T Nation

One Nation, Under God

I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

HOW DARE those half-witted, bleeding-heart liberal, socialist, poor excuse for judges declare MY pledge of allegiance UNCONSTITUTIONAL. That really burns my bacon. Do they really think that those words, "under God", is in ANY way forcing religeon on kids in school??? Gimme a break!

Anyone else po'd?

Why is the government forcing children in a free country to pledge allegiance? Why is the gov’t educating the children? Having said that, the judge is interpreting the Constitution. His interpretation may be unpopular – Oh Well. Personally, I am an atheist, and have no problem with the pledge as it is. I told my kids to say it, or just stand there with the other kids quietly, as they please. The guy pushing this case is WAY too impressed with his own opinions. He and I live in a religious country, boiling over with intolerance and religious bigotry, but it is easy to get along. All you have to do is not announce your beliefs to all within earshot. Funny how those that do beleive not only need to tell everyone, but often do so with a pugnacious attitude, self-righteously daring anyone to disagree and suffer the disdain of all.


Mike, the “under God” was instituted by Congress into the National Anthem in 1954. Before that, there was no “under God” as part of the NA. I say, we were doing well, up until 1954 w/out it, why not now? I watched Jim Lehrer yesterday, and there was a very informative and reasonable discussion over this on his show. I understand both sides and refuse to resort to name calling and/or death threats - like the man who began this “event” has been receiving.

Well said, Huck.

Did I miss it? What religion is God?

i gotta agree with howard stern on this one, who cares, i mean you would think people would have something better to do with their time then get worked up and bitch about the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance, what a friggin loser, on the other hand i won’t lose any sleep if it is taken out permanently. i’m much more concerned that bastards like world com and eron are ripping people off,ruining countless lives, and destroying the stock market, these fucking greedy, heartless,assholes ought to be shot, and i guarantee you that there were american corporations that were short selling before 9-11…now that is something that gets me worked up, because it goes against everything america should be about, my advice to you would be to worry about something like that and not the pledge of allegiance.

I respect everyone’s opinion here, and I’m not going to change anyone’s mind, but this is an issue that I DO care about (many military members in my family). I saw a photo of some older vets in their local VFW with the headline on the paper “UNCONSTITUTIONAL”…the look on their faces…it broke my heart.

To those of you who think it's not big deal, anser me this: would you have thought that on September 12, 2001?

To huck: The government isn’t forcing children to say the pledge, they ruled decades ago that you couldn’t be forced to say it. The government is educating children because they either can’t otherwise afford education or their parents are too cheap to send them to a private school, or perhaps due to other reasons. Public education is one of the triumphs of liberalism in Western society, although it’s falling into disrepair. Imagine how much worse our society would be if the people receiving the often bare-bones education at today’s public schools were receiving no education at all.

To Patricia: I’m sure this was probably discussed on Lehrer, but the reason “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge in 1954 was the fact that the pledge was deemed so generic that it could have been in use by any nation, even the Soviets. “Under God” was added to distinguish our history as a Christian nation from the godlessness of the Soviets.

I am pissed beyond all belief. I’ll be damned if I’m going to change the way I say the pledge.

Good call, Mike. I couldn’t agree more.

Please. A small child is told by an adult in a position of authority to do something, the adult is a gov’t employee, and the child is not being forced? Get real. And public education is not a triumph of anything, except maybe people who don’t know me or my family deciding how I should raise my children. You do make a good point about children unfortunate enough to have parents that don’t care or don’t have the means to educate their children. As hard-core anti gov’t program as I am, I have to admit that when we have children in the mix, someone has to step up, and here and now, it is the gov’t. Still, we need to shrink public education and wean people off of it to the greatest extent possible. the marketplace will produce a better education at a lower cost per pupil, if it is given a chance.

I was “pissed beyond belief” back in 1954 when they added “under God” to the Pledge (yes, I’m old enough to remember). Whatever happened to separation of church and state???
She-ra–leaving out “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954.

Here’s an interesting history lesson: prior to the rise of Hitler’s Nazi party, American children regularly said the Pledge (as noted without “under God”) a little differently. When the words “to the flag” were spoken, the right arm was briefly extended, fingers together, palm down, to the flag, and then returned to rest over the heart for the duration of the Pledge. Stand up yourself and try it. Just don’t goose-step out the door when you’re done.

As for removing “under God”, I agree with the 9th Circuit Court’s decision. My beliefs are my business and no one elses.

“Under God” should not be in the pledge. Read the following article:
Mike: I think you’ll find it especially interesting that the pledge was orignially written by a socialist, one of those god-awful folks your jingoistic self is so eager to decry.

