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rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Do you think the Pledge of Allegiance should be reverted to its original text?

Asked by rpm_pseud0name (8168 points ) July 20th, 2010

Discovered this news story & was wondering how others across the country felt about it. To sum up, an atheist group put up billboards with “one nation indivisible” printed on it. As a reminder of the original text of the pledge of allegiance as it was written in 1892. It wasn’t until 1954 that congress added ‘under God’ to the text.

What do you think, should the ‘under God’ be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance?

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47 Answers

Kraigmo's avatar

I do not. I think it would be a waste of time.
And I would have said the same thing back when the clause wasn’t in there, and they decided to put it in. That was a waste of time, too.

So many REAL things need to be done, it’d be highly offensive if even one Congressmember wasted one moment on this.

And the Athiests and Evangelicals who spend money and time in this really could be doing a lot of better things in their lives.

Jeruba's avatar

Repeating my answer here:

I’m old enough to remember when it was added. I learned to say it in school without the phrase “under God.” The addition was greeted with rejoicing among the people that I knew in Eisenhower’s postwar America. Even as a youngster, though, I did not see what was missing without it. And I don’t think we would lose anything if it were gone.

Cruiser's avatar

I believe in separation of Church and State. Mutually exclusive entities and should not be commingled. This country was founded on “We the People” not “Under God”.

janedelila's avatar

Then comes our currency all being remade. If you want to talk about useless, let’s consider the taxpayers money it would cost to change texts of the Pledge and all the paper currency. Leave it and concentrate on more pressing issues, like most of us already want.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Yes, I think it should.

Kraigmo's avatar

I think a lot of people here saying Yes are answering idealistically. And idealistically, I agree with them. But if they were in an actual position of authority to decide this policy, would they really commit the thousands of people-hours and hundreds of millions of dollars it would take, just to restore purity to our Pledge?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Years ago, I gave up saying “under God” while proudly saying the rest of the Pledge of Allegiance. I was still a Christian at the time, but some of my friends were not; just devoted to the U.S. for opportunities they have been able to achieve in this country.

@janedelila U.S. currency appearance has changed a bit in the past few years, so what is one more change? Make new templates when needed and let the old stuff work its way to retirement.

anartist's avatar

@Jeruba I remember it being added, too. And hilariously enough, children in my neck of the woods were introduced to the change in our Pledge of Allegiance on a local kids show called Big Brother.

I really don’t think it matters all that much. It is one of those much ado about nothing issues that are handy for a politician if the real issues are too difficult. To me it is like making an issue over saying “grace” when a guest at someone’s dinner table.

Fly's avatar

Yes, it should. Patriotism should not be a parallel to any religion. There is supposed to be separation of church and state, and it is very hypocritical to include such a phrase in a national symbol of unity, especially one that is so prominent in the lives young children.

From preschool to middle school, we were required to recite the pledge every morning. This began to bother me as I got older and understood it, but I still had to say it. After a while I cut out the “under God,” but the whole thing just dripped with hypocrisy to me. Since entering high school, I have stopped saying it altogether. Some teachers still “require” saying it, but they can’t really do much about it. I will still stand, but I will not put my hand over my heart.

josie's avatar

Under God was added as a counter to the atheistic Soviet state during the Cold War. It really was not a statement of American commitment to God per se, just a way to thumb nose at the Godless communists.
That being said, anyone who thinks it is a good thing to put references to God and Scripture in Government documents and phrases should substitute Alllah, and passages from the Koran. If you don’t like the sound of it, just remember that in a democracy it could happen.

It should not be in there, but good luck taking it out.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@anartist – “Big Brother”? Oy, gevalt!

Jeruba's avatar

I used to watch Big Brother, too, @anartist. Big Brother Bob Emery. I had completely forgotten him. We toasted a portrait of President Eisenhower with a glass of milk while they played “Hail to the Chief.” Where were you?

Guess all that indoctrination didn’t really take after all, did it?

whitenoise's avatar

Yes, were it up to me, it should….

