September 4, 2013

5 facts about the Pledge of Allegiance

FT_13.09.03_pledgeMass

Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court – the state’s highest court – will hear arguments today in Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, a case in which an anonymous atheist couple is challenging the use of the phrase “under God” in recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Humanist Association, are appealing a lower court ruling that went in favor of the school district.

With the school year getting underway around the country, here are five facts about the Pledge of Allegiance and its legal history:

Facts_1The original version of the Pledge of Allegiance did not include the words “under God.” The patriotic oath – attributed to a Baptist minister named Francis Bellamy and published in a children’s magazine in September 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to America –  read: “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Facts_2Congress added “Under God” to the Pledge in 1954 – during the Cold War. Many members of Congress reportedly wanted to emphasize the distinctions between the United States and the officially atheistic Soviet Union.

Facts_3The children of the plaintiffs in the Massachusetts case – like all Americans – cannot be required to recite the Pledge or any specific part of it. That was made clear in a 1943 U.S. Supreme Court decision, West Virginia v. Barnette, in which Justice Robert Jackson wrote: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.”

Facts_4In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted a case (Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow) that challenged the use of “under God” in the Pledge, but the high court did not rule on the question of whether the Pledge is constitutional under the First Amendment. Instead, a five-justice majority said that atheist Michael Newdow did not have legal standing to bring the case on behalf of his daughter because he did not have legal custody of her. Standing is a legal concept that only those with a legitimate stake in a case’s outcome can be a party to a lawsuit.

Facts_5The current Massachusetts case challenges the Pledge from a different perspective than did Michael Newdow, who argued that “under God” in the Pledge violates the prohibition on the establishment of religion in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. According to the Religion News Service, the plaintiffs in this new case are arguing that the recitation of the pledge discriminates against non-believing students and thus violates the guarantee of equal rights contained in the Massachusetts Constitution.

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Church-State Law, Education

  1. is Assistant Editor at the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.

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78 Comments

  1. Orion2 weeks ago

    If it wasn’t for god we wouldn’t be here

    Reply
    1. Jesse Newman7 days ago

      You have it backwards! If it were for us, there would be no concept of god.

      Reply
      1. Jesse Newman7 days ago

        ‘weren’t’, doh!

        Reply
        1. brian1 day ago

          Truth

          Reply
  2. Orion2 weeks ago

    That’s sad

    Reply
  3. LeeNV2 weeks ago

    …If your cause is just, you may look with confidence to the Lord, and intreat him to plead it as his own. You are all my witnesses, that this is the first time of my introducing any political subject into the pulpit. At this season, however, it is not only lawful but necessary, and I willingly embrace the opportunity of declaring my opinion without any hesitation, that the cause in which America is now in arms, is the cause of justice, of liberty, and of human nature. So far as we have hitherto proceeded, I am satisfied that the confederacy of the colonies has not been the effect of pride, resentment, or sedition, but of a deep and general conviction that our civil and religious liberties, and consequently in a great measure the temporal and eternal happiness of us and our posterity, depended on the issue. The knowledge of God and his truths have from the beginning of the world been chiefly, if not entirely confined to those parts of the earth where some degree of liberty and political justice were to be seen, and great were the difficulties with which they had to struggle, from the imperfection of human society, and the unjust decisions of usurped authority. There is not a single instance in history, in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage. -Excerpt from Sermon: The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men
    by Reverend John Witherspoon
    May, 1776

    Reply
  4. Willie4 weeks ago

    Objection! Just because an atheist does NOT believe; our right TO believe AND acknowledge should NOT be taken away. I will continue to pray for the atheist. This is America……equal rights! You don’t have to stand and say the pledge if you don’t believe, but that doesn’t give YOU the right to take away MY right TO say it!

    Reply
    1. LeeNV2 weeks ago

      Hear! Hear!

      Reply
    2. Anon E. Mouse2 days ago

      All this suit seeks to do is put the Pledge back where it was before McCarthyism and the Red Scare. Seems pretty reasonable to me. After all, we’re no longer at war with Global Communism, are we? It’s the War on Terror, baby, and the guys doing the killing are all monotheists who worship the same god as the Christians. Russia’s still an oligarchy (never really was a Communist state) with the Russian Orthodox church in ascendancy (that means it’s on its way back up as wielder of power). China is a capitalist’s wet dream. What’s left, Cuba and North Korea?