No one is forced to or told to say the Pledge of Allegiance. When I showed up for school when I was little, we stood up and said the Pledge, that’s just what we did, so we went along with it. No one forced us to, nor would they have been allowed to have forced us. Public education is a triumph of liberalism regardless of whether or not you believe it is. It got children out of the coal mines and out of the factories where they were killing themselves laboring and got them into schools where they could learn in order to better their chances in life, at least in Britain and other European countries. It hasn’t been that great in this country and needs to be reformed, as it’s devolved into a means of indoctrination.

I personally do not care if “under God” is in the pledge or not. It should be up to each individual as to how they want to say it. However, if anyone is UNWILLING to pledge their allegiance to the United States, they should not, in my opinion, benefit from living here and can get the fuck out. And that includes all you pansy waisted, do-gooder, liberal good-for-nothings. If my position is unclear to anyone, I will be glad to say it in plainer english. hehehe

I think we need something else entirely, I think the The Pledge of Allegiance sucks.

I was very intimidated as a child from the pledge, besides the peer pressure from fellow cohorts and adults n authority positions, it seemed like some kind of wierd contract, I was thinking "what’s a pledge, what’s allegiance, why to a “flag” why indivisible what about states?

What god… am I in church or what, If I dont say it will I go to hell?

Am I a “bad” kid?

Now I dont realy have a problem with the “God” part, who cares realy sheesh

I looked up the exact meaning of the words when I heard a socialist wrote it in the first place I got suspicious, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of a socialist calling for Delivery of goods or personal property (my whole personage itself) as security for a debt or the obligation of loyalty, as a vassal or subject owing allegiance and services to a lord or sovereign under feudal law, as a loyal subject to a monarch.

I think not, I think Hillary or Billary may like it, but no thanks

What’s wrong with someone coming up with something better, why do we need this old socialist authored thing with iffy meaning?
I think the popularly held intention is a positive thing, and there exists a desire in most all of us to have some ritual to connect to this country, to show respect, and especially gratitude, I just think this isn’t the right way, at least for me, I like to undertsand what I’m actualy saying, not just muttering some incantation like an unthinking automaton.

The words are too suspect and crafty for me, at least after I bothered to REALY read them, and have suspicious intent as written.

that poem is not sacrosanct, it is not burned into tablets handed down from some mountain, it is not inscribed on ancient parchment written in Aramaic or Hebrew, it is merely an adoption of something someone unimportant wrote to put forward HIS socialist ideals, and then was slightly modified to make it more palatable to non socialists, and nothing more.

IMO the pledge is rather communistic, I think we need something else entirely to inspire patriotism in children besides some socialist utopian contract, let me attempt to illustrate my point.

Delivery of goods or personal property as security for a debt or obligation: a loan requiring a pledge of property.
The contract by which such delivery is made.

Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty, as to a nation, sovereign, or cause. See Synonyms at fidelity.
The obligations of a vassal to a lord.

Middle English alligeaunce, alteration of ligeaunce, from Old French ligeance, from lige, liege. See liege.]

A lord or sovereign to whom allegiance and service are due according to feudal law.
A vassal or subject owing allegiance and services to a lord or sovereign under feudal law.
A loyal subject to a monarch.

Hale vs… Hinkle
The Individual may stand upon his constitutional rights… He owes no such duty to the state since he receives nothing therefrom beyond the protection of his life and property, His rights as such as existed by the law of the land long antecedent to the organization of the state…

“All that government does and provides legitimately is in pursuit of it’s duty to provide protection for private rights (Wynhammer v. People, 13 NY 378), which duty is a debt owed to it’s creator, WE THE PEOPLE and the private unenfranchised individual; which debt and duty is never extinguished nor discharged, and is perpetual. No matter what the government/state provides for us in manner of convenience and safety, the unenfranchised individual owes nothing to the government.” Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43

“There is no such thing as a power of inherent sovereignty in the government of the [federal] United States… In this country sovereignty resides in the people, and Congress can exercise no power which they [the sovereign people] have not, by their Constitution entrusted to it: All else is withheld.” – Supreme Court Justice Field

"Non dat qui non habet—He gives nothing who has nothing."Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (1914)


How did this Pledge of Allegiance to a flag replace the US Constitution and Bill of Rights in the affections of many Americans? Among the nations in the world, only the USA and the Philippines, imitating the USA, have a pledge to their flag. That begs the question: Who institutionalized the Pledge as the cornerstone of American patriotic programs and indoctrination in the public and parochial schools?

In 1892, a socialist named Francis Bellamy created the Pledge of Allegiance for Youth’s Companion, a national family magazine for youth published in Boston. The magazine had the largest national circulation of its day with a circulation around 500 thousand. Two liberal businessmen, Daniel Ford and James Upham, his nephew, owned Youth’s Companion.

