The Debate with "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance

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There is a two word phrase in a thirty-one word sentence that has caused one of the largest debates in the U.S. history. The wording of the Pledge of Allegiance has been debated since the phrase “under God” was added in 1954. It was on Flag Day in 1954 that President Eisenhower and congress changed the phrase “one nation indivisible” to “one nation, under God, indivisible" (Haynes, Chaltain, and Glisson 154). The Knights of Columbus had urged the change to make it different than similar pledges that were recited by “godless communists” (O’Connor 1). Congress had also believed that it was consistent with the religious roots of the country at the time (Haynes, Chaltain, and Glisson 154). Ever since that day in 1954 there has been controversy whether the phrase “under God” should be incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge of Allegiance was originally written and published in 1892 without the phrase “under God”. Since then the Pledge of Allegiance has been a significant pledge that children have recited in schools all across the U.S. each and every day. At one, time, refusing to salute the flag would result in expulsion, loss of friends, and even persecution (Haynes, Chaltain, and Glisson 152). The Pledge of Allegiance should continue to be recited in schools across the country, yet the phrase “under God” should be optional because it may conflict with some people’s religious beliefs, some people find it to be unconstitutional, and some people think that church and state should be kept separate. As James Madison, the fourth President of the United States said, “The religion of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man, and it is right of every man to exercise it as they may dictate” (Haynes, C... ... middle of paper ... ...the Pledge of Allegiance in general. In the survey that was given to students in an English classroom at Riverside Community College on November 19th, 50% of students agreed that children should recite the Pledge of Allegiance while 4% of students disagree. On the other hand, 36% either have mixed views or do not mind either way. Some of the viewpoints of students differ such as the 42% who say they want to follow the traditions that they had for years while 23% do not think it matters, or they do not know enough information about it. A staggering 8% say it goes against their religious beliefs or they find it unconstitutional. The remaining 27% chose the option other such as, saying it is a good way to teach children to respect their country and goes with their religious views, or they do not want others to be ostracized because of their religious beliefs (Survey).
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