      We are not, nor have we ever been, a Christian nation. Anyone trying to claim the Founders intended otherwise is attempting to revise history.

      Reply
  5. Adam Brian2 months ago

    Thanks for the info. It seems that nowadays teachers are forcing kids to say the pledge under threat of suspension.

    Reply
    1. Willie4 weeks ago

      I don’t agree with that; however I DO believe the right to say the pledge should NOT be taken away, just because the atheist does not brelieve

      Reply
    2. tnts1 day ago

      Students are not threatened with suspension for not saying the pledge! I work for an elementary school and this does NOT happen–either in my building or the jr/sr high school. :-(

      Reply
  6. Loryn Wheeler5 months ago

    look up the definition of patriotism….

    Reply
  7. jaylon stokes5 months ago

    i believe we should say the pledge

    Reply
  8. Aliecia5 months ago

    I have read all your comments over the battle of “having to stand”, “saying” God, and “I have my own” freedom “of what this says”. But I choose to stand. I choose to say it. I do this because my family has SACRIFICED so much for this country because they love this country. My father went away for my first 6 years of my life. My childhood memory with him was receiving letters from him that said he missed me, even though I didn’t even remember his face at the time. My great-great grandpa died in the navy fighting world war 1. My great grandpa fought world war 2 in the navy but became so scared he moved to Ohio where he could not see the ocean. My cousin Went to Iraq for 2 years in the army but since he has been back he hasn’t smiled and turns to alcohol frequently after crying in his sleep. And last my Friend, Who died in Iraq as army last year. He thought of the military as a way from family. He was atheist but he stood for the pledge and said it with his heart meaning it. All these people I knew. Fought for people like you. Sometimes I wish they didn’t waste that time fighting for people who cant even RESPECT the country the fight for. This is why I stand, and say the pledge. But if you don’t want to, its okay because my family and friends stood up for you, they fought the other countries for you, they died for you.

    Reply
  9. Loryn Wheeler5 months ago

    If y’all don’t like the country you live in feel FREE to leave, you do have that option. If you live here and then don’t take being free for granted and have some patriotism. People have lost all of their respect. It don’t matter if you believe in God or whatever else, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to trade your freedom for a dictatorship. Everyone should stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance just to show at least some respect for your country or at least the people fighting for you to stay free and be able to believe whatever you want.

    Reply
    1. Anon5 months ago

      You’ve got to understand that there are people who strongly believe that there is no God. By saying that, it simply just violates their morals, beliefs, even their OWN religion. America is a country filled with everyone from everywhere. By pledging their LOYALTY right from the start is NOT freedom of expression. Many people come to this country for that reason, the freedom of expression which is hardly found anywhere else. In addition, it’s also a nation filled MANY religions. So, it’s understandable that people don’t want to say the Pledge if they think that the whole Pledge has to deal with God. They don’t have to say the Pledge or even stand up for it. That’s called the freedom of expression and that’s what our soldiers fight for. Our soldiers don’t fight for us to stand up for the pledge. THAT, itself, is dictatorship. If we should all be able to stand for the Pledge, then is America really a free country?

      Reply
      1. Loryn Wheeler5 months ago

        Then don’t stand up and say the thing as simple as that!! there is no need to freaking continue to argue over, since NOT standing while others say it IS making their statement and letting them express the view, freedom, etc…but the Pledge of Allegiance is a major part of American history and should not just been thrown out because 10percent of the country don’t feel offended by “under God”

        Reply
      2. Liz2 months ago

        Sounds to me like you’re saying thst people come herd because of the freedoms we have, well they weren’t really free. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have put their lives of the line and perished for the freedomes we have today, the pledge is a way to show your respect to these people who died FOR YOU. If you don’t want to say the pledge that’s fine, but in my opinion those who dont or wont, dont deserve the freedoms those men and women fought for and are still fighting for, you really should show respect for the country thats keeping you safe and free no matter if your an American or not.

