When was the Pledge of Alligance written and by who? Who added the phrase "Under God"?

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I would like to know who wrote the "Pledge of Alligance and when? Also who wrote or added the part "Under God" and when?

-- Grace Barrera (jagloba@yahoo.com), October 17, 2002

Answers

The pledge was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and the original words were "I pledge allegiance to my flag the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all." The words "Under God" werent added until 1954 by Congress. They were added because a religious group campaigned and won on the idea that they were needed to show that we were different from the "godless communists". This may sound silly, but this was during the time of MacCarthyism and everyone was terrified of the communists.

-- Meggo (meggo1323@yahoo.com), December 15, 2002.

I'm all for keeping the phrase in, it brings hope to people in times of need. Just like on Sept

-- Lisa Bonaventure (SpaceAngel321@Msn.com), March 17, 2003.

I'm all for keeping the phrase in, it brings hope to people in times of need. Just like on September 11, only now people need it for the war.

-- Lisa Bonaventure (SpaceAngel321@Msn.com), March 17, 2003.

The phrase under god shows great patrotism and respect for the people who founded the country, I say leave the pledge as under god!

-- Peter Thomas (IzzyRusty@aol.com), March 19, 2003.

I think leave it because it gives us something to relay on

-- Monica Arrecis (luvbleme07@aol.com), March 19, 2003.


This country was built and based on the word of God. Just take a look at the constitution, our money, and this big melting pot of freedom. What other country is like our's. God Bless America

-- Leona Reaves (leona@earthlink.net), March 26, 2003.

I say take it out and here's why: It doesn't respect the US promise of religious freedom. For those who don't believe in a god such as Athiests and Buddists or those who believe in more gods than one in the US, this is offensive. As it was added moreso as a political move than to represent national unity, it's really a deterent to more people saying the pledge at schools and events. Leslie

-- Leslie Sharp (dressmode@attbi.com), April 15, 2003.

Like other said, this country was based on religion, if it wasn't for those who wanted religious freedom, no one would be here. The founding fathers thought it was best for the country so if the "under God" and "in God we trust" is taken out, we could slowly start destroying America to the point of it becoming another Roman Empire which fell after 400 years. Is that what we want? No, right.

-- Lucia Garcia (lucy_1129@excite.com), May 01, 2003.

I think it is completely stupid that any one would want to take it out. Whether you believe in God or not He is real and He is true! God is not real to you because you don't believe He is real, but I believe that God is real because He is real. If you want religous freedom thats fine, I'm all for that. If you don't want to say "under God" then don't say it. But you can't act on grounds of it being offending to you, because it is just as offending to people who do believe by you trying to take it out. It is a historic document of our nation, leave it alone.

-- Crystal Haley (Haleystar04@aol.com), May 13, 2003.

Depends on when you want to establish WHEN this country was founded. First it was for a quicker route to India. So, for money & gold. Then people came here because of religious persecution (Cromwell) AND people came here because of economic hardships. They came here instead of going to prison, hence the phrase about no debtors prison.

BUT truly, Our nation was actually founded on SEPARATION of church and state. The founding fathers came from England where they'd just had the civil war with Cromwell (Protestants vs. Catholics, Elizabeth I also had the same inner strife). They didn't want it happening again. Freedom of religion means ALL religion!

-- Jeanne (atasteofcreole@excite.com), August 30, 2003.



the words under god don't belong in the pledge if this country really is to represent religious freedom... including the freedom to not have a religion. as stated above, the under god part was added by congress under pressure of the religious right. it was not added by our "founding fathers", but rather, by a group of men that were trying to appease the religious majority of the time and stay elected to their congressional posts by keeping those majority votes (a political ploy). if this country stands for freedom, then atheists and agnostics and such should have the right to honor their country without having to profess a belief that doesn't represent their views. would they religious right be comfortable saying a pledge that said "one nation, under Zeus" ? or.... "one nation, under no god because he doesn't exist"? i think not. freedom in this country applies to all the people, including the atheists... not just the religous right (note that i am a right wing republican that does not believe in god).

the pledge is to our country... not god. as a loyal american, i should have the right to pledge to my country... without having to accept and validate other people viewpoints on god. pledge to god all you wish in church or elsewhere, but allow me the same courtesy to not have to if i don't want to. making god an actual mandatory part of our national pledge (or currency for that matter) is an infringement on everyone that disagrees with that viewpoint

-- t.newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), September 08, 2003.


Pledge of allegiance is good!!!!!!

-- Doug (dougben05@yahoo.com), October 03, 2003.

Our Constitution was written by religious men, not atheist. Like it or not our government was based upon religion teachings We need a Constitutional convention to Amend the US Supreme Court. If not where will it stop..we took prayer out of the schools & brought guns in

-- Barbara Cartwright (shinsmrk@aol.com), October 15, 2003.

I think that the Pledge of Alligance is perfect the way it is right now... everyone can speak from there own religion and most everyone has a god... so under god is just showing that you believe in god... it's not hurting anyone... so if it were my decision, it would be against the law not to include "Under God"

-- Amber Springs (ambersprings@aol.com), October 16, 2003.

Seperation of church and state, you could love and cherish a god all you want, and 100% of the people in America could be going to church and truly want this in there but the statement still stands. There is a seperation of church and state and right now, that seperation is Americans have the freedom of releion UNDER GOD. If you don't believe it should be taken out you openly support the union of church and state, what good are your rules if you don't enforce them?

-- Chris (Watchout5@comcast.net), October 19, 2003.


ahh... i see... barb... so you are at least consistent... i take it you are against the entire constitution then... not just the freedom to worship... or NOT worship a god... but also against the RIGHT to bear arms... we should probably regulate any press and speech that spouts athiestic views too. the constitution might or might not have been written by men with religious views (do you have a record of every man's viewpoint on religion that signed the constitution), but the fact remains that it particularly gaurantees the right of every individual to the freedom to worship (or in my case... not worship) as he pleases.

the first line of the first admendment starts out: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,"

when congress added the line "under God" to our pledge, and then requires students, immigrates, military personnel and others to participate in that pledge... then congress is in violation of the first admendment of the constitution and violates the principles our "religious" founding fathers set forth in the U.S. constitution.

i reiterate what i stated above... keep religion in church or your own heart where it belongs... not in our schools, currency, government where it is being forced down the throats of everyone that doesn't want to hear it.

========================= amber? you assume it doesn't hurt everyone... because it is YOUR way... and YOUR belief... so i assume, using your reasoning that as long as it doesn't "hurt anyone", it's okey dokey... that if we include... "one nation, under god and santa claus"... that would be fine with you too... after all... it's not hurting anyone (even though i assume you don't believe in santa claus the same way i don't believe in god).

other varieties we might include that would not "actually hurt anyone": "one nation under thor" "one nation under harry potter" "one nation under zeus and the rest of the GODS" "one nation under Buda" "one nation under allah" "one nation under the tooth fairy" "one nation under the wiccans" "one nation under the devil" "one nation under no god because i'm an athiest" "one nation under the golden calf" "one nation under: a) god/gods b) santa claus c) no god because i'm an athiest d) all of the above, because i'm trying to be pollitically correct"

-- T. Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), October 20, 2003.


first of all, i'd like to get the point across that i'm not trying to offend anyone or change anyone's opinion. this is simply my opinion but i'd like to express it. T. Newsom...i read your answer to the question and, first would like to say that i am a bit disappointed in the way you constructed your answer. these people on here have just as strong beliefs on this subject as you do and you tear them down and degrade them for it. as for your answer part, i understand what you are saying. however, i do not agree with it. i personally worship GOD with all of my heart, body, and soul and it saddens me that you do not (i will pray for you). the fact is, yes, church and state should stay seperate and yes, not everyone believes in GOD but who's forcing you to say our Pledge of Alligance. i'm a senior in high school and where i go, we say the pledge everyday. everyone HAS to stand but we don't have to say the pledge if we don't want to. the same goes for you, no one if forcing you to say it so don't if you don't want to. you have your opinion and i admire you for standing up for it but do not put other people down for what they believe.

