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Acton Family Sues Over 'Under God' In Pledge

The family, which has chosen to remain anonymous, says that part of the pledge discriminates against their children whom they are raising as atheists. (AP)

The family, which has chosen to remain anonymous, says that part of the pledge discriminates against their children whom they are raising as atheists. (AP)

One Acton family is waiting for a decision from the Middlesex Superior Court on whether the words “under God” should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance recited daily in the town’s schools.

The family, which has chosen to remain anonymous, says that part of the pledge discriminates against their children who they are raising as atheists.

This issue has come up before in other courts around the country. Attorney David Niose, who is representing the Acton family, is taking a new legal approach that could change the way the pledge is recited across Massachusetts.

“The pledge was changed in 1954 to add the ‘under God’ language,” Niose said. “So what we’re really saying is just because the federal government added religious language to the pledge back in 1954… that does not mean that the state should require daily recitation of that pledge in its public schools. ”

State law in Massachusetts only mandates that students say the pledge, it does not explicitly state which version of the pledge, and that could affect how this all shakes out in the courts.

Guests:

  • David Niose, attorney
  • Steven Green, director of the Center for Religion, Law and Democracy at Willamette University

Other stories from this show:

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ThePreambleProject Bill Wilt

    I’d direct you to my http://www.ThePreambleProject.com minor effort–to deep-six the so-called “pledge” in favor of replacing it completely with the recitation of the Preamble to the US Constitution.

         Frank Bellamy’s ginned-up, 1892 “pledge” was meant to increase the subscription sales of Youth’s Companion, as I read it, and he intended it to tie in with the 400th Columbus Day (read all about Columbus and his extermination of two- to eight-million Arawak Caribbean natives in Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the US: 1492 to the Present (with his final updated afterword in the pprbk edition).)

        The “pledge”, Bellamy’s notes, was also about training children in socialist “obedience” to the gummint (I’d call it a government, but it isn’t one, any longer), and the ruling classes.

         So the children, with their “roman salute” (later the Mussolini and Hitlerian “Heil Hitler” salute–world dictators have learned so much from the UK and the US, haven’t they!), say “I” pledge, and are reduced to powerless individuals, whereas the Preamble, one sentence, 54 words long, begins “We”.  

        My take is that the “pledge” turns the social contract between “We” and our gummint right on its head.  I’d go so far as to say that it’s contra-constitutional (or unconstitutional, if you wish). It’s certainly an “upstart,” coming more than a century after the US Constitution.

         Yes, Congress now starts each session with the “pledge,” but who among us respects what the Congress does these days, anyhow?  The oath of office that Congressmen observe largely in the breach is about supporting and defending the US Constitution, not a prettily done up patchwork of fabric and embroidery. All gummint officials need to be reminded –daily, if not more frequently– of the instructions, the marching orders, We the People of the United States, gave them in that first sentence of our contract.

          We intend for our employees, these gummint officials, elected opr appointed, to bestir themselves to:
    1) form a more perfect Union;
    2) establish Justice; (and we haven’t done that yet, ‘sfar’s I can see)
    3) insure domestic Tranquility; (I don’t know anyone these days, except perhaps the 0.1%, who’s tranquil);
    4) provide for the common defence [sic];
    5) promote the general Welfare; and
    6) secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

    “That Said,” and “oh by the way,” I doubt that anyone will successfully challenge the recitation of the Preamble as “unconstitutional” — because (duh) it IS the Constitution, of, by, and for We the People (and it’s about to perish from this earth, imho, something Lincoln hoped would not happen).

    Bill Wilt

  • Sue Rabut

    Earlier, on Radio Boston, the subject of power companies including a clause referring to an “act of God” to recuse them from responsiblity for certain power outage conditions. My question is, will the the Atheist family in Acton (currently protesting the “under God” in the US Pledge of Allegiance ALSO sue their power company and force them to stop using the “act of God” clause since it holds the customer to a business contract containing provisions which hinge on the existence of a God?

    • S28

      Hilarious.  I’m sure you’d have no problem if your kids were forced to say “under Allah.”

      • Danny Archer

        Same delusion. Same imaginary psycho friend.

      • Katherine

        S28, I do not understand how your statement has anything to do with Sue Rabut’s statement. Please elaborate.

      • Sue Rabut

        I respectfully submit that you have missed my point. I was not being sarcastic. The real issue I am highlighting is that this problem of “God” in daily secular life, is more pervasive and deeply embedded in ordinary places than most people tend to notice. I was VERY surprised to hear the report on the power companies which informed us that they actually HAVE an “act of God” clause protecting them from responsibility for certain issues. It was rather interesting to have that report immediately followed by the report on the Acton family. I was bringing it up to spark people’s awareness.  
        I am suggesting that a shift to a secular society may need to take place with a much larger view, and does the Acton family realize that there are so many  as of yet unnoticed areas to address in addition to the Pledge? Is it a can of worms, in other words?Maybe it’s worth it to them, which is fine. I’m just pointing it out.  

