Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,

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Should “Under God” Be in the Pledge?

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What comes to mind when you hear the Pledge of Allegiance? A united nation? Patriotism? How about serving under a higher being other than the government? The pledge states the United States stands as one nation under God; however, the citizens see having these words as a problem in society. The words “under God” stir conflict within the supposedly united nation.

Throughout history the government constantly reigns over the entire nation as a dominant power. By incorporating the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, the nation becomes united under a higher power much greater than the government. Eric Buehrer, spokesman of faith, mentions that Thomas Jefferson said, “No king or emperor, no president or congress, no court or crowd gives us our rights”. The entire population constantly fights for our rights. By stating we are “one nation under God,” we become equal in rights. In the famous “I Have A Dream” speech written by Martin Luther King Jr., he references the importance of being “one nation under God.” In our Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers reference the Creator multiple times throughout the document, mentions Buehrer. The Founding Fathers showed signs of desegregation. Martin says, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal”.  

Our Declaration, the document that built our society, references a higher being other than our government; therefore, the nation has the right to include a reference to the exact same being in the pledge. For example, on our currency, we state “In God We Trust.” In the pledge we state “under God.” If the government takes the words “under God” out of the pledge, the reference to God in the National Anthem and other national symbols should be taken out too, mentions Cortney O’Brien Townhall News Editor. Our society lives on the reference to God.

On the other side of this argument, the words “under God” violate the First Amendment.

“Federal and state statutes proclaiming the United States of America a ”Nation under God“ violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a government endorsement of religion,” says Wendy Kaminer, an author and philosopher regarding social critics and civil liberties. The argument states that by using those words limits the religious freedom of a citizen. Throughout history, the nation has fought for the right to believe in whatever they feel; however, by making citizens say “under God,” most people believe the pledge disregard the given rights. While a significant majority of American citizens identify as Christian (78%), almost 5% follow another religion, many of whom are polytheist and do not relate to the Judeo-Christian concept of God, and more than 16% do not identify with any religion at all, says Dave Anderson a constant writer for List Land. If the pledge needs to reference a specific god, the phrase needs to appeal to the multiple religions of the nation.

Despite many altercations, the nation always ends up having multiple views concerning the problem at hand. In order to completely resolve the conflict, the government needs to consider all of the lives within the United States. The phrase might unite the nation deeply making the United States truly unbreakable. The solution may not be obvious until American citizens come together and compromise. Ultimately, the real question stands quite obvious. What did the Founding Fathers want for the United States: unity or individuality?

 

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Should “Under God” Be in the Pledge?”

  1. Elisa Novoa Moreno on May 9th, 2017 9:12 am

    Great article! I thought a lot about this topic too because it surprised me in how many ‘things’ (pledge, currency etc.) God is mentioned even though the U.S. is a country with religious freedom. I especially liked that you showed both sides of the argument without trying to convince the reader of anything. The article also has a great ending. Good job!

    [Reply]

  2. Dakota Tharp on May 11th, 2017 8:40 am

    Great article. It is very informative and non-persuasive. Good job.

    [Reply]

  3. Olivia Salyers on May 21st, 2017 4:00 pm

    I think it’s very interesting that putting “Under God” could mean that we all have equal opportunities. On the other hand, I fail to see how those words limit religious freedom. love that you gave a very clear description of both sides! Great article!

    [Reply]

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Should “Under God” Be in the Pledge?