The religious overtone in US politics and public life feels very uncomfortable and unwelcoming to me.

Ivan's avatar

The Pledge can say whatever, I don’t care. Just don’t make children recite it in public schools.

josie's avatar

@Ivan The thing about public schools is that a person with the stupidest idea has equal status with with person who has the best idea, as long as they are both taxpayers. So it stands to reason that a government school would find it tough to get rid of the Pledge as long as a few taxpaying lunatics wanted it there. Anyway, the government wants to plug itself in it’s school. If the schools were private, problem solved.

Ivan's avatar

@josie

If the schools were private, they could force them to recite and learn any amount of crazy nonsense. How would that solve anything?

josie's avatar

@Ivan Students/parents that attend private school have two choices- Buy the program, or leave the school. So if they started reciting the pledge, and student/parent didn’t like it,they could leave. No private school can “force” any body to do anything, any more than a hardware store can “force” you to buy their screwdrivers. What are you talking about?

Ivan's avatar

@josie

“So if they started reciting the pledge, and student/parent didn’t like it,they could leave.”

Not exactly, the student wouldn’t have much say at all. It’s the parents who are paying, and it’s the parents who make the decision where to send their children. This means that it’s always the older, less progressive generation that gets to decide what’s acceptable in a school setting. Your son’s a troublemaker? Send him to boarding school to straighten him out. Your daughter’s an atheist? Send her to Creationist HS to fix that little problem.

If you’re a University (or a parent, for that matter), good luck trying to figure out which High Schools actually attempt to educate their students, and which just indoctrinate their students with whatever beliefs that their uneducated parents decide are acceptable.

josie's avatar

@Ivan What in the world do you mean by “older less progressive”? I will withhold the judgement that you think that all parents have to pass some sort of litmus test in order to gain your approval. But having said that, I still have no idea what you think you are talking about.

Ivan's avatar

@josie

Why do you think that the Texas School Board continually tries to alter school curriculum to better fit their conservative ideology? Why do you think the Kansas School Board tries to teach Intelligent Design in favor of Evolution? These people aren’t interested in educating their students, they’re interested in indoctrinating them into their own private belief systems. That’s what tends to happen; once people establish what they believe, they want everyone else to agree with them. Each generation is generally less progressive than the younger one.

I’m not saying that children should be able to decide for themselves what their curriculum entails, but letting every uneducated yokel choose exactly what his children do and do not learn is less than ideal.

josie's avatar

@Ivan Those are public school systems. My argument is in favor of private schools. Then you would not have to worry what your kids were being told. You could pick the school that reflected what you think. You would have a voice because they want your tuition. You are definitely hard to follow.

Ivan's avatar

@josie

You asked me to explain myself, and I did, using an example that happened to involve public schools.

I’m well aware that I could send my hypothetical children anywhere I wanted; that’s not what concerns me. I’m more worried about what happens when everyone else’s children fail to get a proper education.

josie's avatar

@Ivan Not your problem. Mind your own business. When or if you have kids you will be so busy bringing them up that every minute you spend worrying about what other kids are doing will be time you could have spent with your own but didn’t. And that would be bad.

Ivan's avatar

@josie

The well-being of the nation is sort of my problem.

josie's avatar

@Ivan It starts in your home. Oh well. You’ll find out. See you around.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

If we’re going to pledge allegiance to a flag and pay a proper homage to the Declaration of Independence, I’d really like to see it revert to the original text. Sadly, we have more important problems that we should probably think about solving first.

Pandora's avatar

Don’t care either way. How many people say the pledge of alligence after they get out of school anyway.
Say the word God no more makes people believe in God than reciting to pledge alligence to our country, makes patriots. Its something you either believe in or don’t.
Most people just want to pledge alligence to the All Mighty Dollar.

Nullo's avatar

I like how it says “under God.” Helps a person keep some perspective.

