The words “under God” were added to our pledge of allegiance in 1954, during the McCarthy red-scare era. The original pledge was written by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy in 1892.
So, what do those words, “Under God” in the pledge mean to you?
Does it mean just the God YOU worship? Or is it a generic term, and can mean one of the many gods people might worship? According to Wikipedia there are over 2,000 different gods worshiped around the world today.
Considering our First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” the law of our land states each of us has the right to worship whatever god (or goddess) we may believe in.
Recently there was hullabaloo about the DNC forbidding the second version of the pledge at the convention. That claim was soon disproven when numerous videos were posted showing various people reciting the second version of the pledge, with the God included.
A second claim followed, basically saying, “Well maybe they didn’t forbid people from saying it, but some people at the convention left the ‘under God’ out when they said it!”
I am not going to bother fact checking that second claim, because frankly, why is that a problem? They still said the pledge—the original version—so why would anyone have an issue with that?
Maybe they are atheist, something that is perfectly legal in this country. Maybe they are not hypocrites and don’t want to pledge to something they don’t believe in.
Maybe they believe in a god, but maybe not the god mainstream America believes in, and they feel the verbiage is too unclear—which god?
Maybe they believe in a goddess, not a god, so the verbiage in their mind is inaccurate.
Or maybe their religion forbids them to make such a claim.
For example, in Mathew 6.5 Jesus said, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.”
There very well may be Christians who see this addition of God as turning the pledge into a prayer, which in turn might be a violation of their faith to recite publicly.
My point being, when people complain that there are people trying to take God out of the pledge—or God out of American, whose god are they talking about?
Remember, we have the right to stand proudly and say the Pledge of Allegiance and say “One nation under God”—but we don’t have the right to force others to say it. That is one thing that makes America beautiful, we all have the right to our own faith.