Comments about ‘Lawyers, judges debate 'under God' phrase in Pledge of Allegiance’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 5:15 p.m. MDT

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American Fork, UT

We should simply do away with the Pledge of Allegiance. We are certainly not one nation or undivided anyways. Our nation has probably never been more divided. We are a nation of warring ideologies and public vitriol. Our Founding Fathers would never have conceived of such a practice as the pledge. They established this land as a Republic of 'Free and Independent States', not a 'Nation, Indivisible'. The Founders largely wanted a limited Federal Government and co-equal States. Now we have a bloated Federal Government which tramples the rights of states with aplomb. And a Federally backed pledge of allegiance to said government which indoctrinates our youth with thoughts of hyper-nationalism. If we truly still had a functioning Republic, as the Pledge suggests, then our States would have a seat at the table. As it stands the Pledge is at best empty rhetoric, and at worst Statist indoctrination.

Kaysville, UT

We live in a nation unlike almost every nation ever since the world began with billions of people living at one time. We are fortunate to have had this land saved for a people that came to be away from oppressive governments of kings, monarchs and the influence of despots.

Our form of government came through much thought and planning by those founding fathers and inspired by goodness to all men and women who live here.

It wasn't by chance and that would have been the luck of the draw of bad monarchial rule.

Hopefully, judges will make a good decision in this country with apparent law and order instead of a despots hand that changes daily.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Here is the original version of the Pledge as written in 1892.

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for
which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty
and Justice for all."

In 1924, “my flag” was changed to “the flag” which was even more emphatically clarified by adding “of the United States of America.” Apparently, there were still diehard Confederates resisting the idea of the U.S. as one nation.

Even today, we hear in Tea Party rhetoric a remnant of resistance to the Federalism that emerged triumphant from the Civil War. The Institute on the Constitution is one example of a right wing group trying to rewrite history if not the Constitution itself by arguing that the Founding Fathers were more influenced by Protestant theology than by the Age of Enlightenment. It just goes to show that you can interpret history to make it prove whatever you want to believe.

Gainesville, TX

In our quest for equality, we are instead falling into the trap of trying to make everyone identical. The concept deprives us of our individuality. I recall, I believe, in the 1980s when a major liberal weekly magazine declared the most startling scientific discovery that men and women's brains were hard wired differently. One young thing in the employee's lounge questioned which brain was superior and which was inferior. To her if something was different, then it was unequal. We can be individuals and still be equal before the law. We are moving toward the impossible "equality" by making everyone identical. If someone does not desire to pledge allegiance to the flag, they don't have to. Their choice is their own. Frivolous lawsuits such as this one is designed to cause contention and to disrupt the cultural values. The atheists among us are not content to stand on their belief system. They want to impose their values on the rest of us.

Gainesville, TX

Craig Clark; Their is no question our centralized government was intended to be subservient to the state governments. This set up was designed to keep a balance of power between the states and the Federal government. When the South lost the War, we also lost this balance of power. As a result, we now have a powerful Federal government which is boarding on a monarchy. In this concept the Confederacy has been vindicated.
The definition of "Federal" was changed when the budding United States was formed. Until that time "Federal" was an agreement among several independent governments. Of course, this concept was reflected in the the language. Prior to the War, The United States was following by the verb "are" implying the plural nature of the bond. After the War, the verb usage changed to "is" implying a unified group of states subservient to the Federal Government.

Huntsville, UT


You have that backwards. We're trying to stop YOU from imposing your religion on the rest of us.

Salt Lake City, UT

"how can you, with a straight face, imply that we should enjoy freedom of speech but be unable to praise God on a daily basis? "

You can do it all you want. Heck, there's two guys yelling on campus about how Christ will save us (based on the muttered comments from people around me, their tactics are not very effective) right now. All we're saying is to keep it out of gov't just like you all (and myself) would want Sharia law out of the gov't.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Our nation has probably never been more divided. "


"In our quest for equality, we are instead falling into the trap of trying to make everyone identical."

At minimum your side is no better since you're imposing the Judeo-Christian God on everyone in the pledge as if it applies to everyone.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO


"....Their is no question our centralized government was intended to be subservient to the state governments...."

If that were the case, the Founders wasted good ink and paper writing the Constitution. They more easily could have stuck with the Articles of Confederation without risking a strong central government that subordinates the autonomy of the individual states. Please read Article VI of the Constitution (the Supremacy Clause) to see who the Founders intended to be “the supreme law of the land.”

It’s true that the proper balance between Federal and state government was a murky issue that vexed every anti-bellum President starting with George Washington. It took the Civil War to crystallize national thought on the precise nature of our Federalism. We may still disagree today on where the line is between state and Federal jurisdiction in specific cases. When we do, it’s the Federal Courts who acts as final arbiter.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I not only believe that God exists, I know he does. I have seen his hand blessing my life in countless experiences. I believe that he inspired and led the founders of this great nation to seek their independence from Great Britain and establish a country where men could be free. Our freedom doesn't mean we all get 100% of what we want. But it does give us the freedom to choose and make our own decisions. This doesn't not mean making decisions for others or forcing our opinions on others.

I thank God that I can live in this country. I am ashamed of the way people are treating Him as though he does not exist.

God bless America!

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@my4boys – “Freedom in this great country was founded upon the belief in a higher being-"God".

Actually it was founded on the belief that “We The People” could be free to govern ourselves. And the Founders looked almost exclusively to the Roman Republic as a model on which to base our Constitution (the world’s 1st purely secular governing charter, by the way) and Republic.

