1 Nation…Over God

Pledge of Allegiance

About once a year an atheist somewhere makes headlines by suggesting that the phrase “under god” be omitted from the Pledge of Allegiance. Unfailingly such appeals are met by a chorus of bitching from the pious, the uneducated and the uninformed: “What is this world coming to? These liberal atheists have no respect for history or tradition! How dare they suggest we take god out of the pledge!

Actually, no one is suggesting that god be taken out of the pledge, merely that he never should have been inserted into it in the first place.

The original pledge was written in James B. Upham in 1892, and read as follows:

“I pledge allegiance to my flag
and to the republic for which it stands–
one nation, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.”

That’s it! No “god.” In fact there wasn’t even a specific mention of which flag until the Ellis Island era, when President Eisenhower worried that immigrants might misinterpret the words’ intentions as a pledge of loyalty to their original flags in the Old World, thus stalling their assimilation.

Waving flag

~ by Matthew Frederick on January 17, 2008.

12 Responses to “1 Nation…Over God”

  1. I am surprised you didn’t mention the year in which God was inserted, I believe it was in the fifties. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    I am also surprised you inserted a weathered flag picture.
    Almost ironic part is, I just did a post about flag etiquette.

  2. I’m just guessing, but I think he’s pointing out the hypocrisy of people who claim to “love” the flag, oppose flag burning, etc, and then let one disintegrate at the end of a pole.

  3. That “under God” bit drives me crazy and I am one of the more religious types. Which I like to keep very separate from my government!

  4. Something of which few “flag-loving” Americans are aware. Wyld, of course, being one of the smart and well-informed few that are.

  5. Well, look on the ‘bright side’ on this one, MFV. At least it doesn’t say “under Jebus” … or Xenu, for that matter.

  6. Get it right- in this part of the country its pronounced ‘unda Gad’ not under god.

    Or Xenu.

  7. One nation under Cthulhu. Now that’s a pledge I would pledge my support to. Thank you, thank you.

  8. I agree with FranIAM, I’m a Christian and I wouldn’t be bothered if they took “under God” out of the pledge. It also wouldn’t bother me if they took God off of money and court buildings. I only ask that I’m able to go to church if I want to and that my husband not be insulted or forced to go to church if he doesn’t want to. I like the “with liberty and justice for all” part, that’s good enough for me.

  9. i was gonna do a whole post on the Pledge. — which since age 16 i refuse to recite or say — tho i will stand (but not salute)

    under god (which is only part of the reason i wont say it) was added by Eisenhower in 1954.

  10. This post reminds me that it’s time to have >em>That Talk with my kids, the one in which I reasssure them that if they ever decide to refuse to say the Pledge of Allegience in school I will back them 100%.

    It’s funny, though I’m not religious now, I went to church a bit as a teen and recall this thing in the bible that I think Jesus was given credit for saying (and isn’t it akin to one of the 10 commandments too) that oathes as such are giving one’s allegience to a false idol of sorts.

    Christianity confuses me.

  11. I thought the pledge was actually the work of Francis Bellamy, cousin of Edward (Looking Backward). He and Upham worked together on the magazine that first published it, but I really think Bellamy actually wrote it. Funny, too, because he was a Baptist minister.

  12. […] as easy for nonbelievers to assemble collections in which the same men are railing against Him. (Examples here).  Moreover, 18th century deism was a far cry from 21st century Christianity.  This proves the […]

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