        Reply
  10. Loryn Wheeler5 months ago

    I don’t care if you are a Christian or not, there’s always going to be a argument over this because people cant grow up and deal with it. If you don’t believe in God then just stay silent for the “Under God,” if you are a Christian then say the whole dang pledge. Everyone is going to be offended because they want to have something to complain about. Children who are Christians don’t want to be judged and made fun of by their peers because they want to fit in to make school tolerable. They are having to suppress their feelings, the children who aren’t Christians should still have the choice to show some patriotism and all they have to do is stay silent for less than a second. Not a big deal, there are other more important things to worry about. We live in a free country and men and women fight everyday for our freedom. Why can’t people just have some patriotism and be a strong united country like it used to be. It takes events like 9/11 for people to rush to the store to buy some flags or act like they care about our country for a couple weeks because they finally see a threat, that our military see everyday. My brothers and sister say the Pledge of Allegiance everyday and guess what, it doesn’t matter what religion or race we are, we say it with a great sense of pride because we have seen what it is like not to be free. We like to honor our past and present fellow military members no matter where they come from or what they believe, the Pledge of Allegiance brings us together and reminds us what we are fighting for. Y’all making a big deal need to sign your name over to Uncle Sam and sit there while everyone else says the pledge and see how many weeks it takes you to stand up and join us. Then you will see how good it feels to have some pride in your country.

    Reply
  11. jada harper6 months ago

    i think kids should not do the pledge of allegiance because some kids don’t belive in god

    Reply
    1. tyler6 months ago

      that has nothing to do with the ones who do?

      Reply
  12. Jacob7 months ago

    Everyday at my school I am the only person that stands for the pledge of allegiance. People say they don’t want to stand because it says “under god”. The problem is that it causes kids who do believe in a god to feel like they can’t stand for the pledge because they will be judged by there peers. I know that there are some people that say they feel persecuted because of the pledge, but Not a day has gone by where not only students but teachers have mocked the idea of god. Atheism is more accepted in public schools today than any other belief. It comes down to people just like to feel like they are the ones being persecuted.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous7 months ago

      So you can’t stand for the pledge if it doesn’t mention god? Why? It’s not even mentioning another religion. It doesn’t even mention atheism so how is it discriminating against you, because you can’t have it your own way? Think before you type next time.

      Reply
    2. thecynicalpotato2 months ago

      Thats definitely not true. Get a kid, have them wear a cross necklace to school, then try having them wear an anti-christian symbol. When I was in sixth grade I was an atheist. Kids told me they hated me and I was going to hell and my best friend insulted me, told me I was a a bad person and refused to talk to me. 83 percent of Americans are Christian and yet they’re a persecuted minority to you. Your’e de;usional.

      Reply
      1. thecynicalpotato2 months ago

        *delusional

        Reply
  13. samantha7 months ago

    i used parts of your facts for my essay bye the way i got the prize for it the prize was $100!!!!!!! woot woot.

    Reply
    1. dashster6 months ago

      thats awesome!

      Reply
  14. Heather7 months ago

    Here is what kills me. Why gets so dadgum upset over the words “Under God”? Yes we are still a Christian nation. The same way that England is Catholic. Do you see them stop using Catholic ways or taking down every public stain glass window of Mary? No. It’s part of their history. It makes them the country that they are. Why do we need to take that piece of history away? Haven’t we done enough of that? The words “Under God” were added because of our history. If you are going to be upset over any of that, you are not an American I want to know. If you think we aren’t better than the past Soviet Union, then please move there and give me a full report of how amazing it is.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous7 months ago

      I disagree. Firstly, we practically invaded the natives’ land and took it for ourselves, so being patriotic and comparing ourselves to other “inferior” countries seems foolish. Secondly, we are not, under any circumstances, a “Christian nation.” The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of religion, and if you want us all to be under the supervision of this one single “obvious” deity, then YOU are not an American that I would like to know. I respect England’s traditions, but for a country that was founded based on liberty and freedom, we sure aren’t showing it. People are offended over the words “under God” because it was not part of the original Pledge, and it disrespects the beliefs of agnosticism and atheism by suggesting that we are under this one being. I hope this clears at least a few things with you. Although we are not the worst nation of all time, we sure are up there on the list.

      Reply
      1. Loryn Wheeler5 months ago

        Don’t like the country you live in then get out, your FREE to go.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous5 months ago

          Just because he disagrees with this countries history doesn’t mean he disagrees with it now.