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          There’s a difference between verbiage and the notion of something that is not reasonably predictable.

          The same kind of issue exists when referring to traffic ‘accidents’.  The media is quick to use the word ‘accident’, even in cases where although the outcome wasn’t intended, it was reasonably predictable (e.g. alcohol and/or cell phone use).  The words we use affect our thinking.  And to say something is an accident gets us thinking that we can’t do anything about it.

          Saying ‘Act of God’ IMO means not only God exists, but God is a micro manager who dumps snow on us for some reason only God knows.  And then we get politicians telling us to ask God for rain or to stop fires, rather than actually doing something useful like improving irrigation systems or fire fighting capabilities.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1037697295 Justin Hamaker

          Although the legal challenge here is about equal protection under the 14th amendment; the large issue falls under the Establishment clause of the 1st amendment. This only applies to government institutions. While power companies may be heavily regulated, they are not part of the government.

          That being said, I would like to see “act of God” replaced with “act of nature”. And it should only apply to unanticipated acts of nature. For example, I would not hold a power company responsible for a substation being demolished by a tornado, earthquake, or other natural disaster – provided it was reasonably protected against said disasters. However, having something blow up because of a bird or a squirrel is an example of failing to take adequate precautions.

      • Wendezine

        What an incredibly stupid comment. Of course I would have a problem with it. Dumbass.

        • http://phk46.myopenid.com/ phk46

           Why would you have a problem? Allah means God. And “God” doesn’t necessarily mean the Christian god.

          Would you prefer that the pledge use “under the Christian God”?

          As it is, even pagans can probably accept the current wording, assuming it refers to Zeus or whatever.

          But for those of us who don’t believe in any god, being asked to say the country is under one is objectionable. Those who want to believe they are “under” a god are free to believe so, but leave the rest of us out of it.

        • Anonymous

          You could just omit that part, right?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, I absolutely think removing ‘act of God’ exclusions from utility company policies is a good idea. Weather phenomena that cause power outages are unfortunate incidents and sometimes it takes too long to restore power.

      But those power companies have to be held accountable. If they’re unprepared, understaffed or incompetent they mustn’t just be able to throw up their hands and say, “God did it!”, while people are freezing in their homes. It’s a cop out on a monumental scale.

      Insurance policies should also be required to remove the ‘act of God’ exclusions.

      Because there’s no such thing. 

    • http://phk46.myopenid.com/ phk46

       Maybe I’m being inconsistent, but I find “act of God” less objectionable. It may once have meant something specific, but now it is really a legal term. Webster say:

      an extraordinary interruption by a natural cause (as
      a flood or earthquake) of the usual course of events that experience,
      prescience, or care cannot reasonably foresee or prevent

      But I agree with Justin that “act of nature” would be better.

  • Paul Franklin

    I find it ironic and amusing that we are discussing the amendment of an oath of indoctrination as a response to communism.

  • Katherine

    I was raised with no religion and the concept of God was foreign to me.
    When my mother brought us to USA and in school I had to recite the pledge of allegiance I did not like any of it at all.
    Having lived in South Asia and Europe, it was strange to pledge allegiance to a flag.
    It is very interesting that the founding fathers were against such an oath and also that the original oath was written by a communist who had fears of foreign customs diluting the American culture of that time.
    Does anything change?
    And by the way, why is the concept of God always given the male gender?

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottprian Scott Prian

    and to think.. we live in 2012 and people still feel the ancient need to believe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1037697295 Justin Hamaker

    I know this won’t be a popular opinion, but I actually have an issue with teaching young children to say
    the Pledge every day. It’s not that I have a problem with instilling
    patriotism. I object to making children swear an oath of allegiance
    before they have the knowledge to understand what it means.
    Allegiance is something that should be given only with full understanding.

    • km

      I agree; it’s an odd ritual really. 

      And when I was in school, I always just omitted the “under god” part. I found it amusing to finish it before the rest of the class.

  • http://www.andrewaasmith.com/ Andrew AA Smith

    I’ve always thought that replacing “under God” with “under the Constitution” would be an improvement.  We all have different views of what God may or may not be — but that has nothing to do with whether you’re an American.  But the Constitution, in terms of the government and laws, is essentially what we all have in common.

  • Anonymous

    Children should not be required to pledge allegiance to anything before they reach the age of consent. They don’t understand the meaning of the words they’re repeating anyway. In fact, I consider it a form of brainwashing. (1984, anyone?)

