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Pledge of Allegiance faces another legal challenge

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  • @look_to_god in flux, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    @Joggle

    I don't actually have any assumptions. I confess I haven't thought much about atheism. It is so hard for me to comprehend believing there is no God when I see the evidence of Him all around me every day. And really, the belief that there is no God is all I know about atheism. I have seen how quick people are to jump to conclusions without information, so your advice is recognized and appreciated. I am glad to say, though, that I do not often fall into that pit and usually don't even engage in conversations where I don't know much until I can get a grasp on the issues at hand. (It's why I like reading the comments on articles like this.)

    I'm glad you've seen the good religion can bring, and I'm sorry for those who do not practice what they preach - everyone suffers at their hands. But I still think that is the fault of the individuals (however numerous they may be) than the fault of believing in God, or even religion.

  • Joggle Somewhere In, HI
    Sept. 7, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    @Dan Maloy

    The issue is not a matter of "I can be silent and civil while you refuse to say a pledge due to 2 simple words- you can be silent and civil while I choose to say that same pledge you choose not to." I have no problem when adults who voluntarily wants to say it or not say it at an event they voluntarily go to, but we are talking about children--atheist or not...a captive audience. Children are left with a bad choice: either stand up and recite something against your beliefs, or opt out and be ostracized. Those who don’t believe in God, who don’t believe that God is on any one nation’s side, or who don’t believe that children should be put in a position where they might feel forced to violate their consciences are simply “hateful” people who don’t support America and should just be quiet and go away. Wow! The Pledge as it currently reads is divisive and it is used in a divisive manner to further insert God into PUBLIC schools where many diverse beliefs can exist. It's wrong.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Sept. 7, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    This law suit is idiocy and selfishness in the extreme.

    Don't believe in God? Do you find even the mere word "God" offensive?

    Fine. Don't say the Pledge of Allegience in gatherings where it IS said and be quiet.

    (I'd LIKE to say "be quiet" in even stronger terms but my comment wouldn't be posted if I did...)

    If I can be silent and civil while you refuse to say a pledge due to 2 simple words you can be silent and civil while I choose to say that same pledge you choose not to.

    How long, Lord, how long?...

  • Joggle Somewhere In, HI
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    @suzyk#1

    The simplest way to demonstrate the problem is to replace "under God" with "under no God." Some Christians would be outraged if an atheist merely inserted the "no" on their own...many more would be incensed if anyone suggested changing the official Pledge of Allegiance to read "under no God." Why, though, if it's really no big deal? If "under God" is no big deal, then "under no God' should also not be a big deal. The fact that Christians would take it as a personal insult and attack on their beliefs demonstrates how "under God" is really intended: as an attack on people who don't believe as they do...a way to discriminate against them....a way to marginalize a segment of the population. This is also why they work so hard to defend keeping it in. They refuse to treat it as harmless and unimportant, so why should atheists?

  • Joggle Somewhere In, HI
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    @look-To-God

    Food for thought is all I'm presenting. If understanding of opposing positions leads to a place of common respect from which to operate...it can only be good.

    Atheists can often find good in religion, but they also believe religion is unnecessary for that good to occur. Although I prefer an understanding approach...the fact is...unfortunately, that atheists often have to speak out very forcefully; if we don't then no one will listen to us and we can't expect anyone to shed their misunderstandings, misinformation, bigotry or prejudice.

    Advice: Don't make assumptions! There are many myths and misinformation about atheism that we get frustrated with. A significant problem which atheists have with theists is how so many make all sorts of assumptions about atheism, atheists, and anyone who isn't religious. Many of the most common myths about atheism and atheists are derived from people making easily dispelled assumptions rather than just asking simple questions.

    Don't assume I haven't known people who have demonstrated the good religion can bring. I have seen the good...but I have seen much more of the bad. Peace!

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    This should not even be a subject discussed. If you don't like our Pledge of Allegiance which is "under God" then maybe they should move to some other country and see how good they have it. It is getting old listening to these radical Americans? Satan is in his glory huh?