          Reply
      2. me3 months ago

        I see that people seem to use the money of america just fine no one seems to be upset about in God we Trust on money…

        Reply
    2. K2 months ago

      First off, England was NEVER Catholic. They, in fact, protested against the Catholic chruch, thus the Prostestant religion was born. Secondly, the USA is NOT a Christian nation. No religion has been or ever will be estalished for the country as the founding fathers were sure to make part of the Constitution (First Amendment religion clauses). Lastly, while I have no problem with saying “under God” in the Pledge, it was not a part of the Pledge of Allegiance as it was originally written. The text “under God” was added in 1954.

      Reply
    3. krystlehope2 days ago

      We are NOT a Christian nation. That is the whole point. We are not a theocracy, someone’s religious beliefs do not dictate this country. First Amendment includes Freedom of Religion – which also means Freedom FROM Religion.

      Reply
      1. tnts1 day ago

        So simply don’t say “under God” if it’s such a problem for you. Problem solved……and without any lawsuits and carrying on about how “offended” we all are by those 2 words. SMH…..

        Reply
  15. Bob Turmell7 months ago

    So disallowing under God discriminates against the majority.
    Back to square one?????????????????

    Reply
    1. Anonymous7 months ago

      No it doesn’t, it simply won’t mention god instead of forcing people who don’t believe in him to say he exists

      Reply
  16. Patty7 months ago

    To Michael

    OK, take out the word God then. Tell me now if YOU think it should still be said in school Michael?

    The pledge has changed many times, God or not. This is a one sided article turning the issue of the pledge of allegiance into an issue about God.

    Please stop making God some sort of scapegoat.

    “May you live in changing times.” Chinese curse.

    Reply
    1. Ralph R. Zerbonia7 months ago

      Actually, the Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times.”

      Reply
  17. Billie Bushaw8 months ago

    If the child doesn’t want to say the pledge, then they shouldn’t stand. But I think it’s crazy that everyone wants to take God out of everything. But yet complain about the murders happening every day. Maybe if God was allowed into places, there wouldn’t be so much violence. My God doesn’t murder. Jesus Christ stopped a prostitute from being stoned to death by a mob of angry men. He healed the blind, the leppers. He even raised a man from the dead. I don’t hear of any man or woman that can do that. And remember, he had been dead for 3 days. Not like it was an accidental diagnosis of death. I think that America would be a better and safer place for children to grow up if there was less selfish behavior and more Godly behavior. My 3 sons will say the pledge with “Under GOD” because that’s how it should be!!!

    Reply
    1. Jean8 months ago

      I am a retired teacher and had some Jehovah Witness students who sat the first time when the pledge was said. I asked them to stand. Their mother came the next day and said they couldn’t do either. I explained that I was a Navy veteran and that their behavior offended me personally. I instructed the students to go into the hallway until the pledge was said and then they returned. This became the “Hayworth Doctrine” that many other elementary teachers followed long after I went on to Junior High and High School to teach govt. There I required my government students to pass a 100 question citizenship test with at least a 70 grade. After I retired I put the test, their answers and correct ans. in a book, “High School Students Tackle Citizenship Test.” A good basic book to learn about the basics of our govt. Good for adults, high school students and those studying for citizenship.

      Reply
      1. Dennis7 months ago

        WAY TO GO JEAN !!!!!!!
        Dennis

        Reply
      2. blah6 months ago

        Good thing you are retired and not teaching anymore because you broke United States law, as made clear in this article.

        Reply
      3. Sami6 months ago

        How could their religious beliefs possibly offend you? We get it, you’re a patriotic citizen who has served your country. But by alienating those students, you’re effectively counteracting all that you fought for, namely freedom of religion.

        Reply
      4. one percenter4 months ago

        You should have been fired. All of the students should have walked out with them.

        Reply
      5. K2 months ago

        I really hope your “citizenship test” clearly pointed out how your actions were against the US Constitution and how the United States does not have an established religion as stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Frightening that you are a teacher and do not know this. Even more sad how folks are agreeing with you in the name of false patriotism when your very actions denying the rights of the Constitution. Shame on you. You are no American.

        Reply
    2. Julane Grant7 months ago

      We know how many wars were fought because of religion. Don’t try to convince me that having God in the classrooms would make a difference on violence. Listen to our politicians being God into their speeches while they are asking us to go to war.

