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One Nation Under God - Positions

Jul. 8th, 2006 11:04 pm One Nation Under God

Resolved: that "Under God" be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Being Agnostic myself, one hot-button issue of particular interest to me, that has raised a debate in the courts, is that of the Pledge of Allegiance. In particular, one case was brought about claiming that the words 'under God' violated ones Constitutional freedom of religion. This was dismissed, saying that no one would be forced to recite the pledge. However, I feel that this argument falls flat for a number of reasons. Why should non-belivers in God be made to feel like outcasts?

+The words are not in the original pledge.
"...[T]he original Pledge of Allegiance—meant as an expression of patriotism, not religious faith— made no mention of God.*" This addition was not made until 1954. One common argument from proponents of including the words is that it is merely part of the history of our country, and it was always intended as such. However this is blatantly false; all atempts by our founders to include prayer or other non-secualr recitation before governmental meetings were almost unanimously defeated.

+Omitting the two words protects non-theists from feeling like outcasts.
We live in a nation where 85% of Americans define themselves as Christians, many very devout. Since the pledge has become so controversial, not saying these two words could subject some students to relentless teasing.

+This nation promotes a division of Church and State.
Under the laws that church related teachings etc. are to be omitted from governmentally run facilities, having the school be led to pledge their allegience to a nation 'under God' is clearly undermined. Most theists would agree that it is not necessary for them to recite these words in their place of eductation, though they are free to do so at home or at church.The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that:"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This is a clear violation.

+Mentioning God is most certainly a relgious statement.
One of the arguments proponents of the words use is that the words are not meant to be religious but rather ceremonial, historical, or political. Even if this were true, however, to a nine year old being forced to recite thiese words daily it most certainly appears to him that he is pledging allegience not only to his country but to God as well.

+The choice to remain silent is still not a constitutional one.
In 1992 the Supreme Court case Lee v. Weisman the court found nonsectarian prayers at a public school graduation in violation the Constitution because they coerce student participation. In the same way, a school-wide pledge can be seen as the same kind of coersion found unconstitutional.

+The removal of these words is not an anti-God movement.
Contrary to many theists vision, those who oppose the words are not Christ-hating teenagers dressed in black. Where as many Agnostics and Atheists are opposed to the phrase, many theists are as well. The phrase one nation "under God" implies not a oneness with God but rather a distinct separation. Acts 17:28 in the Bible state "It is in God that we live, and move, and have our being." "If the intent of Congress was to declare a close relationship of the People with God, it has done just the opposite.**"


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