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

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128 Comments

  1. thetruthhurts3 weeks ago

    Just the fact that the pledge can not be compelled to be spoken should be enough for anyone to NOT say itis enough….. according to 1943 U.S. Supreme Court decision, West Virginia v. Barnette.

    Reply
  2. say3 weeks ago

    that crazy

    Reply
  3. ethan4 weeks ago

    the plege of allegiance is some thing good for other people around

    Reply
  4. josh4 weeks ago

    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.

    Reply
  5. James Chambers2 months ago

    Why do I cry when

    saying the pledge of allegiance, it just touches me so , why not others? I cry at all patriotic thems WHY? Want a answer.

    Reply
  6. Jimbo3 months ago

    I love the pledge, however I recite the original version w/o the under “god” part.

    Reply
  7. Yvonne De Muyt3 months ago

    I am 78, I remember saying the Pledge with my arm outstretched toward the flag. This changed to over the heart after/or during WWII. Under God was added in 1954. I have refused to say “Under God”; whose God? We are now battleing to have Gays marry because “god” doesn’t permit it. We cannot have abortions because “God” doesn’t permit it. However, we can have wars and kill thousands at a time. Does “God” permit this? :”God” gave us the 10 commandments; no one seems to care about “There shall not have strange “Gods” before us” Money! Power! ?? The worst and most broken. ADULTRY. Where is all the furor about this? Watch any TV show, Movie or perhaps your neighbor or yourself.

    Reply
  8. Philip Schuster3 months ago

    …one nation underdog indivisible… That’s my version and i’m sticking to it.

    Reply
  9. Carlo Oyer3 months ago

    Now i am just looking for info, enable, ideas, etc.!.

    Reply
  10. Millie5 months ago

    I am so sick and tired of the victimization and entitlement without it really being a reality. Sitting on a high horse. Jumping on the politically correct bandwagon where being politically correct tramples on people’s freedom of speech. This mentality of everyone getting offended over everything. It is getting old real quick. Grow up grow a spine grow a brain and think!

    Reply
    1. nathaniel3 months ago

      freedom of who? You or other people? I can’t be american (emotionally speaking) without pledging allegiance to the flag of my nation, and yet, that pledge is declaring the existence of a god i don’t believe in.

      Reply
  11. Millie5 months ago

    It is simply a show of respect. It is not religious it is called American tradition. It stands for Freedom. You are not engaging in worship. It means you are part of a team and alliance.

    Reply
    1. Alexx4 months ago

      “Under God” isn’t religious? I beg to differ…

      Reply
    2. Richard Gray4 months ago

      At one point in the history of the US, the same “tradition” argument was made about slavery. Didn’t make it right.

      Reply
  12. Randall Lutz6 months ago

    The American Pledge of Allegiance could have been write by the Iatola of Iran.
    Why should we pledge our allegiance to a FLAG, a national symbol? Why not to the PEOPLE who carry the flag?
    If you say that you are also pledging allegiance to a REPUBLIC, you are making it clear that you are talking about a government. Since when do Americans bow down to any government? Why not pledge our allegiance to the IDEALS for which We The PEOPLE stand?
    Lastly, of course we are UNDER God, but unlike Iran, WE write the laws here, not God. We are NOT a theocracy. So, why not say that we are ‘One Nation Under LAW?’
    If you make these simple changes, few people would have any objections to reciting the resulting Pledge of Allegiance:

    I pledge allegiance the PEOPLE of the United States of American,
    And to the IDEALS for which WE stand,
    One nation under LAW,
    Indivisible,
    With liberty and justice for all.

    This is the way I always say it.

    Reply
    1. Millie5 months ago

      Well it is pledging to the ideals because the flag stands for freedom.

      Reply
      1. Millie5 months ago

        Under God because no man can take your rights away no law can take your rights away.

        Reply
        1. Alexx4 months ago

          There are laws that take away rights.

          Reply
          1. Richard Gray4 months ago

            How about “to the PEOPLE OF MY CHOOSING” instead of “to the people of the United States?” There are plenty of Americans to whom I would not pledge my allegiance, and some non-Americans that to whom I would pledge my allegiance. Other than that, I think you are on to something.