@Craig Clark – “Here is the original version of the Pledge as written in 1892.”

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for
which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty
and Justice for all."

Why can’t we just go back to this? It might help restore some much needed civic virtue in this country in a manner that our Founders would surely approve of, given most of them were Deists (which is what agnostics & atheists called themselves back then).

Manti, UT

Given the current state of this country's affairs, I'm not sure if God would want his name attached to it.

Scranton, PA

The term "anonymous atheist couple" says it all for me. If one is making such a public spectacle over this, they should have the courage to come out and identify with the cause for which they are fighting.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
It's ironic that the addition of two words during the cold war has divided our nation quite a bit.
I don't know where any government official gets the right to modify a person's creative work in any official capacity. (Didn't Cleanflix get in trouble for that?) But if it can be done, it can surely be undone.
This horse pucky wouldn't stand for one minute in the year 2013.
That God's name is inserted in "the pledge" and on our money is not evidence that we are a nation of believers. It is evidence that overzealous believers, if not kept in check, can overstep quite readily.

It's not too difficult to derive meaning from the statement: "From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim [character limit] the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."

Unfortunately, Mr. Eisenhower, the aforementioned children and people are not "yours" to speak for. I am a strong, confident, moral atheist and my children will be reared as such.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

May it please the moderators:
Perhaps we can recite the pledge as we have for the last 60 years and when it comes to the "under god" part, those who wish to use this lovely verbiage can quietly step out into the hall to utter those two words and we will all pause respectfully and wait for them to come back so that the rest of the pledge can resume. This seems like the kind of compromise that would not offend any reasonably thinking person.
I would not want the hall steppers to feel conspicuous or out of place for any reason. And I would no sooner mock a person for wanting to step out into the hall and say "under God" than I would mock somebody for believing in magic stones, Noah's ark, or any other magical concepts. I would prefer, however, that the aforementioned concepts not be promoted to my strong confident moral atheist children with the use of tax dollars.

Bountiful, UT

and so because some guys who "claimed" to believe in God (but obviously weren't close to living any of His Commandments) you are insinuating that all people who believe in God are bad?

Wow....that's a stretch that even Lindbergh couldn't cross.

Historian Robert Soucy states Hitler believed Christian and Nazi beliefs were incompatible and intended to replace Christianity with a "racist form of warrior paganism".

Additionally, biographer Alan Bullock wrote that, though raised Catholic, Hitler was a rationalist and materialist, who saw Christianity as a religion "fit for slaves", and against the natural law of selection and survival of the fittest.

Many closest to Hitler say that he had a long-held general covert plan to destroy Christianity within the Reich and replace it's Jewish roots and teachings with Nazi philosophies. He clearly wasn't a believer in God or any religion.

So, using your rationale the opposite must be true too. (ex) If Hitler was decidedly not a believer and he did immensely evil things, then all people who are not believers therefore must also be counted in the same vein as him and we should no longer tolerate them in society?

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

Maybe the anonymous atheist couple is anonymous because they remember the death threats that Michael Newdow received from self-proclaimed patriotic followers of God when he tried to do the same thing.

Once this blatant overstep is overturned, believers will still be free, as they have always been, to take their children to church, read scripture together, pray together, have religious conversations, etc.

Some Americans believe in deity and some do not. DEAL WITH IT! Just be HONEST about the fact that we atheists and agnostics EXIST! We are just as American. Go ahead and feel morally superior if you want. Just ACKNOWLEDGE that we CAN NOT be a Christian nation or a nation of believers when a significant amount of us is Jewish or Muslim or Agnostic or Atheist or WHATEVER. To say otherwise is to intentionally try to minimize or ignore our existence! If people here don't understand why that is offensive, I just haven't the slightest idea how to explain it. I really just am at a loss. To me it is just so obvious.

If you want to be surrounded by people who are all religious, that's what church is for!

very concerned
Sandy, UT

Whether you believe it or not, the Pledge, as it stands, is actually accurate. We are (hopefully) one nation. And we do exist UNDER GOD. He reigns supreme over ALL nations. I don't think this nation's leaders have very often dictated which God, but *under God*? Yes. It's clear that the Founding Fathers believed in the Supreme Being. And I most strongly suspect it was a given for most of them that we were (and are) subordinate to a higher Power.

@ RanchHand,
Your assertion that the Christian God will someday be taught as a myth is pure speculation. I assert that the God of the Christians will ultimately triumph. In fact, the war has been already won. The only thing in question is . . . . whose side we will personally choose.

very concerned
Sandy, UT

Sometimes we need something to protect us from the tyranny of the MINORITY. The gradual taking out of God and religion out of the public square poses a problem. And again, I’m not discriminating among the various Gods of the various religions. I speak of most major religions whose teachings preach of peace and love for fellow men.

The problem is that taking God out of public life leaves a void of goodness, virtue, integrity, and humility (among other things). They are cast on the same garbage heap as the truth of the reality of God. These are replaced by man’s philosophies, which have not stood the test of time in other civilizations. For instance, in all this talk of diversity, where is the age-old proven principle of unity, all pulling together for a common cause? With talk of pride, where has humility gone?

I find it interesting that this nation does not disobey the Supreme Being unknowingly. We are well aware of what we are doing when we support abortion, gay marriage, etc. There are plenty enough good sources to teach us good from bad such that we have no excuse whatsoever.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I guess It's normal to try to reinvent the wheel.

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