-- Morgan (morganrae@hotmail.com), October 27, 2003.

well morgan, obviously you totally miss the point. it is against the principles of the 1st admendment of the U.S. constitution for congress (in the 1954) to have added any reference to any god to the U.S. pledge, because in doing so, they are promoting an established religion...and yes, the pledge IS required to be said by new immigrants, people in our armed service, public office holders, public hearings,and now in schools.

you also miss my point that "I", as a loyal american... have the 1st admendment given RIGHT to be able to honor my country by saying an OFFICIAL pledge of the country "I" love... WITHOUT having to accept and validate YOUR belief in YOUR god. I WANT to say a pledge... i want to say a pledge that honors my country and is valid for ALL it's citizens... not just the one's that believe in god.again, the pledge is to the UNITED STATES... NOT TO GOD! that's the way it was originally written and should have remained.

I also should not have to accept having MY or my children's valuable school time, which I pay taxes for (and you as a high school senior probably have NOT done as of yet), taken up with with praying to a god i don't believe in.

having strong beliefs - having or stating an "OPINION" is fine... continued support a violation of our constitution is criminal.

as far as the way i construct my answers... get over it... i find your self righteous attitude ("i'll pray for you" ... like i really care...) pretty condescending and offensive to me.(but i'll get over it)

you made a statement above..." i personally worship GOD with all of my heart, body, and soul" i've got no problem with that at all... but please... please... let's keep worship on a "personal" level... or in church where it belongs.

-T.Newsom

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), October 28, 2003.


well, i tried to make this as easy as possible without causing an uproar or anything but as i can see it's pointless to even say anything to you, T. Newsom, because you are so hard-headed and have no respect for anyone's opinion. i don't agree with you but i still value your opinion until now. at first, i saw you as a strong willed person who is not afraid to stand up for what they believe in but now, you mean nothing to me because you are a condecending idiot. i'm glad you take offense to what i say. if you had any sense at all, my will and GOD's will is to spread HIS word to everyone. therefore, it's not on a personal level. suck it up and YOU get over it because life will go on if UNDER GOD is still in the pledge of alligance. this country WAS founded under GOD because that's what we came over here for. it IS a patriotic statement and not a religious statement.

-- Morgan (morganrae@hotmail.com), October 28, 2003.

ahhh... such a mature religious "godly" statement above... with all that name calling...the "you mean nothing to me" statement... jeez, what a hypocrite, exactly what drove me from the church long ago (that and common sense).

i do have a hard time respecting an opinion that violates the 1st admendment of the U.S. constitution. question...exactly what part of the first admendment's "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," do you NOT understand? the constitution's bill of rights is the ultimate law of the United States... and the "under god" being added to the pledge by congress directly violates that law. somepeople may have an OPINION that free press, free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness,or any other is constitutional right should not be honored either... but you know what, i'll still remain "hard-headed" about my viewpoint on those violations of the constitution too.

"we" did not come over here for god...you better go back and study your history... "we" came over here for financial gain (columbus was looking for gold), "we" came over here for exploration and land, "we" came over here to escape the organized religion of the church of england which persecuted all non-believers like me (sounds familiar), "we" cme over here for a multitude of reasons... but forcing god down the throats of people that didn't want to hear it wasn't one of them... at least the last i heard. reread what you wrote: "my will and GOD's will is to spread HIS word to everyone. therefore, it's not on a personal level."

"MY will"? "God's will"? what about t. newsom's will? it becomes personal when forced on me through organized religion endorsed by the gov. i pay taxes to. in fact, it stomps all over MY will. life will go on even if "under god" remains in the pledge... does that make it right?...no life would go on if you were forced to pledge to the devil also...does that make it right?... no

obviously you are so blinded by your religion that you've got patriotism to one's country completely mixed up with your love for the great unseen one.

if you think you are more of a patriot than me to this country just because you believe in god and i don't...well...hmmmm

the bible's ten commandments says "do NOT kill"... so i guess all those heathen people who violated the ultimate law of god and fought for this country so you could have the right to spout YOUR religion at will.... gosh... you must be alot more of a patriot than them too, huh?

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), October 28, 2003.


i just thought of a compromise... how about if we change it from "one nation under god" to "one nation under Bill Gates" ?

more people worship, curse, respect and hate Gates than God anyway. He is present in everyone's life, he controls most of our lives, he has more money than God. we could say the Gates of Heaven and the Gates of Hell all at the same time (satisfying christians and devil worshipers at the same time). a plus... we have pictures of Gates and therefore there would be no doubt of existance. we could have an internet related churchs with stained glass "WINDOWS" we could tithe every 2 years by having to buy the new edition of windows. he thinks he's god anyway...

so how about it guys and girls... "One Nation, under Bill Gates" ?

T.Newsom

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), October 28, 2003.


I would like to make a couple points, and while you're reading this, please mark each as "true" or "false"

When one references God, Allah, Buddha, Gnash, Krishna, etc, or something being under one of the aforementioned deities, one is talking about a religion.

First Amendment to the Constitution, written by James Madison to protect the rights of individuals from a large government (nicely ironic, yes?): "Religious and Political Freedom. Congress must not interfere with freedom of religion, speech or press, assembly, and petition. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the rights of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

"An establishment of religion" in this amendment refers to an establishment supported by all taxpayers (by paying taxes, whether they are members or not) that promotes religion.

Public schools are paid for by public funds, and are a government institution, maintained by the federal government, which as previously stated, has no religious establishment, i.e. there is no state-supported religion.

Schoolchildren in said public schools are taught and required to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which states: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."

The phrase "under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in a time of fear of the "Godless Communists" in Russia, China, and Cuba during the Cold War, but mainly Russia.

Russia is no longer a threat to the United States.

Somebody mentioned September 11 earlier. Osama Bin Ladin is a Muslim extremist - he is not a "Godless Communist"

Every American citizen does not believe in God. Many do not believe in a religion. (My opinion, don't mark the following as "true" or "false") Somebody earlier said that God is true and real and it does not matter if one does not believe in him, because he is real. However, if I do not believe in God, then why would I accept that statement as being true, and not just brush it off as one (perfectly acceptable) belief?

We've (hopefully) moved beyond a lot of the terror of September 11 from two years ago - the economy is getting better, et all.

I hope I've proved two points in these statements: 1 - Stating that the United States is "under God" is unconstitutional, and everybody who must say it (or listen to it be stated) is being subjected to a religion supported by the federal government. 2 - If there were a need to feel like we were protecting our schoolchildren from the "Godless Communists" in the 1950s, that need has vanished. If there were a need to feel like we were protecting our schoolchildren against the Muslim Terrorists two years ago, keeping the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance does not do much against people who do believe in a god. Also, the time of fear and distrust has passed, and we have gotten over that road bump.

I see two solutions: 1 - The words "under God" should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. 2 - Schools should not require their students say the Pledge of Allegiance, nor should they have everybody stand and it be recited by those who choose to. If students wish to say the Pledge, they should be allowed to, but that should not take up class time, and the name of the Pledge should change, since having it be "The Pledge of Allegiance" gives it some authority.

