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Debate Info

118
176
NO YES
Debate Score:294
Arguments:135
Total Votes:388
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 NO (55)
 
 YES (80)

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Should "under god" be removed from the pledge?

NO

Side Score: 118
VS.

YES

Side Score: 176
5 points

If people have other religious views than they should be excused from saying that part of the pledge. That is the minority, why should the majority be punished for such a minor thing. Also we have free speech rights

Side: No
6 points

because the founders believed in individual liberty no matter what the majority thought. if the majority says you can't have a gun would you just say ok?

how are you punished if you just say the pledge (or any pledge, or prayer) on your own time?

punished are the kids who decide not to say the pledge - mostly by being ostracized but are even still being arrested - http://www.thefoxnation.com/culture/2010/02/24/teacher-punished-making-student-stand-during-pledge - worth reading the comments on that page too to get an idea of how people who would not want to say the pledge would be thought of and treated

Side: yes
mudkipz2(358) Disputed
1 point

last time i checked schools don't say the pledge due to this problem, and last time i checked kids who are Christians are losing freedom of speech and religion in schools nation wide. so who's taking things to the extreme now?

Side: No
4 points

Because every country needs a mascot :) Beside, America is about supporting the majority, and guess what? Around 76% of Americans are Christian :) Last time I checked, they worshiped God...

Side: No
Simsoy55(9) Disputed
2 points

it should be removed. For one, it wasn't originally in the pledge; it was added by a Christian group in the 50's. Also, America is not a "Christian nation," we were founded on the idea for religious freedom. That in lament terms means that one religion can not enforce its own beliefs over people of another religion or non at all. We have a separation of Church and state and that clearly violates that law.

Side: yes
Simsoy55(9) Disputed
2 points

it should be removed. For one, it wasn't originally in the pledge; it was added by a Christian group in the 50's. Also, America is not a "Christian nation," we were founded on the idea for religious freedom. That in lament terms means that one religion can not enforce its own beliefs over people of another religion or non at all. We have a separation of Church and state and that clearly violates that law.

Side: Freedom from religion
3 points

I don't believe we should force someone to "under god," but we shouldn't take it out of the pledge. If the people don't want to say it then they should have the choice over whether or not.

Side: No
3 points

I believe it should be kept and has the right to.

Whether people like it or not this IS a christian nation.

Side: No
kylie13 Disputed
4 points

NO, this is most deffinitely not! Our nation should not be labled as a "Christian nation" our country shouldnt be labled at all, is there a reason to make people of various or no religion say something Christian?

Side: yes
Sulith(508) Disputed
3 points

Ha but we don't make anyone say anything that's Christian.

All other countries our Allys and our Enemy's refer to us as a Christian nation.

Side: No
2 points

The 3rd recorded unanimous vote of the Senate was the ratification of the Treaty of Tripoli.

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Supporting Evidence: Treaty of Tripoli (en.wikipedia.org)
Side: yes
Sulith(508) Disputed
2 points

The majority of people in this country are Christian..are they not?

That is why I make my claim this is a Christian Nation.

Side: No
Republican2(350) Disputed
1 point

This article was written primarily to make the U.S. appear neutral when making a peace treaty with a predominantly Muslim nation. Also it should be noted that the English translation is a very sketchy one that can easily be twisted out of order. Furthermore, the majority of U.S. citizens at the time WERE Christian. There is no possible way that a government founded on the will of it's people (a democracy) cannot be swayed by the beliefs of said people.

Side: No
3 points

The Pledge, was never meant to hurt anyone with their religious views, in the first place. no one is forcing them to say "under god". there not going to go to jail if they dont say "under god". so why is it that by mojority, thats how people are viewing their points.?

Side: No
1 point

you can obviously see that some people do not want to say it - so it is not really relevant that it's not meant to hurt anyone.

PS - people used to be arrested more frequently (often Jehova's witnesses who think the flag is an idol), but they are still being arrested in the present day: http://www.thefoxnation.com/culture/2010/02/24/teacher-punished-making-student-stand-during-pledge

Supporting Evidence: recent arrest (www.thefoxnation.com)
Side: yes

In my years in school, I have recited the Pledge of Allegiance more than a thousand times, and never in my opinion did I feel like I was being brainwashed into believing in God.

The two-word reference to God inside our routine civic exercise is not a prayer, nor was it meant to be one.