      Reply
    3. Anonymous7 months ago

      This country is 83% Christian, your god is everywhere and you have the nerve to say that if more people believed in your god there would be less violence!? Then please explain to me who all the violence is committed by.

      Reply
  18. k martin8 months ago

    I have always been offended by the addition of the words “under God.”
    So I don’t say them. Growing up, I thought they had been added to
    the pledge by Christians, and as a non-Christian, I felt excluded by
    the newly added phrase.

    Reply
  19. 76 yr old gal8 months ago

    I was a senior in high school when “under God” was added to the pledge. We had said it with out and it was only added because of the cold war and to prove that the USA was a Godly country & so much better then Russia. We were told one morning of the change, it was written on the blackboard and that we had to say it this way now. It was like the Lords Prayer that we all had to recite but it had to be the Protestant way, not the Catholic way and Catholic kids were put down and reprimanded if they “didn’t say it the right way.”
    I seldom use, Under God now and lightening doesn’t strike me dead. I believe as I believe, don’t like being told how I should or should not believe. I feel I am as good American citizen as those who do use, to each our own.

    Reply
    1. Lee6 months ago

      Great historical example, especially the “Protestant” vs “Catholic” Lord’s Prayer dilemna that you were forced to be in in Public School. This is exactly the reason I believe in a strong separation of Church and State. The most vocal pushing for the combination of this certainly do not mean My religion, Catholicism, but their’s, Protestantism.

      Reply
  20. Ruth Walker8 months ago

    Although I doubt the Founders would have approved of any pledge at all (preferring that people THINK rather than follow mindlessly what government says) I saw “under law” instead, because that’s what our government is really supposed to be about.

    Reply
    1. Patty7 months ago

      I’ll buy that.

      Reply
  21. Al Rodbell8 months ago

    This is a nuanced state by state issue with various localities described here
    education.findlaw.com/student-ri…

    Many states require that public schools LEAD the recitation, but none require that students RECITE it. Compel is the magic word, and courts have ruled that peer pressure is not such compulsion. In the Barnette case of 1943 the students who refused to recite the pledge faced expulsion from school, which, of course, is no longer allowed.

    A side note: In the 2004 Presidential election the democratic candidate described on his web site how he sponsored a bill in the Senate- it was the Illinois State Senate- requiring that the pledge be lead in every public high school in his state. This still seems to win votes!

    Reply
    1. Ruth Walker8 months ago

      Since this case is being argued on different grounds, perhaps even “compel” will no longer be a deciding factor. Otherwise, it’s a bit like a teacher leading the class on racist chants but saying it’s ok as long as every child isn’t compelled to participate.

      My big gripe is that putting god with country hinders science education and make It more expensive. Talented young people are at a disadvantage when indoctrinated in religion, and our nation is worse off for it.

      Reply
  22. Ralph Blair8 months ago

    “the plaintiffs in this new case are arguing that the recitation of the pledge [which no student is required to recite] discriminates against non-believing students and thus violates the guarantee of equal rights contained in the Massachusetts Constitution.” So the plaintiffs wish to discriminate against all the believing students?

    Reply
    1. Lou Pierce8 months ago

      It is apparent that you misunderstand what “discrimination” means. Just as it discriminates against non-believers to include “under God” in the pledge, including something like “believing in no god” would discriminate against believers. Dropping any religious reference at all would not discriminate against anyone, because no position is being taken, thus properly allowing full freedom of expression by all Americans who which to say the pledge.

      Reply
      1. Lou Pierce8 months ago

        Obviously, I meant to write “wish to say the pledge.”

        Reply
        1. Ruth Walker8 months ago

          They may say it privately if they wish, just as they may repeat the Lord’s Prayer on their own. Remember that some religions (Hinduism, for example) have more than one god, and some (traditional Buddhism and Jainism) have none. What about the Native American religion(s)? Oh, yeah, they’re not really Americans, I suppose.

          There were good reasons for keeping religion separate, but religionists who understood when in the minority, forget when they get power. See early quotes: brucegourley.com/baptists/quotes…

          Somehow, I missed the “Blessed are the powerful, for they shall control others.”

          Reply
  23. Nedra Porter8 months ago

    Freedom is taken away from all of us in some way or another. I feel that there is only ONE GOD. We just all have our own view of HIM. The day will come when we will know! It is what it is and I don’t begrudge anyone their beliefs.