Thank you.

-- ARNiemi (amelianiemi@localgenius.com), November 10, 2003.


well...i go to a school where there is a lot of free thinking, as it is an performing and visual arts school. At our school, the pledge comes on first thing in the morning like all other schools, but we do not have to stand or say the pledge at all. Though many of the students still choose to say the pledge. And the students that don't want to say the pledge work on unfinished homework or whatever they want to do. i really don't see what the big deal with the pledge is all about.

-- amiee (random@random.com), November 16, 2003.

At our school, we don't even say the pledge. We're really liberal, and I think any attempts to get us to say the pledge, whether or not we believed in God, would go haywire.

-- ARNiemi (amelianiemi@localgenius.com), November 19, 2003.

A lot has been said here pro and con relative The Pledge Of Aligance including the words "One Nation Under God". Many of these arguements have been based on what the individual authors assume or believe our countrys founding fathers intent was. That being the case, I would ask that you condiser the following:

On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, are displayed two words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably could care less. Once you know Laus Deo's history, you will want to share this with everyone you know. But these words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched atop the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America. Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words. Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world. So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say "Praise be to God!" [Laus is 'Praise be' and Deo means 'God']. Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848 when James Polk was President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty- five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, "Laus Deo....Praise be to God!" From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with it's division into four major segments. From that vantage point one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant...a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north, the Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west. A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state? Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the Constitution. So, read on. How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for those who notice. Praise be to God! Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message. On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th is a memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6. Praise be to God! When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848, deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy.... "One Nation, Under God." I am awed by Washington's prayer for America. Have you never read it? Well, now is your opportunity, so read on! "Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United states at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." Laus Deo! As you probably guessed, over 92 percent of Americans like the idea that our Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase "under God." It is clear when one studies the history of our great nation, that Washington's America was one of the few countries in all the world established under the guidance, direction and banner of Almighty God, to whom was given all praise, honor and worship by the great men who formed and fashioned her pivotal foundations. When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation's capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look. Though many try to disprove and reason, their arguments are weak and easily proven without basis. Their efforts will forever be in vain; God assures us of that. Have you noticed as of late, how many more people are coming together, affirming the fact that this nation was, from the beginning, built on God? Any nation that is not built upon God will fail. The truth is, we have always been one nation under God! Laus Deo! Praise be to God! You may forget the width and height of "Laus Deo," it's location, or the architects but no one who reads this will be able to forget it's meaning, or these words: "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." (Psalm 127:1). Let us remember to do our part, through prayers and sacrifice, to be the watchmen who stand their guard.

-- Clark Nichols (cnichls2001@yahoo.com), February 12, 2004.


i think the pledge should stay in schools and the words should not be altered. I'm so sure of this i even started a petition to not change or remove the pledge from my school. i strongly urge anyone wanting to to start a petition to keep the pledge the same and in schools for good.

God Bless, J.T. irizarry

-- Joseph T. Irizarry (jettwenty@yahoo.com), March 02, 2004.


I believe that The phrase "under god" shouldnt be in the pledge of alligence because the US doesnt involve god for any of their actions. The US relies on the army, navy, etc., not in God so, why even mention him in the Pledge?

-- Angie Perez (ecorre@netz.com), March 11, 2004.

I think it's important to make a distinction between removing the phrase in question from schools and removing it from law. The Constitution clearly implies that no law should be made that might infringe upon an individual's right to practice their particular brand of religion. i think the law setting the Pledge in its current form does just that. On the other hand, I think it's fine if a bunch of school kids, or congressmen, or anyone else for that matter, wants to leave the phrase in when they recite the pledge. I don't care if they add "for ever and ever, infinity, do the hokey-pokey" at the end. I just don't think it's appropriate to have the phrase "under god" officially endorsed by law.

-- Mark W. Leuthauser (Malinthas@adelphia.net), March 24, 2004.

The pledge of alligance was written very intentionally without reference to any diety, by a minister it just so happens. What ever our founding fathers beliefs were, they obviously believed religion had no part in government. And said to in the first life of the first ammendment just so everyone would be clear that they meant to have their government not impose any religion on it people. Thereby leaving their citizens to believe as they choose personally. Many persons throughout history have included references to God as with the 1954 congressional change to our nations pledge based on a religious groups influence. We are free to worship or not how ever we choose. But our government is bound by the constitution and the ammendments to up hold the laws of our country. We do not get to choose the ones we like and only obey them since they support our belief system. If we do not hold true to our own laws, what good is any of our freedoms?

-- aimee (aimee_desjardins@hotmail.com), March 24, 2004.

I'm as loyal and as patriotic as you can get. If I was old enough, I'd be in Iraq with our beloved troops. And as such a loyalist, I openly opposed to the modification of the words "under God" in The Pledge of Allegiance. These words are not a violation of anyone?s religious freedom. Under the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America it says..."Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." meaning, Congress will not allow the creation of a national church, such as the Church of England during the reign of King Henry in the Middle Ages. ..."or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." meaning you may choose to go to any church, follow any religion or be an atheist. However, saying the phrase, "under God" is not forcing Christianity on anyone.(Note: Christianity because of the capital "G" in God) It's not a prayer to God, it's not accepting his existence, it's simply accepting that this county was founded on religion (Note: Mostly believing in God) Even though it was added during the Cold War it's still true what I've said about this countries founding.

-- Paden Storms (Taylorstorms@cs.com), March 25, 2004.

sorry Paden... but not really correct in waht you stated above...

from webster's dictionary: establishment - an establishing or being established

establish - 1) to order, ordain or enact a law permanantly ... 5) to cause to be accepted

religion - 1) belief in and worship of God or gods =================================================== at no place in the constitution is the first admendment define the way YOU defined it - ie. congress will not allow the creation of a national church ...if that is what was meant by the first admendment, then that is the way it would have been written.

but rather... it reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

by definition (see above) this means: Congress shall make no law respecting the acceptance of a belief in a God or gods.

when Congress added the words "under god" by passing a law in 1956, congress violated the 1st admendment... to add the words "under God" is to accept a belief that a god of some sort exists. which is EXACTLY against the literal meaning of what the first admendment gaurantees Congress can't do.

now, you may want to skew this meaning to fit your personal belief system... but if you support the warping of the meaning of one of the constitution's admendments ...to suit for your belief, it opens the door for any admendment's meaning to be warped... and the next time an admendment is warped, it may not be in your favor.

maybe you'll become a writer and the next admendment will be warped to tell you what you can or can not write.

it is very very dangerous to allow the government mold our constitution's bill of rights to fit the trends of the moment (which is why the words under god was added... to appease the McCarthy anti-communist witch hunters of the 1950's)

think about.. i mean really think about it... do you really want to allow this?

to take remove the words under god from the pledge will in no way stop you from worshiping and praising your God in any manner you choose... to allow a government to make that decision for you.... well, what else or you willing to let them decide for you... perhaps who you can marry or who you can't... oh wait, thay are already doing that now... aren't they.

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), March 25, 2004.