  • @look_to_god in flux, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Thank you, Joggle. Your response was a far better explanation than the first one. I truly was asking to try to understand, but mark's dismissal kind of side-tracked me. Yours is giving me better food for thought. I don't agree with your position, but I do believe that the more we understand each other, the better we can find a place of common respect from which to operate.

    It makes me sad that religion is seen as harmful. I suspect that the harm seen is more an effect of the person practicing it than the religion involved. Islam itself is a religion of peace but the extremists have made it one of war. Sadly, there were Christians who did the same in the Middle Ages, the Dark Ages, made worse because it was the leaders promoting it. (That is one reason why Mormons believe the full truth of Christ's gospel needed to be restored, btw.)

    I hope you can come to know people who will demonstrate the good religion can bring.

  • Joggle Somewhere In, HI
    Sept. 7, 2013 2:44 a.m.

    @look-to-god

    Regarding...So I'm now wondering why it is so offensive to atheists to have to see the evidence of those who believe something you don't? Do you want religion to become the new 'don't ask, don't tell'?

    Seeing the evidence of those who believe something you don't isn't offensive to atheists. Most atheists have considered the question of God's existence or non-existence very carefully. They have examined the evidence of those who believe, but have come to different conclusions. Atheists are actually better-informed about religion than most religious believers. It takes a fair amount of questioning and thought to reject an idea that almost everyone else around you believes. Religion permeates social, economic, cultural, and political life so 'don't ask, don't tell' is more descriptive of what religion prefers of atheists.

    Yes, many atheists are offended by religion --offended because we see terrible harm being done by religion. We're offended about harm being done to atheists... and we're offended about harm done to other believers. We don't just think religion is mistaken -- we think it does significantly more harm than good.

  • BigBuddha Chandler, AZ
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:29 p.m.

    If it was (under Allah ) I would want it out

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    worf "I don't agree with us evolving from a fish, and how it's being forced on our school children to learn in order to pass a standardized test."

    If all knowledge of science and religion disappeared today, science would eventually rebuild the same understanding of how the world works based upon the physical evidence all around us. Religion would create an entirely new set of mythologies with little resemblance to the old ones.

  • @look_to_god in flux, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    @Mark

    Thank you. I knew I had to be missing something and you readily stepped up to the plate to express it. I didn't realize (silly me!) that atheists are free to claim and live according to their belief that there is no God but that religious people cannot.

    Somehow I thought that the point was to learn to live peaceably together and 'let everyone worship how, where, or what they may'... I already agreed that there should not be penalties for those who do not wish to say 'under God'. I'd even accept it being taken out with the allowance to add it as I choose, as per your suggestion. It might concern me according to what that would indicate according to my beliefs, but they are MY beliefs. You don't have to have them.

    So I'm now wondering why it is so offensive to atheists (at least as far as your response indicates) to have to see the evidence of those who believe something you don't? Do you want religion to become the new 'don't ask, don't tell'? Somehow, that seems hypocritical...

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 5, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    One size does not fit all.

    "Under God", is not religion being forced on anyone.

    I don't agree with us evolving from a fish, and how it's being forced on our school children to learn in order to pass a standardized test.

  • Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Being one of the faithful, I worry about this country's future when more and more people stop believing in an invisible, all-powerful being in the sky.
    What is to become of us as a nation?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    "I can understand a level of discomfort in being around something you don't believe, but I'm having trouble processing how this can mean the same impact to the atheists. I don't understand how catering to individual sensibilities levels w/ divine sensibilities. Not an argument - just a question stemming from the respective positions."

    Uh. . . look to god. No. No, you don't get to claim that you have a more legit interest then others because you believe in invisible people in the sky. You don't get to say that yours is a divine sensibility. My gosh. Right there is the main problem with the religious, they think they talk for God. Or at least that their interests are more holy then the next guy, so therefore they should get their way.