When the words "under God" were added to the Pledge on Flag Day of June 14, 1954, it emphasized the American tradition of faith written in the Declaration of Independence.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the addition, saying, "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

Those who go against the Pledge know nothing of the values placed by the U.S. Constitution and basically are spitting in the face of our Founding Fathers. These are the grounds on which our country stands.

Had there been a question of the meaning of the added clause when it was first presented in 1954, perhaps we wouldn't be having this debate now. But for more than 50 years, this has been the law, and it should stay that way.

Plus, this issue must be examined in context. Taking out the words 'under God' would start a whole series of ridiculous modifications, each affecting every little aspect of our lives. Will we be banned from singing "God Bless America"? Will the term "so help me God" be taken out of the pledge as the president is sworn in? Are the mints going to need to reproduce billions in new currency because "In God we trust" just won't cut it? And I'm sure even Michael Newdow, the man who took the case to court when he said the Pledge was unconstitutional, uses His name in vain like many of us do.

No, there is no need to take out or substitute the words "under God" from our Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, the law doesn't even require teachers to force their students to say the pledge if they choose not to. If you've got a problem with saying the pledge, then don't say it. It's that simple.

Citizens are so lucky to be in a country as free as the United States. Other countries, where religion is the way of life, aren't so flexible.

Stop trying to change the words. They were put there for a reason. And they have worked peacefully for half a century.

The Pledge is not just words - it represents our restored faith in our country. If people want to change the Pledge, then perhaps they should change countries.

Side: No
2 points

if the pledge doesn't have any effect, then why say it at all??

it is only routine to school students - most of whom don't even know what the pledge means

well, of course we can't fix it, then we would fix the other stupid God references (of course God wants to be put on our money)

Citizens are lucky to be so free as to be able to say whatever the majority decides they should

stop trying to keep the words, they weren't put there (for nearly 200 years) for a reason

and of course anyone who disagrees with Bush or Obama should just leave the country... aahhh freedom

Side: yes
2 points

In America, they wish to remove a religious statement.

In Canada, they wish to change the anthem to be more feminist.

Damn political correctness!

Side: No
Tarheelbaby(11) Disputed
4 points

We have free speech!!!!!!!! America isnt becoming a religious statement that is just how people have and probably always say the pledge of alliegnce.

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6778) Disputed
3 points

Free speech?

All the more reason to say it if you want to, and to ignore it if you prefer.

Side: No
riahlize(1573) Disputed
2 points

Favoring the Constitution is not "political correctness".

Side: yes
2 points

It never states a specific god, so you could be any sort of religion that believes in a "supreme being" and not have a problem with this. So, in theory: only atheists should only have a problem with this. Right?

Side: yes
1 point

and agnostics and people who believe in more than one god and jehova's witnesses who don't believe in saluting the idol of the flag...

Side: yes
heyyyy(35) Disputed
2 points

If jehova's Witenesses, dont believe in saluting to the flag, then they shouldnt be in the discussion. and for others "under god" can be to all of there gods.

Side: No
2 points

Without God there wouldn't be a pledge. The US is a country built on our religious commitment with God.

Side: No
4 points

Wow, you are one misguided sheep. The country was built on religious freedom that being with or without religion.

Side: yes
2 points

I mean, c'mon, this is to easy. In the pledge it says "Under God" right. But which God. It does not specify which god(Christian, Islam, etc.). Really this would be offensive to someone with a religion that is not monothestic.But its their choice, I am someone who believes in that everyone should have equal rights.

Side: No
2 points

Congress finds God an integral part of American heritage. Under Bill S. 2690, Congress finds that the country of the United States of America was created so people may pursue their faith in God with all of the freedoms that He endows his children. The USA was established to aid in the advancement of the Christian faith. By keeping "under God" we are keeping the reason why our country was established.

Side: No
1 point

In 2002, Congress said so - that means it must be true...

Side: yes
1 point

This country was founded by people who came here for freedom to worship God. So, ABSOLUTELY NOT! We ARE under God and that is not just my opinion.

Side: No
brycer2012(1001) Disputed
5 points

They did come to escape religious persecution, but the also believed tat people should be able to worship any religion. We shouldn't force someone to say "under god."

Side: yes
3 points

I completely agree with this. Our founding fathers wrote the pledge and it should remain the same, as should our constitution.

Side: No
brycer2012(1001) Disputed
2 points

Although the constitution doesn't exactly change, we do have amendments. Why should we keep something one way just because the founding fathers wrote it? We don't live in the past and our laws shouldn't stay in the past. As time goes on things change.