Sorry TN but Paden's got it right. The First Amendment was indeed prohibiting Congress from establishing an official religion of the United States. This fact is established, not be piecing together factoids from the dictionary, but by examining the correspondence of the times. Many of the early colonists were victims of religious persecution by the Church of England and they most earnestly did not want an official religion being used against any members of a religious minority. I was 9 years old when the phrase "under God" was added to the pledge in response to the perceived Communist threat. I believe that it was the Knights of Columbus who spearheaded the change in 1954 as a way of confounding atheist Communists in the country (and there were many) who would be unable to say the pledge because of the reference to God, and would thus be branded as unpatriotic and anti-American. The interesting thing about the writing of the pledge was that not only was Francis Bellamy a Baptist minister, but he was also a ferverent Christian Socialist. Once again, by examining the 1892 historical context in which it was written, we find that Rev. Bellamy was a strong believer in equal rights for the former slaves and the unifying ideals of the Republic. Thus, it was his goal for all of the school children to understand and profess alligence to a unified Republic (remember, the Civil War had been just a few years prior when he wrote it and there was still a large segment of the South that did not share a strong sense of unity with the concept of a Republic that was indivisable. Ironic isn't it that today it is the South that is the strongest element in support of the flag, the constitution, and the Republic. Go figure! Anyway, given the historical context in which the First Amendment was written, and the historical context in which the Pledge of Alligance was written, I personally feel the phrase 'under God' is inappropriate and would support it's removal. I believe that it is inappropriate because the of the original intent of the Pledge. If the Baptist minister who wrote it wanted references to God in the pledge, he would have put them there. As a serious, practicing Christian, I do not feel my faith is either confirmed by the presence of the term, or diminished by its absence. I have lots of opportunities to confirm my allegience to my church and to my God without needing this meager reference in the oath of allegience to my country. However, I do believe that many Christians in this country are feeling extremely threatened by the incremental removal of all references to God and to Christianity from public life and they will take a strong stance in defense of keeping the Pledge of Allegiance intact in its present form. Likewise, I fully expect that the Supreme Court will decide to keep the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge. I also suspect that the fate of the nation does not rest on this somewhat trivial issue.

-- Roland Isnor (isnor@adelphia.net), March 25, 2004.

Roland... first, i don't think it is a trivial issue as to whether we allow government to violate our constitutional rights. i guess you do... since in this case... as a god fearing man, this violation of rights falls in favor to YOUR beliefs. if it was against your beliefs... lets say congress added to the pledge - "one nation... under satan" - you probably wouldn't think this is so trivial any more. what makes your beliefs any less trivial than my beliefs? second, i believe if you go back and read my previous post you will see that i fully acknowledge what initiated the first admendment was the persecution by the Protestant church of england, and that writers of the constitution didn't want a repeat of that in this country. BUT... they also realize, in order to offer the freedom of worship as one pleases, they also had to offer the freedom not to worship as one pleases. That is why the first admendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" and NOT "Congress shall make no law establishing an official religion". the symantics is very important here.

granted, many of our founding fathers were religious...

but let's do examine some of that "correspondance of the times" you mentioned in your post:

================= Thomas Jefferson (member of the constitutional convention, president of the united states):

"All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion; nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution": freedom for religion, but also freedom from religion." proposed language for the new Virginia constitution

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."--Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association on Jan. 1, 1802, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson Memorial Edition , edited by Lipscomb and Bergh, 1903-04, 16:281

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."--Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia , Jefferson the President: First Term 1801-1805 , Dumas Malon, Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1970, p. 191

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are serviley crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blind faith." -- Thomas Jefferson

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise.. affect their civil capacities."--Thomas Jefferson, Statute for Religious Freedom , 1779, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson

"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology."--Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, _Six_Historic_Americans_ by John E. Remsberg "No religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced [in the elementary schools] inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination."--Thomas Jefferson, Elementary school Act, 1817, _The_Writings_of_Thomas_Jefferson_Memorial_Edition_, edited by Lipscomb and Bergh, 10:305

================= Benjamin Franklin (signer of the Constitution): "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."--Benjamin Franklin, from Poor Richard, 1758

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."--Benjamin Franklin,from Poor Richard, 1758

"Religion I found to be without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serves principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another."--Benjamin Franklin

================= James Madison (signer of the Constitution, president of the united states, author of federalist papers 10-63 :the U.S. constitution was based on these, framer of the Bill of Rights): "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." -- James Madison,_A_Memorial_ and_Remonstrance "Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and all of which facilitates the execution of mischievous projects. Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded project."--James Madison

"And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."--James Madison in a letter to Edward Livingston in 1822 "The Civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE."--James Madison

================= Thomas Paine (author of Common Sense, supporter/instigator for a Declaration of Independence ): "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, not by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church."--Thomas Paine want more... i got em... just let me know. i WILL agree with you on one thing... I too fully expect that the Supreme Court will decide to keep the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge. the religion machine is to powerful for them not to listen to. however, they will not be able to actually say that it IS constitutionally valid... rather, they will sidestep the issue by saying Michael Newdow didn't have the right to bring the suit to begin with since he doesn't have parental custody of his daughter... for whom the suit was brought for.

just like O.J. - it'll get off on a technicality, but just like O.J. - doesn't make it right.

-T.Newsom

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), March 26, 2004.


sorry if the above is hard to read... the editor really screwed up my formating running the paragraphs together.

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), March 26, 2004.

NOT EVERYBODY BELIVES IN GOD !!!! WE ARE NOT A RELIGOUS COUNTRY

-- EMMA (teenreble_89@hotmail.com), March 27, 2004.

The United States of America was founded on Christian beliefs!!! I believe that all of the people who are protesting against the words "UNDER GOD" should think about the way this world would be without those words. We are a free nation that was founded BY GOD! Freedom of speach is one of many wonderful things that our nation is greatful for... I am willing to let these godless protesters have their say and I will have mine! "GOD IS MY SAVIOR"

-- Audrey Davis (BraveHeart03@msn.com), March 31, 2004.

i don't know audrey... but i think there would be a lot less war and prejudice without those words... last i heard...man wrote the constitution... not god... and the majority of men that wrote that constitution were not christians... but rather of the deism philosophy, as my posts above illustrate. many came to america to escape the persecution of the protestant CHRISTIAN church of england... so really, i guess a truer statement would be that this country was founded by people fleeing the christian tyranny.

i support my views with facts, you support your views with feelings, blind faith and superstitions.

hmmmm... as spock would say... where's the logic in your statements?

as far as freedom of speech... i totally support YOUR freedom of speech; i wouldn't think of trying to stop you from standing on a street corner yelling your lungs out professing your love and belief for god, gods, satan, or the toothfairy... go for it by all means. i just don't think the government that i pay MY taxes to should support your god and endorse a god YOU believe in a pledge to MY country. hence the first admendment...

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), March 31, 2004.


WOW, WHERE ARE YOUR FACTS? "THE FIRST AMENDMENT..." OK... IF YOU DONT BELIEVE IN GOD, THATS FINE... (I WILL PRAY FOR YOU)...OBVIOUSLY KEEP UNDER GOD!

-- Latrel Davis (GetalifeT.Newsom@yahoo.com), April 04, 2004.

well Latrel... if you had read more than just my last post... you would have seen the facts... but obviously you rather close your eyes and proceed on following the flock over the cliff without looking for yourself. please try reading my previous posts from the beginning before you question my last one. if after reading all my posts, you still are in the dark about something... feel free to question specifically on any item and i'll present with any further facts you might be missing on my point of view. in the meantime, i'd enjoy reviewing and debating any "facts" you may present to support your point of view. thanks for praying for me in your "i'm better than you" attitude... i'm sure it'll do me loads of good. T.Newsom

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), April 05, 2004.

oh yeah... if you just can't get enough facts from my posts above... be sure to read my other posts here:

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=009ENy

it'll save me some response time should you decide to try to debate "God" logically. (though i suspect you won't... since religion isn't logical and thus most people that believe in god hate to be questioned about their illogical stance... since they can't support it logically... so they copout of a true debate and just say "well... you'r ethe one going to hell...not me" i'd really love a true debate... just once. looking forward to you questioning my logic with facts, not beliefs of your own... T.Newsom

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), April 05, 2004.