    Tell you what, you guys that think others should just not say "under God", well lets do it a little different: lets take out "under God", and then you guys can just say it. That should be fine with you right? And I'm sure God won't care, in fact I can't imagine She cares one way or the other.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Sept. 5, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    OHBU
    Columbus, OH
    "The insertion of those two words skewed the original message by separating the adjective (indivisible) from the noun (nation). Ironically, by putting those two words in, they cause great division and bitterness in regards to the pledge. Why not go back to the pledge as it was written? Let's work towards becoming, once again, "one nation, indivisible"!"

    2 points: First, it merely added a modifying phrase, or second adjective. Like a big, blue house does not cease to be big merely because of the insertion of 'blue'.

    Second, When we as a country cease to be united Under God, we will become divisible and hasten our downfall.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 12:57 a.m.

    "I can understand a level of discomfort in being around something you don't believe, but I'm having trouble processing how this can mean the same impact to the atheists. I don't understand how catering to individual sensibilities levels w/ divine sensibilities. Not an argument - just a question stemming from the respective positions."

    Uh. . . look to god. No. No, you don't get to claim that you have a more legit interest then others because you believe in invisible people in the sky. You don't get to say that yours is a divine sensibility. My gosh. Right there is the main problem with religious people: they think they talk for God. Or at least that their interests are more holy then the next guy, so therefore they should get their way.

    Tell you what, you guys that think others should just not say "under God", well lets do it a little different: lets take out "under God", and then you guys can just say it. That should be fine with you right? And I'm sure God won't care, in fact I can't imagine She cares one way or the other.

  • kiapolo Washington, DC
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:14 p.m.

    The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy.

    Copied from the Google definition, totally repeatable.

    What do the dates mean here? The pledge was written in 1892, by a Baptist minister, 116 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

    There are many who would tell you that our nation was founded on Christianity, as our minister from 1892 would have us believe. Simple research shows that the majority of our founding fathers were Freemasons who believed in Plato's Republic, which would become modern day Democracy.

    In fact, the very idea of Democracy is counter to mainstream religion. Democracy allows for freedom of religion, whereas the First Commandment of the major religions says "Thou shalt have no idols before me." Pretty anti-religious-freedom statement there. And given that the Church held more power in 1776 than what we would call modern government, no wonder our founding fathers had to hide their Freemason symbols much like the pagans did during the Dark Ages.

    QED, or TLDR, the Pledge was written way after our Founding Fathers, by a Baptist.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:32 p.m.

    I don't understand why believers are so uptight about this.

    All religion amounts to is a slew of meaningless, rote, empty recitations of superstitious nonsense.

    Why should the Pledge of Allegiance be any different?

  • @look_to_god in flux, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    I like having 'under God' in the pledge, but agree that individuals have the right to omit it without condemnation. I don't think it needs to be eliminated on the national level, though. We religious can accept atheist beliefs and atheists can accept religious desires to honor and remember what we perceive to be God's role in our nation.

    Sincere question here - not wanting contention, but someone's bound to be angry anyway. If someone doesn't believe in God, they can't be offending a higher being by having religious people/activities around them, right? Religious people, on the other hand, believe God has set certain rules and guidelines that should be kept and acting counter to them is cause for divine censure. (I suppose this makes most sense in things like the New Mexico wedding ceremony pics case.)

    I can understand a level of discomfort in being around something you don't believe, but I'm having trouble processing how this can mean the same impact to the atheists. I don't understand how catering to individual sensibilities levels w/ divine sensibilities. Not an argument - just a question stemming from the respective positions.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    Christmas Carole,

    I RESPECTFULLY ask those who do believe in God to stop and reflect for a moment on those countries that are EXPLICITLY established on the basis of religion and a belief in God, and consider the freedoms enjoyed there.

    Countries without a state religion: The United States(!!), France, Italy, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Germany, Finland.

    Countries with a state religion: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Cambodia, Israel, Argentina, the Vatican.

