Taking God out of the pledge

September 4, 2013 | By | 10 Replies More

I know that I’m in a minority in this country, but I don’t see how making children say a pledge that affirms the existence of a supreme non-material being doesn’t violate the separation clause.    The way I see it, if we starting making public school children starting affirming the existence of “god” today, the court’s would immediately put a stop to it.  But since the phrase has been in place for more than 50 years, it’s somehow OK.

Here’s the story that provokes my comment:

David Niose, former president of the American Humanist Association, and the plaintiffs’ representative, opened his arguments Wednesday saying the pledge’s use of “under God” violates the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution and is an issue of discrimination.

Niose said the pledge’s repetitiveness in the public school system is indoctrinating and alienating to atheists.

“It validates believers as good patriots and it invalidates atheists as non-believers at best and unpatriotic at worst,” he said.

I agree entirely.


Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (10)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I promise my loyalty to this symbolic piece of cloth that represents the United States of America. I also promise to be loyal to the rule of law embodied in the government symbolized by this cloth, a government that applies it laws equally to everyone, laws inspired by superstition.?

    Truly most children do not understand the pledge. Many adults don’t understand the pledge either. Somehow I am reminded of a story told by Dave Allen about a preschooler’s take on religion.

  2. Gloria says:

    You are not alone. I completely agree with you, and have been unhappy with the “under god” addition for my entire adult life.

  3. Jim Razinha says:

    I’m in the minority, too. The … I’ll be generous and just call them … fools who don’t know the origins of the pledge (and accompanying fascist salute) will continue to think that what has been for 50 years has always been. They’re the same people who confuse the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution.

  4. Ben says:

    I also agree. However when I was a child I remember that it (the pledge) sounded correct with “god” in there.

    Thank goodness our forefathers had amazing foresight when they wrote the constitution of independence.

  5. If conservatives would just be logical about it, they’d see that all those kids that pledged an oath to God in the ’50s grew up to be all those damned hippies in the ’60s. And God hated the hippies, so he must hate “under God” in the Pledge. BTW, “one nation, under god” is about as factual as “justice for all.”

  6. Just yesterday I read in our school district’s handbook that kids can’t be compelled to affirm any religious doctrine (CA Education Code 49091.12(a)). I love how conservatives say, “But it doesn’t mean anything religious.” Well, if it’s so meaningless, let’s take it out for God’s sake!

  7. Erich Vieth says:

    “he lawsuit alleges that the daily recitation of the pledge in the school district “publicly disparages plaintiffs’ religious beliefs, calls plaintiffs’ patriotism into question, portrays plaintiffs as outsiders and second-class citizens, and forces (the child) to choose between nonparticipation in a patriotic exercise or participation in a patriotic exercise that is invidious to him and his religious class.”

    The daily affirmation of God in public schools reinforces a prejudice against atheists and Humanists, the suit said. The suit claims that studies show atheists are the most disliked and distrusted minority group in the country, ranking below recent immigrants, Muslims and gays.

    “While plaintiffs recognize that (the child) has the right to refuse participation in the flag-salute exercise and pledge recitation, the child does not wish to be excluded from it, and in fact wants to be able to participate in an exercise that does not portray other religious groups as first-class citizens and his own as second-class,” the suit said.”


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