Friday, March 12, 2010

Multiculturalism Does Not Mean Irish AND Italian

[h/t to redacted]

Brief history lesson: the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by a minister named Francis Bellamy. The original Pledge was:

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

Notice what's missing? That's right, "under god".

The "under god" wasn't added until 1954 at the height of the Red Scare. Those two words have far more to do with communism, McCarthyism and the Cold War than with religious belief. However, those two words do exclude an alarming number of US citizens, namely atheists/agnostics, Hindus, pagans, etc. I love my country. I want to do everything I can to make my country a better place for everyone. I educate myself, I vote, I sign petitions, I write to my congressman, and yet I cannot pledge my loyalty because the Pledge is clearly not for me.

Clearly, the managing editor of the Manteca Bulletin never even stopped to consider that there are Americans who are not Christian, let alone pagan or atheist.

Obviously, those who inserted “under God” into the pledge where referencing
a Judeo-Christian God. But given how it hasn’t been used to hammer any one into
submission to a particular religion is proof positive that it is a pledge and
not religious indoctrination.

The fact that even religious groups that are “God-based”, if you will,
disagree greatly on a lot of aspects of Christianity lends additional credence
to the argument it is not religious indoctrination.

Um, dude, there are a quite a few Americans not involved in internecine christian doctrinal battles- because they are not christian. In fact, approximately 0.4% of Americans are Hindu and believe in many gods, not one. Almost 1.6% are atheist and don't believe in anything at all. We are clearly not "under god", are we still Americans?

I say we return the Pledge to its original wording, as Minister Bellamy wrote it. We don't have to acknowledge a god we don't believe in, and leave millions of Americans out in the cold, to express allegiance to our country.


  1. Almost 1.6% are atheist and don't believe in anything at all. We are clearly not "under god", are we still Americans?

    Probably not, according to George I.

  2. While I'm probably as patriotic as the next expat American, I don't like the idea of the Pledge even without the God: what's the point of forcing schoolkids to recite an oath to a flag? When they're old enough to understand what they're promising, they will either not need it or they will repudiate it.

  3. I'm of two minds on this subject. First and foremost, "under God" doesn't need to be there, and it should be taken out. However, I agree with the court in that the phrase is not an endorsement of religion.

    So the legal issue was settled correctly, IMHO. This does not mean that the overall issue is settled, however.

  4. True, the old wording of the pledge doesn't acknowledge God, but it also fails to specifically state which flag and which nation. Also I don't think that those who choose not to believe in God are left out in the cold. Even the illegal aliens get a handout here. Pledge or no pledge.


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