    I'm not trying to say religion leads to oppression, but it's pretty misleading to say belief in God leads to freedom, because there are far more counter-examples than supporting examples. It's amazing to me how many people who read in their scriptures about awful situations were people were forced to worship a God they don't believe in are readily willing to condemn those governments, but don't quite see that when it is their God being pushed on others.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    @Christmas Carole
    "I RESPECTIVELY ask those who don't believe in God to stop and reflect for a moment on those countries that are NOT established on/with the belief in God...WHICH of those give MORE freedom to individuals than America?"

    First off, the United States is a secular nation since it's not established on belief of God (as much as some Christians might want otherwise...). I'd have a lot to pick from anyway: Canada, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, etc.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 4, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    The Pledge has a long history in differing versions sponsored by various groups since the 1890s. Here is the first ‘official’ version of the Pledge as approved by Congress in 1942.

    "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    Note the absence of the phrase "under God." That was formally added 12 years later in the fervor of reaction to “Godless communism” as it was often called in those anxious cold war days. It was passed not as a law code but as a Congressional Resolution which are often little more than expressiona of sentiment such as declaring October National Pumpkin month. So if you want to stick with an earlier version of the Pledge, you needn’t worry about getting sent to jail.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    Craig Clark

    bitterly divisive? I beg to differ. I sincerely doubt that characterization, because I doubt that atheists have a better claim to "freedom from speech" than any of the rest of us who don't want a lot of liberal crap everywhere we turn in society. You claim "free speech" for yourself, but when I want to speak freely, you claim religion is being shoved down your throat. If you don't want to say "under God" then don't say it. I'm good with that under any circumstances. But this country was founded by those who wanted the freedom to speak about and worship God openly, with protection FROM government suppression of expression. Speaking or not speaking "under God" by choice does not pass a law establishing religion.

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    I RESPECTIVELY ask those who don't believe in God to stop and reflect for a moment on those countries that are NOT established on/with the belief in God...WHICH of those give MORE freedom to individuals than America? If you think of any, please consider moving there so you will be more comfortable...

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    This silly argument has been going on since 1954 when a tiny two word phrase was injected into the hitherto secular Pledge. It changed the Pledge’s complexion from unifying to bitterly divisive. Anyone should have been able to foresee what the fallout would be. But some folks just won’t let sleeping dogs lie.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    Evo1. Please explain what religion was established by the phrase "under God". Thanks.

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    It's getting more and more obvious that the America that was founded is ceasing to exist. The Pledge to me is a reminder to stay united in cause with my country and my God. If a commander of an army were to take away his/her banner, it's taking away their purpose, symbolically speaking. The banner is a visual reminder of what a group stands for. If the majority of Americans agree to take our "banner" away, I fear that America will disintegrate into an America that is divided within itself. If we are divided, we definitely are not "united" which weakens us as a whole.

  • Evo1 USA, FL
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    "The phrase "under God" was added to the Pledge through all the proper channels and legalities."

    No, it wasn't, because the 1st Amendment to the Constitution explicitly forbids Congress from passing any law concerning the establishment of religion, which has been consistently interpreted to include any act that promotes any specific religious tradition. The phrase "under God" is (and at the time it was passed, was specifically cited by supports as being) a promotion of the Judeo-Christian brand of monotheism, a very specific single religious tradition. Therefore the bill passed by Congress in 1954 was blatantly unconstitutional on its face, and by the very explicitly stated goals of its supporters at the time of its passage. There is no greater "legality" than the Constitution, and since it didn't "pass through" that, your statement is false.