          2. amber cornwalis2 weeks ago

            Really the laws do take your rights away bc the are banding smoking and that is a right someone should have. If we don’t stand up for are selves then there going to take advantage

    2. D_Rock S5 months ago

      You would not pledge to ideals. As environments change, no human ideal standeth sure. There is no reason to put the word God in it because some of us do not believe in god, and furthermore, if there was such a person or thing as God I would despise him. Just because you include “Under God” in it doesn’t mean it secures your rights in any way. First, you do NOT have any rights at all. You have a list of privileges, not rights. Rights are an idea. Rights aren’t Rights if they can be taken away. God has nothing to do with guaranteeing anyone’s rights, why he has remained a no-show for longer than anyone knows. If you feel you have rights, then prove it by fighting for them. That is the only you have a right to anything, is by declaring it, and defending with action (period).

      Reply
  13. Ricky6 months ago

    The Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams:
    “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
    – See more at: forwardprogressives.com/enough-n…

    Reply
  14. Susan6 months ago

    This country was built on Faith? Really? I think you need to do research into the origins of this country – which was built on the genocide of the race of people who were already living here. youtube.com/watch?v=gTrbVf6SrCc

    Don’t get me wrong – I love the US – but I have lived a life with both white and Native bloodlines and I am very in tune to the fact that even when my mother was a child, she was being beat in her boarding school for speaking or acting “Native” in any way.

    I grew up saying the Pledge believing what I’d been told was true – The Christopher Columbus was a hero for “finding” this country. I dressed up as a pilgrim in grade school. It was not until I was in my 40s that I began to hear the true stories of how the United States came to be.

    So I scoff at America being built on any Faith – it was built on the bloodshed of an entire race of people. Cyndi – please do your own research and learn the truths. I am a direct descendant of Chief War Eagle of the Yankton Sioux and my mother was born and raised on the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin. Yet, Because I cannot “prove” MY bloodline I am not allowed to consider myself “Native” at all according to the US government rules. I was discriminated and called “half breed” in grade school. I was called a dirty Injun in my small town in MN growing up. Yet, I am not considered Native in any way. My 1st cousins, who grew up on the reservations and whose father’s were Native – are considered Native.

    Reply
  15. Cyndi7 months ago

    this country is built on faith and God. It is a persons right to not believe in God, but most of AMERICANS that understand what AMERICA is, knows and believes in GOD. If you don’t like what we as American’s stand for then get out!

    Reply
    1. Simone7 months ago

      I think you are forgetting something also America was built on, separation of church and state. I will agree that yes the US was built upon religious ways, but now we live in a nation with people of many different religions. So we have to accommodate for those who have different religious views or don’t believe. What American’s stand for? Really that’s your argument, just like our congress we are divided and stand on different grounds. You can’t just say a majority of Americans stand for a certain topic when they really don’t. I remember in one my classes when discussed why there was “In God We Trust” on coins. The class was split between those say keep it and those who say let it go. Before you say the other half are a bunch if atheist I went to a Catholic high school were everyone was pretty much Christians. To make a long story short America is not just a nation full of Christians, but of all religions and all Americans have their own morals and stands.

      Reply
    2. Millie5 months ago

      Every country has people flocking to our county because of the freedom we have here. Be thankful and quit complaining. Not you Cindy I am talking to ungrateful people who are benefiting from the bloodshed of the soldiers that fought and died to protect our freedoms. Now they want to be all nit picky about every little thing. They are all so negative. Nothing in this world is perfect. We are PEOPLE we are human we are imperfect. We need to remain free BECAUSE we are not perfect. That is why we have to be vigilant about our freedoms because there will always be evil and in the hands of government evil runs rampant so much corruption and no accountability.

      Reply
      1. Williams Katherine4 months ago

        You mean the soldiers who fought to defend the exact separation of church and state that Simone is talking about, and the First Amendment that was INTENTIONALLY designed so that none of us have to be forced to adhere to any part of a religion we do not believe in? Which includes people who believe in the God of Abraham AND those who don’t?

        Clearly the only freedom you carry about, to be negative or nitpick what is important to others, is your own.