I have read this site and I am amazed and very proud of some of the responses. Under God to me is a safe place. I feel sad for someone that has to have what they believe in always be about logic. I don't have all the answers but believing in something in far better than fighting against everything. I feel pride in God Bless America, I feel pride in under God. I feel pride and respect for in God we Trust. It is what America is based on. I cannot comprehend not having that. I hope that T. Newton would explain. I don't think it should be taken out. Every generation has lost more and more respect for what we were raised on. I have my daughter in a catholic school so she says about five different prayers a day. I am not catholic and putting her there was not all about the education but the morales and disiciple. The respect for God and others. I would say just don't say under God if it offends you.

-- Shelley White (www.undergodgarments@yahoo.com), April 06, 2004.

I myself am an athiest but I believe that the prhase "under God" should stay simply because thats i'm sick of hearing about it. The pledge of alligance is just a brainwashing scam anyway to pound into the minds of this nations children that America is so great and wonderful. It's sad that so many people have had to die because a few criminal businessmen in this country wanted to add to their already enormous fortunes. I stand up for those young men who were drafted to fight in that mistake of a war, Viet Nam. These young boys had their whole lives ahead of them and they were sent off to die and for what? Nothing has changed since then and nothing ever will. The elite few with billions in the bank will continue to run this country like a prostitue under a bridge. I'm babbling, my point is that there are BIGGER problems in our country right now. A lot bigger than two silly words. OH, and don't forgot that our country was also founded by slave owners who said things like "all men are created equal" and commited a GENOCIDE to the true natives of this country because they didn't want anyone being oppressed while trying to practice their religion. The Native American's were treated like garbage and forced off of their land and forced to practice the religion of the white settlers. Where was your God then? What about the inquisitions? What about jihad in the middle east? The Salem Witch Trials? "Under God" indeed.

-- joshua matthew (irony) (wingsofmoths@hotmail.com), April 07, 2004.

Where is it written in the laws that we have to say the pledge? Is there anything that is written in any law book that says the pledge is mandatory? Let me know where I may find this law binding fact or where it is written in any law based book in congess or the Government that the Pledge is a law based act.

-- John Vandehey (jhv316@yahoo.com), April 08, 2004.

addressing shelley and james questions: shelley first: what america is based on? ...really? you must mean what the religious right america is based on.

i am a proud american... born and raised here. my great great great great great great great great grandfather William Newsom II was one of the first settlers of this country... arriving here from england on 8/21/1635 on the ship the "George" and along with Captain John Smith (Pocahontas' husband)help found jamestown Va..

the point... I AM part of AMERICA...and so are a lot of people that don't believe in YOUR god. the constitution and the pledge of aleegience to OUR america has to represent ALL of us. our founding fathers realized that... hence the first admendment prohibiting OUR government of ALL the people from making a law endorsing religion.

i feel pride in my country just as much as you do... and i should be able to express that pride with a national pledge that represent my pride and my allegience to my country. what's so darned hard about that for the religious zealots like you to realize. tell me... please. again... i ask the question... would YOU be comfortable if the if OUR government endorse a national pledge that included an endorsement of the devil? of the greek gods? of allah? of budda?

the national pledge represents a pledge to the country of the united states... not to a religion... that is what church and prayer are for. now...you have chosen to send your daughter to a private church school... i see nothing wrong whatsoever with a private school supported by private funds (not my taxes)saying prayers, endorsing whatever philosophy they want, adding under god to the national pledge, endorsing a dress code...whatever. my problem comes when the tax payer supported government "I" pay taxes to endorses your god over my nonbelief.

================= ok john... now to address you question.

texas passed a state law in 2003 that mandated school children to say the pledge. see this link:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,96631,00.html

missouri and a few other states also have passed similar laws, see this link:

http://mdn.missouri.edu/2002/STORIES/PLEDGE.HTM

likewise, anybody seeking to become a naturalized citizen also has to say the pledge. i believe the pledge is also still a mandatory part of joining the armed services. the pledge is also a mandatory part of the preceedings of the U.S.federal and state senate chambers, house chambers, supreme court proceedings. while i am all for the saying of a pledge of allegience to the country in each of these forums... when said with the words "under god" included endorses a god of sorts and thus is violating the first admendment... and not representing the entire population of this country that the pledge was originally meant to represent... including me.

as far as the pledge being a law based act, a brief history lesson here:

The original Pledge of Allegiance, "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands -- One nation indivisible -- with liberty and justice for all," was written in September of 1892 by Francis Bellamy for "The Youth's Companion" magazine in Boston. The phrase was printed on leaflets and sent to schools throughout the United States.

The first organized use of the Pledge of Allegiance came on Oct. 12, 1892, when some 12 million American school children recited it to commemorate the 400-year anniversary of Columbus' voyage.

In 1923, the first National Flag Conference in Washington D.C. voted to change the words "my flag" to "the Flag of the United States of America."

Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance in 1942, but in 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that public school students could not be forced to recite it.

The words "under God" were added in 1954 by then President Eisenhower, who stated at the time, "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

BTW... about the author of the pledge... Interestingly, Bellamy had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. He was preaching a vision of political, social, and economic equality for all. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.

-T.Newsom



-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), April 09, 2004.


addendum to the above: note.... the actual bill that congress passed to add the words "under god" to the pledge:

June 7, 1954: House Joint Resolution 243 Congressional Record Volume 100, part 6, page 7757-77

in the face of McCarthy's witch hunts for all those so-called damn athiestic communists that were infiltrating our country by the hundreds of thousands...the admendment passed the U.S. house of representatives on 06-07-1954 and the senate on 06-08-1954

congress passing this law totally violated the first admendment... but of course the 1956 congress was bought and paid for by the religious right. (as is most of our confess today) ~T.Newsom

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), April 09, 2004.


Most of the States acknowledge God in their Constitutions.

Here is just a few:

ALASKA

"We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land, in order to secure and transmit to succeeding generations our heritage of political, civil, and religious liberty within the Union of States, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Alaska."

ARIZONA

Preamble "We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution."

ARKANSAS

"We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government, for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to our selves and posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution."

COLORADO

"We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in order to form a more independent and perfect government; establish justice; insure tranquility; provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the "State of Colorado"."

CALIFORNIA

"We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution."

RHODE ISLAND

"We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government."

OHIO

"We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution."

MARYLAND

"We, the People of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare."

MISSISSIPPI

"We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and involving his blessing on our work, do ordain and establish this Constitution."

http://www.law.cornell.edu/states/listing.html

So which Constitutions are Unconstitutional?

-- John Vandehey (jhv316@yahoo.com), April 10, 2004.


T.Newsom- in your last post, you said that in 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that public school students would NOT be forced to recite the Pledge. Then what is the Controversy? I have read all of your posts and notice that you refer back the 1st Amendment stating that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Well as far as I know, there is no law forcing students to recite the Pledge. I do understand that "Under God" was added to the Pledge because of Communists but recent polls show that 9 out of 10 people like the Pledge the way that it is. Well? We live in a democracy in which majority wins. I would say that 9 out of 10 people is the majority. (The rest, is my opinion)-If you dont want to say the Pledge, (or "Under God" anyway) dont, this is America and you can do as you like, but dont force the bigger majority of people from saying something just because a few people say it is unconstituional. - Which technically it isnt unconstutional because there is no law forcing students to say the pledge.