  • Evo1 USA, FL
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Yes, the pledge is not "compulsory," but then neither is taking part in, say, sexually suggestive joking. But having to be among a group of people led in doing it by a superior is considered harassment. How is being forced to either sit in a room filled with people reciting a pledge with an explicitly religious passage, added decades after the pledge was written, for an explicitly stated religious purpose, or to go stand out in the hall while they do so, not just as discriminatory? And yes, the pledge as a whole is an exercise in patriotism, not religion, but in 1954 the religious zealots saw fit to get Congress to pass a law including those two words in what everyone involved at the time freely admitted was statement of religious belief and not patriotism. So continuing to recite the pledge with those words in it IS an exercise in religious practice embedded in an exercise in patriotism, which is particularly offensive, since it implies one can't be a patriot without being a theist, and is the product of a blatantly unconstitutional act by congress in promoting a particular religious tradition.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    I have a hard time believing that the plaintiffs were being forced to cite the pledge of allegiance. However if that is indeed the case the courts have a duty to fix that. Then if some don't like the "under God" they can individually choose not to say it. But instead, it seems to me this couple has an agenda and wants to make a federal case out of it.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    "Indivisible" seems to be a complete lie about our pledge. The SCOTUS rarely is united. They are almost always divided into the same two camps. Perhaps it's time to toss out the pledge and come up with a new one that goes something like this; "Anything goes, any time, any place, without legislated morality, without any form of deity, with any kind or number of partners, and without majority rule, unless you want to keep morality, God, patriotism, and rule of the majority to yourself." It sounds more like where we are headed as a divided country - those who want no legislated moral compass, and those who want freedom from speech as well as freedom of speech. There are debates in several state legislatures considering whether I have the right to even think of gay relationships as sinful and disgusting. Imagine that, laws that make following my interpretation of God's commandments illegal. Isn't that what "no law respecting religion" is all about? I can tolerate behavior, but I retain the right to think that smoking is disgusting, as well as a few other things.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    "The phrase "under God" ought not be forced into the Pledge of Allegiance; just as, the phrase "in the name of the United States of America. Amen" should not be forced at a pulpit."

    Excellent post, Stalwart Sentinel. This is a good way to understand how an atheist being forced to say "under God" might feel.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    Red:
    "The same people who elected Obama are the ones who are undermining the strength and unity of America.

    They are dividing us."

    Really!? And the people who regularly call into question whether he's American, Muslim, closet Communist, etc had nothing to do with it? The people stockpiling weapons and preparing for what they believe is an inevitable civil war have nothing to do with it? The Republican Congress who won't even approve THEIR OWN IDEAS from 6 years prior, because now Obama supports it, have nothing to do with it? You may want to take a look in the mirror, I think you might just find a giant beam.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    The Pledge of Allegiance is a loyalty oath befitting a totalitarian country such as Nazi Germany or North Korea. A person who says the Pledge places country before God and family.

    If we need to recite something, a better choice would be the opening words of the Declaration of Independence or of the Constitution.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    Religion has no place in the public square, period. Similarly, government has no place in religion (short of protecting individual rights ie underage polygamy).

    The phrase "under God" ought not be forced into the Pledge of Allegiance; just as, the phrase "in the name of the United States of America. Amen" should not be forced at a pulpit. I am religious but have no desire to place my religious views on others. It's imperative to fight against religious hardliners who unconstitutionally inject religion into the public arena just as I would fight against government forcing us to pray in it's name on Sundays.

    If you are religious and actually have any semblance of faith in your own convictions, this is a non-issue.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    IMAN, perhaps you misread my post.

    worf, relax. You don't get to determine who loves their country, or how they should. And you sure don't get to force others to leave this country.

    Hey it's me, that's silly. No one is forcing you, or telling you, that you can't have your opinion, or that you have to change it. And people using words that you don't like has nothing to do with the words in a official pledge.

    I've thought for years that the pledge is a bizarre ritual that is unneccesary and should be eliminated. (And no, worf, that doesn't mean I love my country any less then you do, not that it's any of your business.)

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    I have learned this. Our country is falling down. We are being weakened by those who feel they need to tear something down for their own personal gain. Government has more power than it needs. I am but a small voice of opinion. It doesn't mean my opinion is right, it appears more my opinion does not matter. Liberal people are becoming larger and people wonder why are country suffers.

    If you take "under God" out of the pledge, so be it, I can't do much about it. People who share my same opinion have become the minority. However, when I recite the pledge, I will continue to say "under God", because it is a prayer for my country in a God who I believe in. And a country who desperatley needs it. And of course it should not offend anyone because it is my belief. That is why I say it, if you don't believe or like it, recite it without it. I won't be offended, that is your right, just as you won't be with me if I do say it, right?.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Re: "The phrase is important to me, as is the phrase 'in god we trust' on the coinage ..."

