Atheists still 'under God' when it comes to Pledge of Allegiance in Massachusetts

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  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    May 14, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    "The words 'under God' are a reminder to our children that government doesn’t give us our rights and it can’t take them away either."

    This statement inherently carries an implication of favoring one religion, or one category of religion, over another - Abrahamic monotheism.

    So what does this say to the Buddhist or the Hindu, who are polytheistic?

    What does this say to the Wiccan, who worships the goddess, not God?

    What does this say to the Scientologist, who believes that we are not sent here by a benevolent god, but by an evil galactic warlord who has an interest in quashing our rights, not granting or expanding on them?

    The phrase "under God" is problematic not just to atheists, but to those who practice non-Abrahamic religions as well. And if we are truly interested in religious freedom, we would do well to respect that.

  • Screenusnomus USA, CA
    May 13, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    The pledge never was supposed to say
    "one nation under God..."
    That phrase was put in the pledge during the days of the Macarthy anti-communisit hysteria.
    Our great nation was trying to prove to the world that we loved God more than those GOD-less commies.
    The Pledge of Allegiance originally said:
    "one nation indivisible..."
    So pharisees got in there and divided the nation
    by sticking God into the mix.
    Our "one nation indivisible" is now divisible.
    Divided with God.
    The phrase does not belong in the pledge.
    By he way, I'm not an atheist.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    May 11, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    Cleetorn, what if a prayer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster was included in public meetings and in the pledge? What if the Church of the FSM dictated what should be public law? Your reactions to these questions are probably equivalent to how we see appeals to YOUR deity.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 10, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    Atheists aren't offended by imaginary beings, they are offended these beings and government are intertwined. I would have thought that was pretty obvious - they are't petitioning the Mass. courts to destroy god, just to separate church and state. The argument in this case was: does simply saying "under god" in the pledge rise to the level of establishment. The courts have said that it doesn't. It's a fairly simple.

    Chris, it's likely that most of the Founding Fathers would have been very upset that we even have a pledge to the flag. Go ahead, read their writings. They abhorred the idea of pledging to things because they saw it as too close to pledging to a king. So no, they wouldn't have been happy about this ruling. They would be disappointed that we make our kids pledge to a flag everyday.

    Finally Capsaicin I was going to rebut your every comment but twocents did a fine job. As an atheist while I would love to see an end to religion and am positive that would result in a better society; I'll gladly settle for religion staying out of the government.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    May 10, 2014 2:52 p.m.


    "the Pledge is an affirmation of one's loyalty to the USA."

    Hardly. It's rote memorization mindlessly repeated with little thought to what is being said. If you want folks repeating something, use what I've used for over 40 years:

    "I do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office to which I am about to enter."

    There's a loyalty pledge for you.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    May 10, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    One thing just escapes me in all of this debate. How can atheists be offended by someone who (to them) does not exist?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    May 10, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Capsaicin said, "Can atheists really not see the problem with getting rid of religion?"

    No girls kidnapped in Nigeria, no planes flown into buildings, no mega Church TV empires bilking millions out of their hard earned cash, equal rights for all regardless of I missing anything?

    "Can they really not see a problem with allowing people to decide for themselves what is absolute right and absolute wrong?"

    So much for your "God made free will" comment later on.

    "But the fact remains we all know right from wrong from the womb."

    Not at all true. Here is one truism for you to chew on: "We are all born atheist."

    "But God made free will"

    Which, according to your earlier statement is something "we" should not be allowing.

    "God founded this country"

    No he didn't. Free thinkers inspired by the ideas and philosophy of the enlightenment era did. God was no where to be seen.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    May 10, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    my_two_cents_worth, the Pledge is an affirmation of one’s loyalty to the USA. Even Obama shows his deference to the flag by standing for the Pledge even if he does not put his hand on his heart or recite it. That’s a world apart from sitting in defiance of it and all it represents. I know of several who recite everything but the “under God” part as they are in support of all but the theistic representation. Just a thought.

    And the reference to the “Founding Fathers” is more of a metaphor. If a deceased parent were still living, they might well be proud of the accomplishments of their progeny. So, too, might the Founding Fathers be similarly proud to see those who have come after them uphold the principles they advocated and fought for. Maybe?

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    May 10, 2014 1:20 a.m.

    Can atheists really not see the problem with getting rid of religion? Can they really not see a problem with allowing people to decide for themselves what is absolute right and absolute wrong? Can they really not see a problem with people, especially godless people setting the bar of behavior so low, that they are completely fine with behaviors that are clearly wrong? The fact is though that there are atheists that behave better than "believers." To each their own. But the fact remains we all know right from wrong from the womb. Whether we choose to accept the rights and eschew the wrongs is up to us. Frankly its maddening to see people behave badly. But God made free will (agency) the top of his priorities. Freedom to choose is the American way, most especially because God founded this country. Lets all hope that all people, americans especially, can find, listen, and serve God as He wants us to.

  • HelioTeller Mapleton, UT
    May 9, 2014 10:07 p.m.

    Change it to "the gods" and watch the religious 'freedom' advocates sing a new song.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    May 9, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    @Chris B

    The pledge was composed 100 years after the founding fathers. They likely had no opinion on the pledge then and probably wouldn't have any comment today.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    May 9, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    I'll just continue to do what I always do, remain seated, keep my hands in my lap, and refuse to join in and absolutely dare anyone to challenge me on it.

  • md Cache, UT
    May 9, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    Chris B. I agree, totally.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2014 8:18 p.m.

    Know who would be happy with this news?

    The Founding Fathers

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2014 8:18 p.m.

    Great news!

    With this and the prayers being upheld by the supreme court, its nice to see liberals being told
    "you're wrong, deal with it"