    Reply
    1. Bob Beecher8 months ago

      That’s YOUR superstition, not mine!

      Reply
    2. Anon8 months ago

      U must be joking rightr ?

      Reply
    3. Anonymous7 months ago

      Not everyone believes in a god

      Reply
      1. jada.harper6 months ago

        you are right not alot of people belive in god

        Reply
    4. K2 months ago

      I really hope your “citizenship test” clearly pointed out how your actions were against the US Constitution and how the United States does not have an established religion as stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Frightening that you are a teacher and do not know this. Even more sad how folks are agreeing with you in the name of false patriotism when your very actions denying the rights of the Constitution. Shame on you. You are no American.

      Reply
  24. William Brandenburg8 months ago

    Are the people that filed the suit affraid of
    God so they didn, t include their names! God knew our names before we were.
    God Bless them and all.

    Reply
    1. Don Thigpen8 months ago

      I suspect that they didn’t include their names, not because they feared retribution from God, but rather, because they feared retribution from some of those who claim to believe in God. I say “claim” because those who have genuinely studied the teachings of the Christ know that retribution is really not the name of the game.

      Reply
    2. TheGodless8 months ago

      What a silly question. Are you afraid of gods you don’t believe in? It is more likely that they fear for their safety, employment, children’s well being, etc. due to having an unpopular, but clearly correct position on a sensitive issue.

      Reply
    3. Ruth Walker8 months ago

      Read about the Xian lashing out at Jessica Ahlquist after she filed suit (and won) to have blatant unconstitutional religious symbols removed from her school. Florists even refused to fill orders for flowers sent to her. (A florist in a neighboring state took them, though.)

      Apparently you are not aware of how some behave: ffrf.org/publications/freethough…

      There is NO evidence that religion makes people behave better – follow instructions blindly, perhaps, but that’s the opposite of critical thinking.

      Reply
    4. Jimi Bones4 months ago

      There is no god to know your name

      Reply
  25. Brian Westley8 months ago

    Some additional facts about the pledge:

    6) Three years before the Barnette opinion, the supreme court ruled in Gobitis that it WAS constitutional to require children, including children of Jehovah’s Witnesses, to say the pledge. This resulted in burning down several Kingdom Halls, beatings of JWs, and one castration. The violence unleashed against JWs was one factor in such a quick reversal just three years later in Barnette.

    7) Bellamy wrote the pledge in the hope it would help spread socialism, as he was a socialist.

    8) Schoolchildren who “opt out” of the pledge are often punished, either by school authorities or by being beaten by other schoolchildren.

    Reply
    1. Cameron Purdie8 months ago

      Oh come on. Nobody has been “beaten by other schoolchildren” for not saying the pledge of allegiance. At least not in any civilized part of the country, and not in the last twenty years. Kids would rather NOT say the pledge of allegiance, in general. It’s just another repetitive “lesson” in school that they would all rather skip.

      Kids are often punished by teachers for not saying it however, yes.

      Reply
      1. Paul Igeaux8 months ago

        Cameron, You are living in a bubble.
        In Atlanta I know of children being beaten on the school grounds because they believed in the wrong imaginary deity. Children raised in a religious home exercise the same misinformed prejudice of their parents.

        Reply
    2. Ruth Walker8 months ago

      Bellamy (a Baptist minister) wrote the pledge for a suggested program to recognize that it had been 400 years since Columbus first landed in the Americas, and had no intention for it to be a nationalistic oath. Hand on heart was substituted for original salute (see the picture at mentalfloss.com/article/29678/wh… ) when Hitler came to power and Americans noticed the similarity.

      Reply
      1. April7 months ago

        Ruth, you rock. :)

        Reply
        1. gritty6 months ago

          what was the most important that everyone seems to have missed was the part about the ” republic” and “God” given rights that most of these folks fail to appreciate, its free but like oxygen you cant see it and you miss it when you haven’t allowed it into the room.

          Reply
          1. Anonymous6 months ago

            As a non-christian I’m going to say this, your “god” is the reason for most of the violence I’ve read about in history class. God prevent gays from having equal rights, people cherry picked the bible to rationalize slavery. That being said the words “under God’ are useless and need removal. We are a nation of all religions and need to show it!