    Theodore Roosevelt on the use of "In God We Trust" on coins:

    "My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner not only does no good, but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege. A beautiful and solemn sentence such as the one in question should be treated and uttered only with that fine reverence which necessarily implies a certain exaltation of spirit. Any use which tends to cheapen it, and, above all, any use which tends to secure its being treated in a of levity, is from every standpoint profoundly to be regretted .... But it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps or in advertisements" (quoted in "The Christian Work and The Evangelist," November 23, 1907).

  • Kdee SLC, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    For all you commentators who have not read the story on which you are commenting:

    From the story in this paper, "Instead of a making a First Amendment religious violation claim, an anonymous atheist couple says the compulsory recitation of the pledge violates the state’s equal protection laws,...."

    The key word in the quoted phrase is "compulsory."

    Compulsory means mandatory, obligatory, required by law. It means you don't get to choose to just not say it. It means you suffer real world consequences if you don't do it.

    The US Constitution guarantees certain rights and freedoms. State constitutions guarantee certain rights and freedoms.

    What value is the Pledge if you are forced to violate your guaranteed rights and freedoms by saying it every day?

    And how can you claim to love this country if you are so willing to violate the Constitution by forcing others to participate in an activity to which they are opposed because it honors God instead of actually honoring the US?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    Do you know what is interesting? It will drive people from both sides of the argument nuts. I once heard that the pledge of allegiance was written by a minister, who was also a socialist. They had those back in the late 1800's.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Although the two words "under God" were added in 1954, the references to "God" are written throughout the Founding Fathers' writings - Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, and "God" is found on our Currency, in our Court Systems, etc. Anyone who chooses to not say the pledge of allegiance cannot become a U.S. Citizen. If you were born in the USA, then you don't have this requirement to vocally say the "pledge of allegiance"; however, if you REMEMBER the beginnings of this great country, you will be reverenced by miracles that occurred to bring freedom and liberty to an entire NATION - a light to all people around the entire world that Freedom is a God-Given Right to all who are born.
    The USA has been a beacon on a hill to all freedom of worship, no matter what Being or Material thing you wish to worship, and not be punished for your belief or non-belief.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Darwins theory offends me. I don't believe in it. Why should I or my children have to be subjected to it in the education system?

    Just saying....

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    'God' not originally part of the pledge of allegiance?

    And the 1st and114th amendments were not part of the original constitution.

    So what!?

    @IMAN

    @Mark: ""The first amendment was intended to protect religion from the state." You are partly correct. It was also passed to ensure NO religion dictates how the state is run. It's a two sided coin.'

    It is 100% correct. Religions and religious people are the people, and part of people, and it is Government by the people and of the people. Religions and religious people have every right to speak out and influence the making law just like any other individuals and groups of American people.

    Sounds like sour groups because your people are less effective at influencing the making of law.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    What if someone wants to say "Under Allah"?

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    It's great we live in a country with "freedom" however, more and more these days I am finding that I am the one always being told that I have to change my opinion because someone else's doesn't agree with mine. We can disagree with things but that doesn't mean we have to change laws or anything else. Case in point. I disagree with using all swear words but I still have to hear them on a daily basis when I'm in public. These people don't have to say the pledge or they can chose to not say those two words during the pledge, just as I chose not to say the swear words. I chose not to participate in that kind of language but I realize others have the right to speak what they may. It's a free country, say the words or don't say them you get to chose.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    Thou shalt have no other God than the government!

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    techpubs: :As far as I know nobody is forcing them to either say it or to not leave out those 2 words if they choose to say it."

    The two boys back in my high school who got roughly marched to the office by the football coach/homeroom teacher for not reciting the pledge would beg to differ.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    Prove you love freedom by shutting your mouth and doing as you're told.