Side: yes
shandi420(1) Disputed
1 point

our founding fathers did not add the phrase under god. look it up.

Side: yes
0 points

wow - always amazed at people's ignorance sometimes (hopefully your post was satirical).

here's the 1st step: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

it was written more than 100 years after the founding of our country by a socialist, and even then it didn't contain "under God" which wasn't done until June 14, 1954

Side: yes
1 point

"Under God" should definitely be kept in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. Country was founded on the belief in God and that he is the almighty ruler no matter what and since 96% of Americans believe in God, why should the believers succumb to the complaints of the extreme minority of non-believers?

Side: No
1 point

if they even suggested taking it away some muslim guy would suggest it to be changed into "under allah" or something

then before you know it the whole of america is taken over by muslims

Side: No
1 point

it was one of the main factors our country was started on and for that reason i think it should be left. it was not made in the intent to offend anyone and so why should people take it to offense. people need to realize that not everything can be exactly how they want it if everything was like that our world would be a shit hole.

Side: No
1 point

Though it may seem offensive to some to others it may not. Though I am aware that it was not in the original pledge. As said in one of the arguments earlier you have every right to or not to say the pledge. If you do not say the pledge that in my personal opinion does not make you any less loyal to you country. If you do not believe part of the pledge you do not have to say it. Simple as that. In the end what will be will be and we have the right to believe what we believe.

Side: No
1 point

We should not have that removed because this is a nation under God. He is the one who brought us freedom and got us through slavery he was there for us.

Side: No
1 point

Dear Atheists,

Do you suffer undeniable harm when you say "under God" in the pledges, something that doesn't exist to you? Why should you care? Why remove something that has been in our NATIONAL PLEDGE for over 50 YEARS! Is it really that important? God doesn't even exist to you, so why do you get offended when the word "God" is in our pledge, it doesn't go against your religion, because you don't have one. So removing "under God" is completely unnecessary

Side: No
suezcue(2) Disputed
2 points

What is the harm in leaving it out? It's not like anyone is replacing it with "under Vishnu" or whatever. The current wording of the pledge alienates a significant minority. Leaving it out alienates noone. The only arguments for keeping it in are religious ones, which actually strengthens the argument for removal. Perhaps it wasn't added to endorse a specific religion (although I personally don't buy that) but it has certainly been used as an endorsement by those who argue to keep it. Instead of encouraging unity, it drives a wedge between Americans who are religious and those who aren't, although both sides love their country. Removing the phrase creates a pledge that we can ALL stand behind, and that, IMHO, is necessary.

Side: YES
0 points

This country was founded upon Christian beliefs. The men that signed the Declaration of independence was christians. The men that fought in the early american wars was christians.

Side: No
Simsoy55(9) Disputed
4 points

this nation wasn't founded on religion. It was founded to be a country with freedom from a single religion. And it was founded to be a free nation. Some of the founding fathers, even George Washington was a Diest. Plus, the original pledge didn't have it in it and was written by the founding fathers. If they really wanted it in there, they would off added it when the ink was wet, not in 1953 by a Christian group.

Side: Freedom from religion
8 points

Why were they put there in the first case? They weren't there until 1954. The US Pledge of Allegiance had no mention of God up to this time.

It doesn't matter to me, I'm not a US citizen. However, considering that these words are an affront to many people who hold no belief in God who are US citizens, it makes a mockery of that word "indivisible" which has always been in the Pledge.

Side: yes

It is a clear violation of the separation of church and state. Yet the government still refuses to do anything with it.

Side: yes
usps(365) Disputed
1 point

what is the separation of church and state?............................

Side: No
4 points

Thomas Jefferson Jan 1, 1802:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state

http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

Side: yes
casper3912(1581) Disputed
2 points

OMG. you can not be serious. it is among one of the most important maxims. please tell me you were kidding. text hides sarcasm.

Side: yes
5 points

Of course.

Why can't one pledge their allegiance to their country without also pledging it to some mythical creature?

I personally find those who insist upon vocally pledging anything to anything to be the least informed on what they are pledging to, as demonstrated by the other side of this debate.

Like it or not, and the revisionists aside, this country was founded under the idea that government and religion should always remain separate. While many founders held some belief in some Christian type god, many were also deists. In fact one of the most instrumental founders, Thomas Jefferson was very vocal about his anti-clerical views, and even wrote the "Jefferson Bible" in which he simply took a Bible and cut out all of the stuff about Jesus.

Regardless of their personal views on religion though, it is pretty evident they never would have approved the Pledge of Allegiance as it stands.