--Andrea

-- Andrea Knous (rrm@qwest.net), April 10, 2004.


andrea,

in my post on april 9th... if you read it... i pointed out that texas, missouri and several other states passed a law last year that does require teachers to lead the pledge of allegience in the classrooms.

but...even if that wasn't the case... the controversy is in the fact that the US congress violated the constitution of the united state's bill of right's 1st admendment by making a law in 1956 that endorsed a god by adding it to the national pledge... they don't have to endorse saying it... simply making a law that endorsed a religion is the unconstitutional act.

the bill of rights is a constitutional document that gaurantees the rights of ALL the people... not just the majority. in the 1950's and 1960's the majority of the population was white caucasians. polls taken during that time probably would have shown a vast majority didn't want blacks to vote, or eat in "white restaurants", drink from "white" water fountains, sit in the front of the bus...etc.

given YOUR philosophy that the majority rules... regardless of whether it violates the constitution... well... the civil rights of the 60's would have been a non-issue... huh. nice christian attitude you've got there... majority rules, screw the minorities' rights....

yep... definately sounds like the exact christian attitude that drove me from religion years ago... thanks for reinforcing my stance there.

hmmm... maybe the majority will decide that people named "andrea" (which i'm sure is a minority of the population) should all have to pay a yearly tithe of 98% of their income to the mormon church... but of course, if a majority supports this... you'd have no problem with it... after all... majority makes right... right?

you seem perfectly OK with the constitution's rights being ignored... as long as you fall in the 9 out of 10 group and it's not YOUR constitutional rights being violated...if 9 ot of 10 people wanted to worship the "devil"... would you stand by and say:

"duh...sure...since the majority wants it...go ahead and add 'one nation under the devil' to our pledge... no problem".

why can't you see that to ensure YOUR right to worship YOUR god without the government telling you how to, you have to support MY right NOT to worship like i want to, without the government telling me how to. the same admendment protects both yours and my right in regards to religion... and to violate the 1st admendment (or any of the bill of rights' admendments) in one fashion will make it no longer valid and could jeopardize YOUR rights next time.

freedom to worship and not to worship WITHOUT GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE go hand in hand

========================= john, a couple of points... i realize that "god" is everywhere in govrnment (to my chagrin)... but the first admendment refers to laws made by the Congress. the law adding "under god" to the national pledge is unconstitutional since it was passed by congress. when the US congress passed a law that added under god to our currency (also in the 50's)... that law was also unconstitutional. the 1st admendment is specific in that it refers to LAWS that are passed. personnally, i don't think there should be any endorsement of a god allowed by a city, county, state, or federal government that collect taxes from all the citizens... either that or let me keep my tax money i pay to them and we'll call it even. T.Newsom

-- T. Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), April 12, 2004.


T. Newsom- I have to disagree with your statement that a bigger majority of people were rasist. You must have been talking about Al Gore Senior the man that voted againt equal rights in 1964. Integtration was a government act therefore the people did have a say and since segregation is no more the mojority of people believed in equal rights. Now, getting back to subject, if the Supreme Court ruled to remove "Under God" what about me, what about the rest of America that likes it the way that it is. Does that stop us from saying it the way that we want to? There are options for instance, pause at "under God" dont say it. You cant stop a tradition just because a few are unhappy, life isnt always fair. Doing that doesn't take away your rights beacause YOU DONT HAVE TO SAY IT!

-- Andrea Knous (rrm@qwest.net), April 12, 2004.

i don't know how old you are... but i lived in the 50's and 60's and most people were racist... that was why the civil rights movement were so violent.... and necessary.of course... i do live in the south and there has always been more racism here than elsewhere... but i believe on the whole, white people were extremely prejudice in the 50's and 60's... and had it been left up to the popular vote rather than congress and the supreme court... the civil rights movement would not have had the effect it did. guess this is just another opinion that'll we'll disagree on...but getting back to the subject...

i would never try to say that you can not pray or insert the words under god into whatever pledge or commentary you want... that is YOUR right. but it is NOT the U.S. Congress' right to do so. that is where you seem to be getting sidetracked...

the first admendment does not say "Andrea can not establish or worship a religion and say the words under god any time she so desires" you have that right

the first admendment does say that CONGRESS can not make a law that endorses religion... because if they can do that.. it opens the door for CONGRESS to make a law that endorses a specific religion... whether that be the protestant religion like the church of england did... which is why the pilgrims fled to this country, the catholic, mormon,jewish,or muslim religion.

would you support congress establishing atheism? open that door allowing congress to make these personal decisions for us... and that's wher it can lead. atheism is the national religion of china... is that right? no...

supporting the first admendment does not mean that your faith is in jeapordy...it just ensures that government can't dictate that faith.. whether it be a majority faith based opinion... or a minority faith based opinion.

the real argument isn't about the words "under god" being said... say them all you want...the point is that or government can't legally/constutionally endorse that view.

and no...i don't have to say it... but i do have to pay taxes to the government... and as such... i expect that government to protect my constitutional rights and beliefs regardless of whether i'm in a minority and going against tradition... just as much as they protect yours.

you wrote: "You cant stop a tradition just because a few are unhappy, life isnt always fair" no it isn't... but you (as the god fearing christian i'm sure you are) can try to make it fair be on the side of what is fair... isn't that what christianity all about?

T.Newsom

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), April 12, 2004.


You know what, you are right, I never thought that I would say that but you are right. Legally Congress cant do that. And you should have the same rights. I still think that people can just pause at that part and then everyone would be happy but then we might as well throw away the Constitution. However, I think that there are worse things in the world that should be being delt with other than the fact of keeping "Under God" in the Pledge. Another thing real quick, don't assume that I am "a god fearing christian", im not.......

-- Andrea knous (rrm@qwest.net), April 12, 2004.

No, I completely disagree with everything I just said. By saying the Pledge, (the way that it is) isnt praying it is an act of partriotism. It is one word not a prayer and whether you see it or not, "God" is writtten everywhere in the American History. The Gettysburg Address which stopped slavery (think about that when you talk about segregation), money, like you said you pay taxes. When you are being sworn into court "So help me God." Why isnt there controvesy over these?

-- Andrea Knous (rrm@qwest.net), April 12, 2004.

andrea...

for a second there i thought you saw the light... so to speak..

let me ask you a couple of yes or no questions...

1)do you believe that the constitution's bill of rights is for every citizen of these United States? yes or no?

2)do you believe the bill of rights are justly written? yes or no?