    "Under God" is a recent addition to the pledge. You can see for yourself by googling "Old Glory"(1939) starring Porky Pig and watching it.
    The pledge was originally recited while holding your outstretched hand toward the flag in a Nazi-like salute. I thought this was an internet myth until my dad told me that's how they did it when he was in school in Nebraska in the twenties.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    The same people who elected Obama are the ones who are undermining the strength and unity of America.

    They are dividing us.

    We are only getting weaker.

    They have no idea what made us strong in the first place.

    It is a little game to them and all of us are going to pay a high price.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:51 a.m.

    As Ronald Reagan stated: We are either one nation under God or one nation gone under.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:13 a.m.

    To all who are stating that the words "under God" were not part of the original pledge. You are correct. And while we're at it maybe you would like us to also remove "The United States of America" since that also was not part of the original pledge.
    This is supposedly about people who don't view themselves as not being patriotic enough if they have to say "The Pledge of Allegiance" to the Flag of Our Country in its current form. As far as I know nobody is forcing them to either say it or to not leave out those 2 words if they choose to say it.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:08 a.m.

    @Mark: ""The first amendment was intended to protect religion from the state." You are partly correct. It was also passed to ensure NO religion dictates how the state is run. It's a two sided coin.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:05 a.m.

    Sorry religious and social repressors, the WORD god will be removed from the pledge and U.S. currency one day. As it should be.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    "It makes us appear as second class citizens just because we believe something different from the majority," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director for the American Humanist Association, which filed the lawsuit."

    This is the proper legal grounding for objecting to the pernicious infiltration of religious references in such things as the Pledge of Allegiance.

    This is particularly the case since reducing non-believers to second-class citizen status, and taking power positions in government by virtue of their self-proclaimed moral superiority, is the express aim of Christians who arrogantly proclaim that the United States of America was meant by divine design to be "a Christian Nation".

    And you thought the Taliban was bad?

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 9:02 p.m.

    @rusby

    you may want to look up articles of legitimation, that government you are so worried about accumulating power is manipulating your religious convictions to get you to allow them to do just that.

  • rusby Minneapolis, MN
    Sept. 3, 2013 8:44 p.m.

    The phrase "under god" is the only reason, I can even bring myself to say the pledge. If that phrase were removed, I don't think I could find myself reciting the then official pledge. The phrase is important to me, as is the phrase "in god we trust" on the coinage because it is, to me at least, an acknowledgement that there is a higher authority than our country to whom we owe a greater allegiance. If the government assumes the role of highest moral authority, the pledge serves nothing more than a show of nationalism, and we've been down that road before. Actually, if I were to remove words from the pledge, I would remove the phrase "indivisible" and "justice". Because, in reality, countries are divisible and any justice meted out by a temporary authority is inherently skewed from being truly just. The words just seem like a government trying to accumulate power.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    @worf

    Who said anything about not loving their country? If someone chooses to not say "under god" as part of the pledge, something inserted much after those how "paved the way" they hate their country? Again simply because someone does not want to go along with your dictates does not make them anti american. the fact that you believe you should be able to force your will on other however maybe a different story.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 3, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    @spring street:

    On this? Yes!

    That's how important America is! We have a duty to those who paved the way. They earned, and deserve that respect.

    Don't love the country? Goodbye.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 7:37 p.m.

    Re: "It makes us appear as second class citizens just because we believe something different from the majority . . . ."

    You say it like it's a bad thing.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 7:24 p.m.

    @bob

    as has already been pointed out in this thread the reason for the lawsuit is that these people are claiming they were not allowed to simply skip part or reman silent.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    So - according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, "God" in the Pledge is not a religious reference, it is a political reference.

    If "God" in the Pledge is not religious, than why is Becket defending it? If "God" in the Pledge is not religious, than why are so many religious people so adamant that He remain there?

    It seems to me that atheists and others who are not part of the Judeo-Christian-Islam religious grouping have more respect for God as a religious figure than many of those who claim to worship and honor Him.

