (citing Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 106 (1968)). The District Court therefore held that the Creationism Act violated the Establishment Clause either because it prohibited the teaching of evolution or because it required the teaching of creation science with the purpose of advancing a particular religious doctrine."

    THe Supreme Court affirmed that the citation of religious or spiritual motivation in the creation or enforcement of law is indeed a violation of the Establishment Cause. And in cases where religious and spiritual motivations are the perceived cause for the creation or enforcement of law.

    Furthermore, Declarationism is not a universal view of the supreme court.  In Fact, it's a consistently minority view. Clarence Thomas for instance, is currently the only Justice which shares this view. Simply because such a legal stance exists, doesn't infer it overrules others. 
    https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Declarationism
    https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/65/Cherry-Picking

    To add, The Declaration of Independence specifically states: 

    "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
    The powers outlined within the Constitution specifically originate with Men, The Governed. Not Religion, a Deity, or a Spiritual matter.

    "
    Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is 
    the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
    This again, reinforces that the government established by the Constitution is beholden to Men, The People, not a Deity, not a relgion, not a spiritual matter.

    Even if the motivations of the Declaration of Independence were religious, or spiritual. It makes clear, the Positive law (The Constitution) is derived from Men, and can be changed by Men.

    The Constitution also state's it's purpose is Secular: 
    "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America."




    There is no connection, as the Constitution states as so. There is no connection, as the Declaration of Independence states there isn't so. The laws of the governed are derived from Man. Specifically The People.
    No amount of mental gymnastics is going to insert 'God' into the Constitution. He quite simply isn't there.

    BaconToes
  • VaulkVaulk 560 Pts
    edited June 7
    @EmeryPearson

    Ok, so we've narrowed this down to just the meaning of Secular...this shouldn't be an issue.  

    Since we've established so firmly what Secular means and:

    You've stated that the Constitution would need to cite some Religious motivation or a Spiritual matter in order to not be secular.

    I have one question: Where is this written?  Where is this exact requirement stated, what law, statute, regulation, dictionary or reference requires a specifically Religious or Spiritual citation in text for something to not be Secular?
    EmeryPearson
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


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