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The Pledge: Where Politics And Religion Meet

1695 words - 7 pages

“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.” So many people say this pledge in honor of our country everyday. It is being said in classrooms throughout the United States at this very moment. Yet why is it that people find the pledge objectionable, even arguing that it is unconstitutional, due to one phrase, “under God?” Perhaps these people have a valid point. In our modern world of political-correctness and the separation of church and state, is it possible that religion and mentioning God doesn’t have any place in our society? Qualified people, ministers and those experienced in politics, have debated this issue for many years, especially within the last fifty years. People continue to fight in the name of the constitution believing it to be a living document, and as it was intended by the founders. Despite people’s objections, The Pledge of Allegiance has a place in our society because it reflects the fundamental principles of our government, as well as revealing that politics has its roots in religion.
Many people claim that the founding fathers were atheists, those who don’t believe in the existence of God. They claim that the founders were Deist as well, people who believe in a Creator who doesn’t intertwine with humanity’s daily affairs. However, when one looks at the first prayer given by Reverend Jacob Duché during the Continental Congress of 1774, it offers a very different school of thought. The assembly of Congressmen was composed of men from all over the colonies and it was a mix of various denominations. It was evident that the political proceeding had religious roots when Duché’s inspiring prayer pleaded for God to “be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation.” These religious beliefs were evident in the documents written at our country’s founding and this is especially evident in the Declaration of Independence when it states, “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These God-based beliefs are further reiterated in our Constitution as well with the First Amendment, which secures many of our liberties, given by our Creator, God.
Unbeknownst to many people, the Pledge of Allegiance has undergone many revisions in its history. The most recent addition has been the controversial phrase “under God” which was included in 1954, during Eisenhower’s administration. This religious phrase was added for political reasons, given that McCarthyism was fuelling many decisions in this point in America’s political history. Brian Tubbs, minister and lobbyist in the Washington D.C. area, concludes in his article entitled “God, Country, and the Pledge of Allegiance” that Eisenhower responded to the fiery speech administered by George...

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