And I saw a couple of links above to some bogus sources that purposefully mis-define words like deism to fit their religious views (in other words, revisionist history)

Here is a solid source for what the US forefathers really thought of religion. link

You have to keep in mind it was a different time. Today one cannot disbelieve the Bible and at the same time go to church and be friendly because zealotry is rampant right now. I mean even on this site it is nearly impossible, with the exception of literally one semi-theistic person I've had a debate with, to get a religious person to make any sense on their view for even an instant.

Back then though, one could question god without the foaming at the mouth and righteous indignation found today. Hence, a person like Washington who was never baptized, never confirmed, never "found jesus" etc. could still go to a church for the lessons taught there about sharing and being nice and whatnot.

Side: yes
0 points

Wait, I'm not done.

Here are some direct quotes from some of our founding fathers, for those who insist the likes of Jefferson and Paine would want anything to do with this religious born-again zealotry now mandatory from our political leaders, otherwise the Christian horde would have their necks:

Thomas Jefferson:

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the word, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."

"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.

Thomas Paine:

"I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible)."

"Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to 'God' to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and to debauch and rape the daughters. I would not dare so dishonor my Creator's name by (attaching) it to this filthy book (the Bible)."

"It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible."

"Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins...and you will have sins in abundance."

And; "The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty."

Side: yes
1 point

It's maddening how the religions right has hijacked both the Bible, and now this country's founders.

None evoke the name of the founders more than the Palins of the world, yet no where in any political party in this country will you find less in common with the founders.

"Real America" as the religious right likes to arrogantly and blindly call itself, never in a million years would have elected any one of our first 20 or so presidents.

Side: yes
4 points

The Pledge was originally totally secular. It was altered in the 1950's at the urging of religious groups to show that, unlike Communist Russia, we were "under God".

However, as a people, we have the right of religious freedom, but also freedom from religion. Religious views should have nothing to do with an expression of appreciation for a country in which we have this freedom.

Side: Freedom from religion
Republican2(350) Disputed
0 points

The freedom of religion as described in the U.S. Constitution NEVER says that things associated with the U.S. can't have any references to God. It only states that the government cannot make laws regarding how people believe or don't believe. Making references to god does not qualify as lawmaking.

Side: No
Hadrian(483) Disputed
3 points

The Congress added "under god" to the pledge. They did so by enacting legislation [1] which was signed into law by President Eisenhower. That most certainly qualifies as law making.

The 1954 House Report of the legislators who inserted the "under God" phrase into the pledge of allegiance said that the "under God" phrase was to "acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon the moral directions of the Creator."

That sounds like a law about what we are to believe.

"I have a right to bring up my daughter without God being imposed into her life by her schoolteachers."

Christians would not be very glad "if the atheists were in the majority and if the atheists inserted into the pledge of allegiance the phrase 'one nation under NO God.'"

So says the atheist who's case was heard by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, they made no ruling about the constitutionality of the Pledge, only ruling that the man had no standing to bring the case to court.

[1] http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Public_Law_83-396

Side: yes
aveskde(1935) Disputed
1 point

At Republican2:

The concept of god is religious, and congress shall make no law respecting such an establishment, or prohibiting it. You completely miss the point anyway, separation of church and state was to prevent religious in-fighting. How would YOU feel if our nation's motto was "In Allah we trust" or the pledge was "one nation, under Allah, indivisible" etc.

Side: yes
-1 points

Why should it be taken out? Look at George Washington and Abraham lincoln. They are one of the greatest people in American history yet both of them were Christian. "One nation Under God" will make our nation great.

Side: No

I'll try the shoe on the other foot argument:

once a majority of people in the US are agnostic or atheist - will this be an "agnostic nation"?

should we make the pledge - one nation under NO god... and then have school teachers lead all kids in saying that pledge but you can stay seated if you are that minority of kids that still believes in the invisible man?

Side: yes
2 points

Then that will just validate their "Christians are discrimaneted against" bs theory and we'd have them strapping bomb to themselves in the name of Allah... or I mean god, whatever.

Talking sense to the religious about religion is like trying train fish to... I don't know where I'm going with that, but you get the point.

Side: yes
KatieMarie(288) Disputed
2 points

"Christians are discrimaneted against" Well we kinda are. In the Capital building of texas, the statue of the 10 commandments was removed because it offended someone when they walked in. But no one makes a islamic woman take of her head dress in public. Also in school, christian students can be arrested for having a bible in class, but no islamic people are arrested for head wraps or indian people for wearing the jewel on their forehead. Maybe some christians find that offensive.....