        Reply
  16. Jamiliyah Milton7 months ago

    ok his argument was about his non beliviement( Iknow that not a word but you know what im saying) but to the believers the prayer to this this flag is wrong … is it a piece from jesus robe ? why must it be prayed and promised to everyday by children who doesnt even know what the meaning is ? are there any children on here to even debate the facts? it should not be recited with or with out the pledge is purpose less and changes nothing. stop hoarding and throw it out

    Reply
  17. Joann Daun7 months ago

    My father, informed me that this is true. The words under God did not appear in the pledge until 1954…..Some americans like it some don’t . This is a free country, that being said it is your freedom to choose. That is what I love about my country you have a the freedom to believe as you see fit.

    Reply
    1. Jamiliyah Milton7 months ago

      free when and were?

      Reply
      1. Millie5 months ago

        Here and now.

        Reply
  18. Orion8 months ago

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

    Reply
    1. Jesse Newman8 months ago

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

      Reply
      1. Jesse Newman8 months ago

        ‘weren’t’, doh!

        Reply
        1. brian7 months ago

          Truth

          Reply
      2. Millie5 months ago

        Not really why do you think men are always making or creating something to believe in. We are creatures of “religion”. You have to believe in SOmething. There is always a void in us if we don’t. Did man choose to feel that void? Has man always been that way? Or did he program that into his own mind? Why?

        Reply
        1. Williams Katherine4 months ago

          If you have a void, deal with it your own way. Do NOT presume to speak for anyone else.

          Millions of people across the world, do NOT believe in any god, and have no void as a result. That some more people needed that fairy tale in the past, when education and scientific understanding was limited, does not remotely speak to the modern world. If you believe everyone without religion has a void, it’s just another thing that only exists in your imagination.

          Reply
  19. Orion8 months ago

    That’s sad

    Reply
  20. LeeNV8 months 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
  21. Willie8 months 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. LeeNV8 months ago

      Hear! Hear!

      Reply
    2. Anon E. Mouse7 months 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
    3. Kimberly A. Borland6 months ago

      No one is trying to restrict your right to believe or to pray in your own place, way, and time. Why are so many “Christians” utterly incapable of extending that same courtesy to anyone who is not one of them? This is a country who’s government is “of the people, for the people, and by the people”. Not the Christian people, not the Catholic people, not the Jewis or the Muslim or the Hindu or the Buddhist people. Just the People – ALL OF US. I was born here. My mother and my father were born here. My grandmothers and grandfathers were born here. My family has fought, bled, and some have died for this country. Who are you to tell me that I do not deserve the rights proclaimed in the Constitution of MY country! You, Willie, are no one. Not to me or mine. And you have no RIGHT to tell me how to live or what to believe.

      Reply
    4. Millie5 months ago

      Amen!

      Reply
    5. Millie5 months ago

      That was Amen to Willie’s point. Well said!

      Reply
  22. Adam Brian9 months ago

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

    Reply
    1. Willie8 months 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
      1. Kimberly A. Borland6 months ago

        The right to say it has NOT been taken away. The right to FORCE SOMEONE to say it is what is being challenged.

        Reply
        1. Millie5 months ago

          Nobody is forcing you to say the pledge. Again, you don’t have to say the pledge if you don’t wanna kapish? Just because you don’t wanna don’t mean you should shut down our American Tradition.

          Reply
          1. Random2 months ago

            No one is trying to get rid of the pledge of Allegiance, Millie! Also kids have been forced to say the pledge and punished for refusing! theblaze.com/stories/2014/05/28/…
            takepart.com/article/2013/04/11/…
            hotair.com/archives/2014/05/09/t…

          2. Random2 months ago

            Also the original pledge of allegiance didn’t have under god in it, so taking it out is just restoring it to it’s original form.
            youtube.com/watch?v=BpScApJXoyk

    2. tnts7 months 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
      1. Nightbluffs of Desertvale1 month ago

        i was punished in my elementary and threatened with detention for refusing to say the pledge in 4th through 6th grade

        Reply
    3. Millie5 months ago

      Do you mean a teacher out there somewhere. I have never heard of this especially when teachers are now teaching kids that the Boston tea party was a terroristic act. And that the tea party were terrorists disguised committing terror by destroying property bythey dumping the tea.