3)do you think congress should be able to take away these rights from you? yes or no?

if you answered yes to the first 2 questions and no to the third question... let's continue this discussion...

if not... well... this discussion is not going anywhere because i stand by the constitution... and you don't.

so... if you're still reading... i take it that you support the constitution in the way it is written and wish to see it upheld to insure all of our rights.

again... let me stress that the first admendment of the bill of rights does NOT state anything about prayer or patriotism... it states that congress can make no law in regards to establishing religion.

to endorse a god is to acknowledge a religion which by definition... establishes that religion in the minds of the writers and the subjects of that law.

the pledge was originally written as a pledge to your patriotism to this country and remained that way for nearly 3/4's a century. when the 1956 congress by law added the words "under god" to the pledge... the pledge switch to a religious based pledge... religion - god religion-god... pretty much the same thing... how acknowledging god not be a form of religion?please explain.....

they had no right to do that. as a citizen of this country... i should have the right to say a national pledge that represents my loyalty to this country... without a pledge to your god. nothing stops you from pledging to your god any time ytou want.

the gettysburg address was not a law... but the president's personal viewpoint and recognition of his belief in god... not a law made by congress effecting the entire populace of the country.

under god on money is unconstutional since it was added to the money by congressional law in the 1950's (same communist fearing congress)

as far as the oath in court, it was a controversy... it has been deemed unconstitutioinal and no longer required. some states have elimnated the part under god totally... some states offer an alterantive oath to people that don't believe in god.

most oaths now resemble this:

"You do solemnly state, under penalty of perjury, that the testimony you may give in the cause now pending before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

see the following links:

http://www.thestate.com/mld/state/5155135.htm

http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=17553

http://www.cocra.org/ready_ref/oaths.html

http://www.wisinfo.com/thereporter/news/archive/local_4773607.shtml

again... i ask you to support my 1st admendment rights to not have the government dictate how to worship as much as i support your right not to have government dictate how to worship.

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), April 13, 2004.


Ok, you asked me to explain how adding "under god" into the pledge doesnt make it religious. The pledge isnt a prayer, it is a pledge saying that you will be loyal to your country. "I pledge alligance to the flag of the United States Of America" --that is pretty self explanitory. No where in that sentence do I see "I pledge alligance to God". "And to the republic for which it stands one nation under god, indivisible with libery and justice for all." Now that sentence describes America and is actually very meaningful so no i dont think that "under god" is relgious at all. Ok now, you say that there are some states where students are forced to recite the Pledge ok i can see where that is wrong so lets change that around and make it optional? Huh?

-- Andrea Knous (rrm@qwest.net), April 14, 2004.

andrea... i have looked in several dictionaries (feel free to verify my findings on your own)

the definition of religion is: belief in a god or gods.

for congress to add the words "under god" to the pledge... they were acknowledgeing a belief in a god... hence a belief in a religion.

note... they did not add: "one nation, under santa claus"... why? because they didn't believe in santa clause...

therefore it doesn't matter whether it's a pledge to god or not... the mear fact that congress acknowledges a god - by a law they made - is a violation of the first admendment. PERIOD

if congress had added: "one nation, under satan"... that's not a pledge or prayer to satan... but i don't think you'd agree that represents your views... now does it...how would you feel about adding that to the pledge? i'm sure all the satan worshipers would find nothing wrong with it... using the same reasonings you are grasping at to validate it being ok.

would you still support that first admendment violation... if the pledge were worded for that sect of our population?

satan worshipers are out there, and they are loyal citizens of this country just like you and me... and the pledge is as much for them as it is for anyone else that is a citizen or this country.

or how about the wiccans... worshipers of nature...i know at least three of those personnally

or how about the muslims... worshipers or allah... lot of them out there....

or how about the buddists...worshipers or budda...pretty large sect of them out there...

how about the native americans... they have a multitude of gods...and they were the original americans you know...

and or course there's the scientologists... quite a few of them (john travolta for instance)....

and please don't forget us atheists... i know darn well there's at least one of those around here somewhere...

MY POINT?... you wrote:

"one nation under god, indivisible with libery and justice for all.Now that sentence describes America"

all the above groups and more are part of america... so to say: "one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all." describes america... that is simply untrue... it describes your america... and maybe a good percentage of america... but not even close to all america.

i ask you again...

1)do you believe that the constitution's bill of rights is for every citizen of these United States? yes or no?

2)do you believe the bill of rights are justly written? yes or no?

3)do you think congress should be able to take away these rights from you? yes or no?

if congress makes a law that violates even one single citizen's constitutional rights... then that makes the constitution just a another piece of paper... not a way of life that america's freedoms are founded on.

you stated before that there are more important things to worry about than the words "under god" added to our pledge... i don't agree with that.

there are a lot of big problems going on in the world... but upholding the very rights and laws laid down by the authors of our constitution... that ensures the freedoms or our nation and separates us from the iraqs, chinas, irans, cubas of the world... the same rights that americans have died for, are dying for and will die for in the future throughout america's history...

well, i don't know about you, but that's pretty darn important to me.

yes... it may be just two little words.... but they carry a heck of a lot of impact as to whether we retain the rights given to us by our forefathers... or turn those rights over to a biased congress and let them decide which rights we maintain... and which rights we loose.

law is established on precedent... allowing this will lead us down a very dangerous road.

-- T.Newsom (boomme1@yahoo.com), April 16, 2004.


T. Newsom..... the pledge doesnt state a perticular God therefore your statement about muslims, buddists etc. doesnt have anything to do with "Under God" ("God" could be Allah, Budda etc). Also a classmate of mine came up with interesting logic on the subject and it goes like this : For Atheists to say "Under God", doesnt it refer to the presence of no god? I don't I thought that it was really interesting so please respond on what you think of that. Ok anyway, From the bottom of my heart, I stand for everyone American Citizen having their constitutional rights. With the exceptions to the few states you stated earlier, there is no one who is forced to say it. So I agree with you that forcing anyone to say it IS constitutionally wrong and that should change but removing it all together just isnt the right piece to puzzle.

-- Andrea Knous (rrm@qwest.net), April 16, 2004.

This nation was bron a free nation so understand the pledge and get on with your life.

-- Shelby Hageman (shelbydoo8@yahoo.com), April 22, 2004.

What does that mean?

-- Andrea Knous (rrm@qwest.net), April 22, 2004.

hey I say that the words "under God" should stay in the pledge because a lot of people just don't believe in our pledge. They are not made to say it, they can skip the words "under god", or thy don't have to stand up. the thing is...in this millinuim we are being over ruled by the government. they are taking all of our rights one by one. And soon the United States is going to be just like the england government back in like 1585. the king had so much power that nobody liked him and many more things...well i got to go i'll post more once out of my classes....peace out yall

-- skittles---->my nick name (wolves89@hotmail.com), April 23, 2004.

"Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's, and to God what is God's" - that's what Jesus said on the subject of separation of church and state. I want to freely express my love for my country. I want to pray to God in my own way. I do not want to do both at the same time, in the same memorized, rote way. Nor do I want my Legislature, and Judiciary (not to mention my tax dollars) wasted on mandating Patriotism or Religion in some cast iron formula. And when we start thinking our country is the Right Arm of God (attention Mr. President), we have already fallen from Grace.

-- Jack Forsman (Jack4sman@nycny.net), April 28, 2004.

Jack- Why do you have to mix patriotism with religion...no one is forcing you to say it. If you want to pray separately, pause at "Under God" however I wouldn't call the Pledge a prayer.

-- Andrea Knous (rrm@qwest.net), April 30, 2004.

Andrea, Sorry, I'm just an old Southern Babtist raised to believe any invocation of God in a public utterence is either a form of prayer or a blasphemy. You're right it's only words.

So,gee, you can say "under God", or you can stand silent? -- you mean no one will notice, or think I'm an atheist if I don't say it? Boy, the world is wonderful place. I'll put "Under God" by itself on my bumper sticker instead, okay?

Look, (see first post), the pledge of alligance was meant for the first generation after the Civil War to say "let's move on" - the operative word was "indivisible" -- and then the 1950's came along and a historical reference to a national trauma became a political reference (using God) to a national witch-hunt (i.e. McCarthyism).

But your dismissive tone to the whole matter is probably best. Words don't mean anything. The war in Iraq is about spreading democracy with pornography. 'Cause God is on our side, mister. It's a bumper sticker world. I think we should change the Lord's Prayer too: "Our Father which art American, hollow be thy name..." Hey!-It's just words!!

