Under God?

The fact that the Pledge of Allegiance contains the words “under God” makes it unconstitutional and a blatant disregard of non-Christian Americans.

It is a common misconception that the Pledge of Allegiance is the same today as originally written. Let us clear up that misconception right now. The Pledge of Allegiance as originally written goes like this:

ORIGINAL PLEDGE: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

This was as it appeared in a Boston based magazine called “The Youth’s Companion” back in 1892. The words were for students to repeat on Columbus Day. The magazine’s circulation manager, Francis Bellamy, wrote it. Columbus Day fell on October 12, 1892 and children recited the Pledge of Allegiance – beginning the tradition of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each school day.

When do we pledge to uphold the Constitution?

A National Flag Conference in Washington, DC on June 14, 1923, modified the Pledge of Allegiance. The NFC replaced “my flag” with “the flag of the United States of America.”

In 1942, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that schools could not force schoolchildren to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

In June of 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. President Eisenhower said,

EISENHOWER MODIFICATION: “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 our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

President Eisenhower made the change after the Knights of Columbus (self-proclaimed “Strong Right Arm of the Church”) campaigned for the change (during the era of McCarthyism and the “Red Scare”). Bellamy’s granddaughter said that Bellamy would have resented the second change because it went against his original intent for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Bellamy was the circulation manager for the magazine because he walked away from his church as a Baptist minister the year before. Reverend Bellamy left the church in 1891 because of public views about his socialist sermons and because he felt that the church was bigoted and racist. After he retired to Florida, Bellamy discussed what he was thinking when he wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. He said,

BELLAMY: “It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution… with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people… The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the ‘republic for which it stands.’ …And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation – the One Nation, which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future? Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity.’ No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all…”

The addition of “under God” is a clear violation of the Separation of Church and State. Eisenhower and the Congress changed the law when a small group of Strong Arm Catholics made a stink when everyone was afraid of those “godless Communists”. The Supreme Court has already ruled that schools could not force schoolchildren to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and yet schools continue to defy that decision. Schools have suspended students for refusing to say the Pledge – even though the Supreme Court said they do not have to say it.

The addition of “under God” is a clear violation of the Separation of Church and State. Eisenhower and the Congress changed the law when a small group of Strong Arm Catholics made a stink when everyone was afraid of those “godless Communists”. The Supreme Court has already ruled that schools could not force schoolchildren to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and yet schools continue to defy that decision. Schools have suspended students for refusing to say the Pledge – even though the Supreme Court said they do not have to say it.

The immediate claims on the airwaves were simple arguments and pleading to the emotionalism of Americans. Only those that supported the court’s decision actually had any facts or law to back up their view. The religionists only had emotional pleas and babbling nonsense, such as claims that “under God” was a generic statement and did not support a particular religion. The historical ignorance of the phrase became obvious in letters and on the airwaves. It was not until after a few weeks that the majority of Christians at least acknowledged that the insertion of the phrase in 1954.

Even the judge that ruled against the phrase, a Republican, stated in his opinion that he disagreed with it and felt it should be there, but he had no choice but to follow the law. None of the opponents of the decisions ever mentioned that. Of course, none of the proponents of the decision seemed to mention it, either. It seemed that both sides were missing the key points. Even the media swayed away from the decision and started pinging on the personal life of Mike Newdow, the plaintiff in the case.

I pledge allegiance, to the Constitution, and the rights for which it demands!

If, as the opponents said, the phrase “under God” was generic, then why is it that the decision only upset Christians? Sure, there were the Jews in Congress that were upset, but that was a political ploy – not reality. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, was a good example of this political hypocrisy. He put his personal beliefs aside in order to gain political favor with his Christian voters. Too bad.

Is the phrase “under God” generic or does it promote a specific religion? If you consider the source of the phrase and the historical origins thereof, it is clear that it promotes not only a specific religion, but also the specific sect of Catholicism. It was a Catholic strong-arm group, the Knights of Columbus, who persuaded and pushed for the addition of the phrase during the height of the scare of those “Godless Communists”.

If the phrase is generic then it should fit every religion, as the Christians would have you believe. So let us take a closer look at the way different religions spell the name of their god(s) and write it.

“G-d” is the way that god is written out in Judaism. It is blasphemous to spell out the name of god, so they insert a hyphen. We can eliminate Judaism as the endorsed or sponsored religion because the phrase is not “under G-d”.

Islam uses the phrase “The Father” (Allah). We can eliminate Islam as the endorsed or sponsored religion because the phrase is not “under The Father” or “under Allah”.

Deism believes in an impersonal god spelled with a lowercase “g”. We can eliminate deism and related religions as the endorsed or sponsored religion because the phrase is not “under god.”

Paganism, Shamanism, Wicca, or similar religions use “goddess” or the proper names of individual goddesses. Earth-based religions would not call “Mother Earth” such a sexist term as “God”. We can eliminate Paganism and related religions as the endorsed or sponsored religion because the phrase is not “under Goddess” or “atop Mother Earth.”

Hinduism talks about the “gods” or uses the specific and proper name of the incarnation of Vishnu, depending on what sect you are referring. We can eliminate Hinduism as the endorsed or sponsored religion because the phrase is not “under gods.”

What does that leave? What religion spells god with a capital G? Christianity is the religion that spells their concept of god with a capital G. Christians are the only ones up in arms over the decision. A Christian sect strong-armed the government to make the change. The Christian mindset of fear of godlessness is what setup the environment that brought on the change. These things combined clearly show that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is a direct endorsement and promotion of Christianity by the government of the United States. It is therefore an unconstitutional phrase and the phrase needs removing.

There are many Christians that say by removing “under God” from the Pledge that the government is endorsing “the religion of atheism.” To endorse their concept of what religious atheism is (the disbelief in God), we would not remove the phrase but change it to “under no God”. The removal of the phrase does not endorse any religion or non-religion. It makes no statement either pro or con of any god or goddess concept. The Pledge, without that phrase, remains neutral to all religions.

I am often surprised that Christians endorse the Pledge of Allegiance in the first place. After all, pledge to an icon (the flag) is in violation of their Ten Commandments. Should they not be pledging to their god? Of course, that goes for any religionist – not just Christians.

Freedom of religion founded this country, and as we have already learned, religion does not mean god. Buddhism is a religion without a god and others as well. To pledge to this country by way of its flag with a law written to endorse a single religion (which it does by capitalizing the word god) is a clear violation of the Separation of Church and State.

Of course the issue of forcing patriotism through rote Pledges is another topic altogether…

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