      Reply
    4. Millie5 months ago

      Actually quite the opposite is happening. Just the other day I heard about a teacher not allowing children to do the pledge allegiance at a high school because there wasn’t “enough time” for it. Just google it.

      Reply
  23. Loryn Wheeler12 months ago

    look up the definition of patriotism….

    Reply
  24. jaylon stokes1 year ago

    i believe we should say the pledge

    Reply
  25. Aliecia1 year 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
  26. Loryn Wheeler1 year 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. Anon1 year 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 Wheeler12 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. Liz10 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
        1. Millie5 months ago

          Yes they do not deserve those rights but yet they still continue to benefit from them and yet they still cry victim.

          Reply
  27. Loryn Wheeler1 year 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
  28. jada harper1 year ago

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

    Reply
    1. tyler1 year ago

      that has nothing to do with the ones who do?

      Reply
  29. Jacob1 year 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. Anonymous1 year 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. thecynicalpotato9 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. thecynicalpotato9 months ago

        *delusional

        Reply
  30. samantha1 year 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. dashster1 year ago

      thats awesome!

      Reply
    2. damien4 weeks ago

      that is right

      Reply
  31. Heather1 year 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. Anonymous1 year 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 Wheeler1 year ago

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

        Reply
        1. Anonymous1 year ago

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

          Reply
        2. anonymous1 month ago

          if you dislike your country you say so and you change it. leaving solves nothing

          Reply
      2. me11 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. K9 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. krystlehope7 months 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. tnts7 months 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
  32. Bob Turmell1 year ago

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

    Reply
    1. Anonymous1 year 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
  33. Patty1 year 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. Zerbonia1 year ago

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

      Reply
  34. Billie Bushaw1 year 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. Jean1 year 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. Dennis1 year ago

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

        Reply
      2. blah1 year ago

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

        Reply
      3. Sami1 year 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 percenter11 months ago

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

        Reply
      5. K9 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
      6. Rick7 months ago

        Don’t you think it might have been more appropriate for those who wanted to do something like recite a poem…or the pledge…to go out in the hall instead of someone who didn’t want to do it?

        Reply
    2. Julane Grant1 year 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. Anonymous1 year 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
  35. k martin1 year 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
    1. Rick7 months ago

      I was raised in a strict, Baptist family. And I STILL thought saying “under God” was out of place for a pledge to our nation. And I never said the words in school! However, I was also smart enough to know that if I said anything I would get my butt beat by all those other “peaceful” christians!

      Reply
  36. 76 yr old gal1 year 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. Lee1 year 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
  37. Ruth Walker1 year 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. Patty1 year ago

      I’ll buy that.

      Reply
  38. Al Rodbell1 year 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 Walker1 year 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
  39. Ralph Blair1 year 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 Pierce1 year 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 Pierce1 year ago

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

        Reply
        1. Ruth Walker1 year 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
  40. Nedra Porter1 year 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 Beecher1 year ago

      That’s YOUR superstition, not mine!

      Reply
    2. Anon1 year ago

      U must be joking rightr ?

      Reply
    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      Not everyone believes in a god

      Reply
      1. jada.harper1 year ago

        you are right not alot of people belive in god

        Reply
    4. K9 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
  41. William Brandenburg1 year 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 Thigpen1 year 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. TheGodless1 year 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 Walker1 year 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 Bones11 months ago

      There is no god to know your name

      Reply
  42. Brian Westley1 year 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 Purdie1 year 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 Igeaux1 year 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 Walker1 year 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. April1 year ago

        Ruth, you rock. :)

        Reply
        1. gritty1 year 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. Anonymous1 year 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!

          2. Millie5 months ago

            It is true PUBLIC schools and teachers do mock the idea of God. Some teachers refuse to even allow the students to recite the pledge of allegiance claiming not enough time.

          3. Millie5 months ago

            We need to show what? If it doesn’t “show” then you must be blind. I see so much diversity and it is awesome! Everyone has their say.