Ivan's avatar

@Nullo

Perspective on how much we hate communists?

Nullo's avatar

Haha, but no.
It’s a good reminder that the nation is not only not God as some would have it be but also that it is hierarchically situated below God. More metaphorically, this would suggest that the nation is a subordinate, a follower of God on the grand scale.

Personally, I place God above the nation. I will observe the laws created by secular authority until they start to conflict with what God would have us do, in which case the latter gets precedence. The classic instance is ancient Rome, wherein being a Christian was deemed a crime worthy of capital punishment: the early Christians would obey all of the laws except for the ones prohibiting Christianity and its attendant practices.

augustlan's avatar

I would very much like to see it revert to the original… someday. Right now, there are more pressing matters at hand.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@Nullo – That particular perspective is only available IF you actually believe in god.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly What if someone is a U.S. citizen and believes in a god, but it isn’t the Christian god?

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer – Well, there’s that too, although it’s certainly a minor point in the USA, but the perspective still wouldn’t change for nonbelievers and everyone should be equally represented.

christine215's avatar

There’s lots of versions of God, but then again, there’s lots of people who don’t believe in any “higher being”
While I think it SHOULD go back to the original verbiage as it was written, I agree with the many here that think that our government should be focusing on some of the REAL problems in this country rather than this

besides, most kids in school are half asleep when they’re doing the pledge, I don’t think that half of them listen to what they’re saying

Nullo's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly Which I do, so there’s no problem.

whitenoise's avatar

What ‘which’ do you do, @Nullo?

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@Nullo – Ah, Nullo. As PC as ever I see. It might not be a problem for you, but it doesn’t fairly or accurately represent the rest of us. Although, I’m hopeful that medical science will be able to cure that affliction for you someday.

anartist's avatar

Hell, what if someone believes in a Pantheon of gods, as some native Americans may still choose to do? “One nation under gods” sounds oddly divisive

Nullo's avatar

@whitenoise @Rufus_T_Firefly‘s “IF you actually believe in God”

@Rufus_T_Firefly If I ever start worrying about being PC, I want you to send Poison Control over with their best stomach pumps. :D
I suppose that one could pray for your status to change.

Out of curiosity, what are you calling an affliction? I’m thinking that you’re saying that my un-PC-ness can be resolved through medicine, but you could be nasty enough to be inferring that my faith is the result of a disorder. Which is it?
Or are you saying that you hope that medical science can make a God-fearing man (?) out of you?

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@Nullo – Yes, faith in invisible deities is the particular malignancy that I spoke of and medical science could never devolve far enough to cause me to believe in some imaginary friend. Exactly HOW does one go about fearing that which isn’t there? Good luck with the praying. <grin>

Nullo's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly Who’s being un-PC now?
Dark matter is invisible, yet there are lots of scientists interested in it. God may be invisible, but a stroll through Christendom – specifically, one not spent scoffing – provides evidence of a Being who interacts far more frequently than dark matter.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@Nullo – Dark matter doesn’t cause people who believe in it to be intolerant and bigoted and those who study it almost never kill in it’s name. Although, to be fair, one gets precisely the same response praying to either. I wouldn’t let it bother you too much though, I like to make wishes when blowing out birthday candles.

Nullo's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly God doesn’t either; rather, people have problems. Dark matter isn’t really something that you can form much attachment to, unlike God, politics, or even sports. Did you know that fans of different soccer teams have been known to literally strike, wound, and occasionally kill each other? For preferring a different soccer team? Police in riot gear aren’t an uncommon sight.
Great things have been accomplished through prayer. Take that stroll I mentioned, see for yourself.

meiosis's avatar

Making kids recite a pledge to their country is outrageous, and very, very creepy (especially the hand over the heart thing). It’s the kind of thing that totalitarian states like North Korea get up to. and I find it incomprehensible that a country that prides itself on freedom could even countenance it.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. If we are so great, we and our pledge can stand on our/it’s own legs without any references to God.

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