''Under God''

Should the words ''under God'' be in the US Pledge?

Should the words "Under God" be in the Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance was first written in 1892 for a magazine contest, and it read: "I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." The Pledge became part of the US Flag Code in 1942, and in 1954 President Eisenhower and Congress added the phrase "under God” into the Pledge.Opponents contend that church and state should be kept strictly separate as the Founding Fathers intended. They argue that the Constitution protects minority rights against majority will, and that the words "under God" in the Pledge are a religious phrase and thus violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment

PROS

"Recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is fully consistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The words of the Pledge echo the conviction held by the Founders of this Nation that our freedoms come from God. Congress inserted the phrase; One Nation Under God; in the Pledge of Allegiance for the express purpose of reaffirming America unique understanding of this truth, and to distinguish America from atheistic nations who recognize no higher authority than the State."American Center for Law and Justice


"For more than two hundred years, many of our expressions of national identity and patriotism have referenced God. The Supreme Court, which opens each session by saying; God save the United States and this honorable Court; has affirmed time and again that such official acknowledgments of our Nation: religious heritage, foundation, and character are constitutional. The Department of Justice will continue vigorously to defend the ability of American school children to pledge allegiance to the flag."-- Alberto Gonzalez


"Neither the Pledge nor its recitation constitutes a forbidden religious exercise because pledging allegiance is, by its very nature, purpose, and effect, a secular activity - an individual statement of patriotism and respect for this country and its primary symbol."-- Center for Individual Freedom

CONS

"...it is not only the right thing for the Court to find in favor of Mr. Newdow and the principle of neutrality toward religion in the First Amendment's Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses. It is also in the national interest to do so.”-- Marci Hamilton


"People don't get angry at a recital of historical and demographic facts. People get angry because they know what it means; it's plain English. They believe what it means, they want people to say what it means, they want their kids to say what it means. And I'll tell you a dirty little secret: They want to coerce other kids to say what it means and what they believe to be true. They know that 'under God' means under God."-- Douglas Laycock


"The government should not be asking impressionable school children to affirm their allegiance to God at the same time that they are affirming their allegiance to the country...Removing ‘under God’ from the Pledge is not anti-religious [...] just the opposite is true. The only way the religious reference in the Pledge can be upheld is for the Court to conclude that the words ‘under God’ have no religious meaning, which is far more insulting to people of faith."-- American Civil Liberties Union

Summary

I believe that the words "Under God" should be kept in the "Pledge of Allegiance." The term "under God" can be replaced by something else that people believe to be of high importance in their life. For example, "under God" can be replaced by another God, a goal, a desire, or any material object that you believe to be valuable at that moment. Our freedom of speech allows us to decide whether we say it or not. Just skip it or don't say it at all. All you have to do is show respect and courtesy to country and patriotism. Most citizens of America belong to some sort of Christianity and have the right to say and believe in their own beliefs. I personally like to show respect to our flag, because my dad is in the ARMY. The flag represents what he fights for, and so I believe that God is always protecting him and our Country.


First Amendment of the US Constitution

The First Amendment (1791) of the US Constitution reads, in full:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."1791 US Constitution


The portion of the First Amendment relevant to the debate over the inclusion of the words "under God" in the Pledge is often broken down by legal scholars into two clauses called "The Establishment Clause" and the "The Free Exercise Clause."

PRO "Under God" Interpretation

CON "Under God" Interpretation


Establishment Clause "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

PRO - Congress is permitted to add the words "under God" to government materials because the phrase does not "establish" any specific religion.

CON - Congress cannot add any reference to "God" or religion to any government materials because this clause explicitly forbids any such inclusion.


Free Exercise Clause "...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

PRO - Americans are permitted to Pledge to a nation under any "God" they choose, or to not use any such words at all.

CON - Congress is prohibited from adding the words "under God" because those words may interfere with the free exercise of atheism.