Side: No
3 points

There is no need for this in our NATIONAL pledge. If the churches want a pledge, they should get one but, the church should be kept far from the country policies. Isn't that part of why we had the revolutionary war??? ~ to get freedom of religion

Side: yes
2 points

Even if you believe that God is the driving force of this country, you can't believe that we have done a great job (Iraq, South America) of holding any truth as the Light of the World that you claim we are with your divinity.

We are a nation, not all of us claim to be under God. Let it be done and let's move on.

Side: yes
KatieMarie(288) Disputed
2 points

Iraq is a muslim country. They do not believe in the Christian God. So if i was him, i wouldn't help them either

Side: No
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
3 points

... Your comment originally said South America and Iraq... Did you just change it then downvote me for pointing out S. America has more Christians than the US?

Jesus wouldn't approve of such behavior.

Side: yes
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
2 points

South America has a higher percentage of Christians than the US. Your counterpoint doesn't make sense.

Side: yes
casper3912(1581) Disputed
2 points

Judaism, Christianity and islam all have the same god. They have additional texts they use or don't use but they have the same god. The torah, or the old testament is used by all three.

Side: yes

the whole pledge itself is useless - who are you pledging to? what repercussions are there if you don't keep your pledge? why do we have people that have no idea what the pledge means saying it (including 1st graders)? does an elementary school child know their position on god? the complexities of a republic, whether saluting a flag is idolatrous? do they know that even though the teacher doesn't tell them they can remain seated, that they can, as long as they are willing to be ostracized?

when it reminded people of the Nazis, they shouldn't have just changed the salute, they should have said let's not indoctrinate children.

"Features: Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag Bookmark Craft and learning learning activities: shapes, colors, citizenship. Discuss taking care of our school. A number of United States public and/or private schools require learning The Pledge of Allegiance in early elementary, usually first grade -- these materials can be useful for introducing this topic."

http://www.first-school.ws/theme/h_back_to_school.htm

Side: yes
2 points

The pledge of allegiance has done much damage to this country.

It is used as a tool against everything the flag stands for and thus the only way to pledge allegiance to america is not to ever say or stand for the pledge.

Side: yes
2 points

It wasn't there originally and it violates Separation of Church and State.

Side: yes
2 points

The United States is not a "Christian" nation in the sense that it is a theocracy. People are certainly free to express their religion as they choose. However, adopting a pledge that alienates ANY significant portion of the populace is decidedly unAmerican. Leaving "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance only serves to strengthen the incorrect idea that one cannot be a patriot without embracing Christianity. What our founding fathers intended should never be the issue. Their opinions and decisions reflected the society in which they existed. Our decisions should do the same. As our understanding grows, our ideas about what equality and freedom mean should be adjusted.

Side: YES
1 point

We are suppose to be a Government run without the influence of religion. Separate religion from Government, it's the only way to have a fair society.

Side: yes
Republican2(350) Disputed
2 points

I agree the government should not be run by religion. But a reference here and there about God is not in any way controlling our government. A lot of it is heritage. Early America was primarily Christian, and a significant amount of American history reflects that.

Side: No
1 point

Yes. It respects an Establishment of religion therefore it violates the First Amendment. If a valid challenge were brought before the SCOTUS, it would fail the test outlined in Lemon v. Kurtzman. The SCOTUS has been too chicken shit to address the matter, so they don't hear the arguments based on standing grounds. The day when a challenger wants to fund the costly litigation to hire the appellate attorneys to handle this case and has standing to do so, the court will either find the words "under God" violate the Establishment clause...or they're going to create some new test to analyze these issues to keep it in.

Side: yes

$$$$$ money money money

we should save ourselves the money it takes to fight the lawsuits,

the time and money it takes teachers to create lesson plans about the pledge and lead in reciting it every day,

save the time and money of police officers who get called out to arrest people for not saying the pledge (usually arrested in error +, but some states do require a parents permission to not say the pledge ++)

and the productivity that people like us could be capable of if we weren't having this debate

+ http://www.thefoxnation.com/culture/2010/02/24/teacher-punished-making-student-stand-during-pledge

++ http://undergod.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000074

Side: yes
1 point

It is a clear violation of the separation of church and state that wasn't even added until the 50s. I feel the same way as a Christian would pledging allegiance to "one nation under Allah" or "one nation under no god".

Side: YES