-- Jack Forsman (Jack4sman@nycny.net), May 11, 2004.


I believe that the pledge should stay just the way it is if people have different religious thoughts then just sit down and shut up. The pledge is about hope and freedom, yeah sure that religious freedom is great i'm all for that but if you are of a different religion, you don't have to say it, all schools give you the option of reciting it or not, and if they don't sue them. As for taking the pledge out of the class room if you do it that still won't stop me from saying it. !!!<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>!!!

-- Mahogany Whitley (buddygirl78382@sbcglobal.net), August 17, 2004.

The "Under God" phrase needs to be removed plain and simple.

It goes against everything this nation was founded on and violates everyone's religion. Allow me to enlighten you.

The U.S. Congress of 1954, violated the constitution of these United States by approving a change in the Pledge. It is strictly forbidden to make a law for or against religion or to establish a religion for this country of ours. This was an admendment put in by the founders of our country. They knew what would happen if religion were to take hold here like it did in England.

Take a look back in the 80's in Ireland with the protestants and catholics. They were killing each other b/c they believed in God and Christianity differently. Look at the Muslim's and Jew's that continue to kill each other for religious reasons.

Our country was once great but now this has fallen by the wayside as we start to destroy that which has been the founding principles of our country. We are suppose to be an example to the world what freedom is suppose to be. Yet today here we are showing to the rest of the world that we are lying.

That is the biggest disgrace of it all. Religion needs to be kept to oneself and not forced onto everyone. To say that you don't have to say the words or sit down if you disagree is like saying you were a communist back during MacCarthyism. Take a look back on history and see what happens to those that don't follow the status quo. They were persecuted, and you don't think that will happen agian??? People in our society get persecuted everyday b/c they are different. Our society still acts as it were still in 5th grade. A bunch of screwed up kids that rather make fun of, humiliate and disgrace someone because they are different.

I don't hate religion, but religious groups and those that want to force it on to everyone really needs to shut the fuck up and mind your own business. Remember I don't tell you how to lead your life so don't tell me how lead mine. If you disagree then tell me how you and your spouse have sex? Are you on top? Does your wife give you a blow job?

Find that offensive and intrusive? Point made! You see you don't want me or anyone else knowing what you do behind close doors. This what it feels like to those that don't want "under God" in the Pledge or in any part of our society. Its like being raped but spiritually. You feel violated and you feel as though your whole life has been exposed to everyone.

You want to make this country great again? Then stick to what the founders of our country put into the constitution! Times have changed yes but the constitution gives us guidance in handling any situation. You just need to take time to read it and appreciate it.

-- Chris D. (burbank152@yahoo.com), September 30, 2004.


I'm a little concerned about all the people pointing to the first ammendment. What it truely says is that the government can not make laws regarding religion. Show me where it says there is a seperation of church and state. Better yet where does it say a seperation of God and state? I for one don't want to be seperated from God and I'd feel much more secure if I thought our leaders had any connection to God. Washington wrote in his farewell speach that religion is the backbone of our judicial system and anyone who believes that a country can have morals without religion is fooling themselves.

-- Lynda Murphy (Washaw@aol.com), November 06, 2004.

T. Newson, clearly you are not being very open minded about this. God helped us get through 9-11 and without Him then the US would not be as great as it is. If the Founding Fathers did not want to have God mentioned at all, then why did they mention it so much and why is God in the Declaration of Independence

-- Tori Watson (Notorioustwenty@aol.com), January 03, 2005.

You tell them T. Newson.

-- Cherie Springs (kid7734@msn.com), January 11, 2005.

Is this a specific god or can we pick and choice which one we are being under and trusting? This is my concern. We should be able to have freedom of religion and not have a religion forced upon us. That is why our for fathers left England. They wouldn't to practice other religions, not just the one that King George practiced.

-- Douglas M Woods (dwoods@mcadrs.com), January 25, 2005.

I'm basically down with the big "T," but as a full blown athiest, I don't find the phrase that offensive. I find it: quaint. It's from an earlier time. The whole debate trying to claim the founders for the side of god, for the side of agnostics, is irrelevant. I don't care if they believed the world is carried on the back of a turtle, what I look at is: today. I would still validate many of your arguments that we shouldn't have "god" in the pledge, even if someone could dig up proof that 99% of the founders were fundamentalist christians. I mean, I find it interesting what the founders said, and we can derive guidance, but I'm not into ancestor- worship. If I live in a condo, with a condo agreement drawn up in 1955, I don't walk around trying to figure out "ooooh, what would have the condo-agreement-founders have thought? what would they do???" I try to make the document work for us today.

You keep saying what if we had to say "satan" or "santa claus" in the pledge. I get your point, but I find those terms slightly more specific. To me, God is such a general term, that it CAN be for the Muslims, the Buhda's, even those who mistakenly think Clapton is God (he's not, Kurt Cobain is).

Really, I'm not threatened by it, because I think we've won. I think by and large, secular&science have won out here in the U.S. So if there's a pledge with the word "god" innit, I'll just roll my eyes and say it and picture "Kurt." Or "I'll just say, one nation under [cough]" But having to remove every mention of god from our government just feels like being a sore winner. Rationale has for the most part carried the day in the States. To me, it does more harm than good to roadblock this, it gets the Zealots fired up, and angry, and feeling under attack. The little "god" references here and there around our country, on monuments: there part of our cultural heritage. Most of the populace did use to believe in God, so these are the landmarks left to those beliefs and our shared culture. They don't threaten me.

I will fight for intrusions of religion that are feel are meaningful: teaching creationism, making us all pray to a specific god, etc. But eternal vigilence towards the First Amendment, seems like an athiest zealot. It's done it's job. It's generally accepted. I don't feel like I'm living under a theocracy. I mean, what kind of athiest are you that saying this vague term "God," (who's god, what kind of god, etc.) makes you shiver and shake and be so angry. I do feel there's an anger there, your arguments contain a hint of the typical statement that all religion ever did was foster killing, etc. I believe as with most human things, it's a wash. Religion has helped many souls and hurt many souls. Equal and opposite reaction. The church in my little town fed the hungry, took care of folks, it was a good place by any standard. Obviously the Muslim extremists are another matter. There are shades of religion, just like there all shades of anything human. Standing on the first Amendment, and saying "nay, nay, nay" there will be no mention of any kind of god anywhere just seems to be a poor sport. And cruel. You don't need god, but these peeps do, so if they want to tack on a sign that sez "God Bless America" on their city fire- engine after 9/11 cuz they're freaked out, and they're looking for help, and you have to go, "nope, separation of church and state! First amendment" -- it's kinda grinchy.

-- Fimbah Foo (maddymud@hotmail.com), February 04, 2005.


I am a disciple of Christ. My life reflects God's word. Im presenting an advocacy speech for my debate class and after reading all or most of these post ups i ultimately supprt removing the phrase "under God" from the pledge. It is an infringment of the first amendmet, and even though i do believe this country's founding fathers where influenced by Christianity, it is "unamerican" to insert a religious statement in a document that brings praise to a country. God (in my heart) created the entire earth. He created man and woman in his image and told them to inhabit the land. He gives us freedom and always gives us a choice. A choice to believe or not to believe. I highly doubt that by removing the pharse; my beliefs will be hurt. The pledge of alligence didn't lead me to God and I doubt that God is defined by a nation. May God's will be done.

-- Hector Medina (Dahexican@yahoo.com), March 02, 2005.

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