    As far as religious freedom goes, just as the Constitution  guarantees freedom OF religion,  it also guarantees freedom FROM religion.

    So yes, take the ‘God’ part out, or better yet do away with the whole thing. 

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    The 1943 decision to allow students to not say the (then without ‘Under God’) pledge and salute the flag was also controversial.  Until then Jehovah’s Witnesses had to either go against their faith or leave school.

    • My-lil-pony_23

       there is nothing in this story that suggest the kids have a problem with it the parents are the ones doing this not the kids.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1037697295 Justin Hamaker

        The point of being a parent is to protect our children from things they don’t know enough to protect themselves from. Of course a six year-old isn’t going to have a problem with saying the Pledge. It’s something an adult is telling them to do and they don’t have the knowledge to know what it means in the first place.

        What cracks me up is how some people think it’s so cute watching little kids massacre the words to something like the Pledge – which to me is an indication the kid has no idea what they are saying to begin with.

      • http://seanpratt.info Sean P. Pratt

        Have you talked to any children about it? I have. Their opinion ranges from refusal to not caring to adamant

      • http://phk46.myopenid.com/ phk46

        I was in elementary school in 1954 when this change was made. While I was pretty young, I still realized a change had been made, and wondered why. When confronted with the change its hard not to wonder “why” – what is different now?

        I didn’t realize the implications until later. But before I left school I had gotten bothered by it and stopped saying those words. And of course that makes one feel “different”. For some that may not be a problem. But no doubt there are many kids who aren’t confident enough to act differently than the crowd. And when you say something often enough you are likely to start believing it.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        There are kids who have a problem with it.  The fact that approximately 15% of the population will end up not even believing God exists means that some kids, even coerced into blindly reciting some words about God means that there are some who it doesn’t apply to.  If  you REALLY care about the children, you’d let the children choose to recite ‘Under God’ after they really know what it means.

        In fact the US government doesn’t even think pledges taken by kids under 16 in other countries really mean anything.  Immigrants to the US are required to answer whether or not they have been a member of the Communist party.  Pledges made by people who were at the time under the age of 16 don’t count.  If a pledge doesn’t count, why coerce kids into making it?  Why not let them decide?

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Aside from which, if my son has a problem with something at school, I’m not going to make him go it on his own.  Five-year-olds shouldn’t have to hold press conferences and write letter to school boards.  That’s what parents are for.  Just because I have his back doesn’t mean I’m making him do anything.

      • Anonymous

        aren’t we, as parents supposed to teach and protect our children. since this is the land of the free (freedom of religion is included), we are obligated to be sure the government does not intrude on these freedoms, no matter how miniscule or if the child does or does not complain.  a wrong is not allowable because it was done to a child who may not know enough to distinguish the action is wrong.

        if  10 year old billy beats on 7 year old suzy(your daughter), and she fails to tell you, but your hear from the neighbor what happens, do you let it go cause suzy said nothing to you?

         

    • http://seanpratt.info Sean P. Pratt

      The Jehovah Witnesses were also fined a compulsory sum.

  • http://seanpratt.info Sean P. Pratt

    The Pledge of Allegiance should not be enforced by public schools. We live in a free society so we should not have to voice an opinion one way or the other about the US, its flag or its ideals. That is the beauty of freedom. When you have a public school direct children to recite anything ideological (such as the Pledge of Allegiance) without teaching them the true history of that pledge and their right to dissent…that is coercive indoctrination.

    What happens to the children who choose to dissent (for any reason)? They are still subject to that indoctrinating recital. That is unfair. Public schools are for all kids, not just the nationalist ones.

    For any of you who think that I want to take away other children’s right to say the Pledge of Allegiance, think again. Every child has the right to say the Pledge so long as they do not coerce anyone else into saying it, do not disrupt normal school business, and are not being assisted by the school on any level (aside from providing space for them to recite it in a safe environment).

  • Pagarino2354

    Throw them the Hell out of OUR Country!!!! Sick of people taking away OUR rights.

    • Duwali

       Whose country? The American Indians Country, that’s who. So as you said, Get the Hell Out.

    • wikcaL

      Um, whose rights are being taken away? Besides the atheistic family’s right to be atheist, which you appear to be against.

  • Nate

    This is a stupid debate from every angle.

  • http://phk46.myopenid.com/ phk46

     Sure, I agree. Except we disagree who “them” is. I’m all for throwing out all of them who are trying to foist their favored flavor of religion on everybody.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1037697295 Justin Hamaker

    Something to consider: As Americans, we seem to object to the government mandating anything. We don’t want the government telling us we have to carry health insurance; we don’t want the government telling employers – including religious employers – they have to offer contraceptives in their health care plan. Yet we (as a nation) seem to be perfectly comfortable with the government mandating that we pledge our allegiance (or loyalty) to the country. I’m not sure I understand this.