Before the turn of the last century the American Flag was rarely seen in the classroom or in front of the school. Upham changed that. In 1888, the magazine began a campaign to sell American flags to the public schools. By 1892, his magazine had sold American flags to about 26 thousand schools(1). The market for American Flags existed because state’s flags held the staff of honor, not the military flag of the United States that currently hangs in classrooms and courtrooms across America.

In 1891, Upham had the idea of using the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America to promote the use of the flag in the public schools. The same year, the magazine hired Daniel Ford’s radical young friend, Baptist minister, Nationalist, and Christian Socialist leader, Francis Bellamy, to help Upham in his public relations work. Bellamy was the first cousin of the famous American socialist, Edward Bellamy. Edward Bellamy’s futuristic novel, Looking Backward, published in 1888, described a utopian Boston in the year 2000. The book spawned an elitist socialist movement in Boston known as “Nationalism,” whose members wanted the federal government to nationalize most of the American economy. Francis Bellamy was a member of this movement and a vice president of its auxiliary group, the Society of Christian Socialists(2). He was a Baptist minister and he lectured and preached on the virtues of socialism and the evils of capitalism. He gave a speech on “Jesus the Socialist” and a series of sermons on “The Socialism of the Primitive Church.” In 1891, he was forced to resign from his Boston church, the Bethany Baptist church, because of his socialist activities. He then joined the staff of the Youth’s Companion(3).

By February 1892, Francis Bellamy and Upham had lined up the National Education Association to support the Youth’s Companion as a sponsor of the national public schools’ observance of Columbus Day along with the use of the American flag. By June 29, Bellamy and Upham had arranged for Congress and President Benjamin Harrison to announce a national proclamation making the public school ceremony the center of the national Columbus Day celebrations for 1892(4).

Bellamy, under the supervision of Upham, wrote the program for this celebration, including its flag salute, the Pledge of Allegiance. His version was,

“I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands-- one nation indivisible – with liberty and justice for all.”

This program and its pledge appeared in the September 8 issue of Youth’s Companion(5). He considered putting the words “fraternity” and “equality” in the Pledge but decided they were too radical and controversial for public schools(6).

The original Pledge was recited while giving a stiff, uplifted right hand salute, criticized and discontinued during WWII. The words “my flag” were changed to “the flag of the United States of America” because it was feared that the children of immigrants might confuse “my flag” for the flag of their homeland. The phrase “Under God,” was added by Congress and President Eisenhower in 1954 at the urging of the Knights of Columbus(7).

The American Legion’s constitution includes the following goal: “To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism.” One of its major standing committees was the “Americanism Commission” and its subsidiary, the “Counter Subversive Activities Committee.” To the fear of immigrants, it added the fear of communism(8).

Over the years the Legion has worked closely with the NEA and with the US Office of Education. The Legion insisted on “one hundred percent” Americanism in public school courses in American history, civics, Geography and English. The Pledge was a part of this Americanism campaign(9) and, in 1950, the Legion adopted the Pledge as an official part of its own ritual(10).

In 1922, the Ku Klux Klan, which also had adopted the “one hundred percent Americanism” theme along with the flag ceremonies and the Pledge, became a political power in the state of Oregon and arranged for legislation to be passed requiring all Catholic children to attend public schools. The US Supreme Court later overturned this legislation(11).Proving, once again, that the Constitution is the underlying strength of our political and judicial system.

Perhaps a team of social scientists and historians could explain why over the last century the Pledge of Allegiance has become a major centerpiece in American patriotism programs. A pledge or loyalty oath for children was not built around the Declaration of Independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” Or the Gettysburg address – “a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…”

Apparently, over the last century, Americans have been uncomfortable with the word “equality” as a patriotic theme. In 1992 the nation began its second century with the Pledge of Allegiance. Perhaps, and this is meant with no disrespect to the brave men and women who have given their lives for all the flag represents, the time has come to see that this allegiance should be to the US constitution and not to a piece of cloth.

Plagerism is against the law Coytoe, you dumb shit.

The atheist got it right and the enlightened judge agreed. Now they are both under fire because most Americans nowadays are sheep and want to do what they’ve always done, especially in the name of god, regardless if it contradicts the First Amendment. While we’re on the subject, “In God We Trust” should be taken off of U.S. currency. The monotheistic “god” referred to in both phrases is a Judeo-Christian concept and should be kept separate from the affairs of state according to our Constitution. As for the treatment now of the atheist, it reminds me of the old adage: in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man must be killed.


Is that legal advice you fuckwit?