  • B ob Richmond, CA
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    In this case, there is no reason why the rights of a few should trample the rights of many. There is no one that is held back from a job, denied enrollment in a university, held back socially because he/she doesn't believe every word of the pledge. Those who do not believe in any part of the pledge - simply need skip the parts that they don't believe in. Freedom of speech also means the freedom of silence.

    The reference to divinity - was proposed by a Republican from Michigan and passed by Congress in 1954. The bill was signed by President Eisenhower. The phrase "under God" was added to the Pledge through all the proper channels and legalities.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    @worf

    "America! Love it, or leave it"

    and this is what you think of the freedom so many have fought and died for? A freedom were if people don't agree with you and think they should have the right to refuse your dictates they should leave?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 3, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    @spring street:

    There's a saying--"America! Love it, or leave it"

    That love for America is the purpose for the pledge, and gratitude for the God which helped bring about this nation. It's respect earned by those who gave their lives for this country.

    No one is forcing any person to stay in this nation. The pledge of allegiance is a simple thing,--but if it's offensive, Cuba (with its state run medicine), may let you in.

  • Grandma 20 Allen, TX
    Sept. 3, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    Numerous countries, they refer to them mostly as "oaths of allegiance" or "oaths of citizenship". United Kingdom, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India, Jamaica, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, China, Thailand, Fiji, and South Africa to name a few.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    Wow. How strange. Prayer is not prohibited in schools. Where did you ever get that idea , the Rock?

    " It simply is not possible for a law to exist that effects religion."

    Well that sure isn't true.

    "The first amendment was intended to protect religion from the state. The SCOTUS has turned the law on its head and is using the constitution for the exact opposite purpose."

    In other words they are protecting the state from religion? Well that's okay, the state should be, and needs to be, protected from religion. Good heavens, who would think it shouldn't be?

    You know, also, it seems you don't understand the roll of SCOTUS.

    And another thing, the Pledge of Alligence is NOT religious, and has nothing to do with religion. Its a pledge to the United States, not to a religion.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    1. Do we really need a pledge? What other countries have this?

    2. What about Americans who don't believe in a higher being? Are they not Americans, or do they have a lesser status?

    3. Would it weaken the religious beliefs of the rest of us if those words were not included?

    I am interested to see so reasonable, rational responses to these questions. Don't really want emotion or dogma....

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Sept. 3, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    I'm all for saying the Pledge, but the original one, not the modified one written out of the Red Scare. The insertion of those two words skewed the original message by separating the adjective (indivisible) from the noun (nation). Ironically, by putting those two words in, they cause great division and bitterness in regards to the pledge. Why not go back to the pledge as it was written? Let's work towards becoming, once again, "one nation, indivisible"!

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Sept. 3, 2013 2:50 p.m.

    The first amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
    The pledge of allegiance is not a law, it is a saying passed as a resolution by congress.

    Article 1 section 1 paragraph 1 of the constitution states: All legislative authority, granted herein, belongs to a congress consisting of a house of representatives and a senate.

    Since ALL legislative authority belongs to congress there is NO legislative authority anywhere else.

    If congress has no authority to pass laws regarding religion, and it is their job to create law, how did the SCOTUS ever prohibit prayer in school? It simply is not possible for a law to exist that effects religion.

    Congress never passed a law prohibiting prayer anywhere. If you were charged with leading prayer in school, where would they charge you with? No law exists prohibiting it.

    The first amendment was intended to protect religion from the state. The SCOTUS has turned the law on its head and is using the constitution for the exact opposite purpose.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    @chris and worf

    How is you not being able to force someone else to recite the pledge a violation of your rights? this is a case were they are claiming they are forced to recite the pledge not one were they claim no one should.

  • Phranc SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    once again with the very misleading compilations DN, good job. sighting a case were the pledge was "voluntary" reciting to make the case against a lawsuit based on the "compulsory" reciting of the pledge.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    The original pledge of allegiance didn't have "under God" in it. There's no reason it needs to be in there.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 3, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    Is this part of the transformation, of our country?

    Pretty sad when gays, and people for abortions, have more rights than the pledge of allegiance.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    Sorry liberals, God will remain.