    • http://phk46.myopenid.com/ phk46

      To respin what Justin said:

      Republicans like to complain that Democrats are for “big government” while they are for “little government”. But in reality the Republicans are for just as big a government as the Democrats. They just have a different idea about which things government should be involved in.

      Its the same with complaints about an “activist” Supreme Court. What that really means is “a court that rules differently than I want”.

      Its all about “my way is the right way”.

  • FourReel93

    If this is the case then this Acton family should NOT use any American currency as the words “In God We Trust” is on every coin and bill…and……how can they possibly take the stand in court when they are asked to tell the truth “so help you GOD?”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6AMIDV4M5UAE7UYYKCCOQHTXQ carterartist

        “Affirm that the evidence you shall give is the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth,”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1037697295 Justin Hamaker

      Most courts no longer ask people to say “so help me God” when swearing in specifically because of religious objections. Furthermore, you should understand that “under God” in the pledge and “In God We Trust” as an official motto and on the currency are relatively recent additions. These were not done by the founding fathers and were enacted during the Cold War while the US was in the grip of a communist fear.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Given the ‘choice’ of using money that says something blatantly untrue, or starving, I take the pragmatic approach.  Besides, my pay is directed deposited, and I use debit/credit for everything.  About the only times I see money are when I’m buying gas, or giving my kid a quarter for the bubble gum machine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659400452 Geir Angeltveit

    Americans actually have this? Don’t they understand the concept of seperation of church and state? o.O

  • Brittanyrichardsonsmom

    Anyone know where in the MGL it says that students must say the pledge of allegiance?  that in itself is a violation of the first amendment. silence is speech. no one can be forced to say the pledge.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Students are not forced (since the 1943 case I mentioned 
      http://www.enotes.com/education-reference/school-prayer-pledge-allegiance)  However, if you put “PROHIBITED from saying the pledge a 1 and FORCED to say the pledge at 10, we’re not at 10, but we’re a lot closer to 10 than to 1.  I’m not in favor of either extreme, but I think the situation still amounts to a great deal of coercion on the students who do not wish to.  In addition, by starting them at only five, they get will into the habit before they have a chance to think about it.

      I recall another case of an eight year old with Asbergers who objected to the “with liberty and justice for all”.  Not that there shouldn’t be, but he felt that since there wasn’t “justice for all” in this country, he should’t be saying it.  That kid was extremely adamant.  His parents backed him up, but it was pretty obviously his objection to the pledge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ThePreambleProject Bill Wilt

    …Forgot to add that when I was drafted to go to Vietnam, I didn’t pledge allegiance to our flag, nice and inspirational as it is, but rather to “support and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign, and particularly the most dangerous kind, domestic. Grunts also promise to obey their ranking ossifers (without mentioning the Nürnberg proscription against following illegal orders, for EMs and ossifers alike).
        More interesting, though, is the officer’s oath of office, which is, as I recall, exactly the same oath taken by Congressfolks–support and defend the Constitution.  NOTHING about “obey your Unitary Liar-In-Chief” (or Unitary ‘Decider-In-Chief’). In other words, our military officers, had they the strength of their oaths in full flower, could have arrested Bush, Cheney, et al. and held them in a brig (say, at Quantico), awaiting indictment (or impeachment, as it’s called when going after high crimes and misdemeanors committed by officials of the government).
         The military officers could have done this because Afghanistan, probably, and Iraq, definitely, were illegal wars, launched without a declaration of war from Congress. The Attorney General could have arrested the Cheney/Bush administration (or resigned, as happened during Watergate) for wholesale violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (It’s generally not mentioned in the “main stream depress,” but the wiretaps (actually optical fiber beam-splitters) the National Surveillance Agency (NSA) installed on all US telecom trunk lines back in Jan-Feb, 2002, are STILL in pace, gathering so much data that the “disk farm” or data center in Texas has reached capacity, necessitating another disk farm now being built a half hour or so south of Salt Lake City.
        This little project, now a decade old, was started by the convicted, then unconvicted, Admiral John Poindexter, for DARPA. I think he called it Information Awareness, or Total Information Awareness. The Brits picked up the theme in a BBC1 drama called “The Last Enemy”, calling the Big Brother system “Total Information Awareness.” Wonder if Poindexter has thought about suing for copyright infringement?

  • Ifcj

    Real Children do not gamble on the claim of being offended by thier own Mother and Father in God.
    mercy be upon them until they lose thier bet with hell.

    • Derpy Hooves

      are you an idiot?

      • Ifcj

        Only you can gamble on that one…Justice comes to you at the end of time – where you have not replaced the powerless sword with an second shield of power

    • Admiral Ackbar

      I think you forgot to take your medications today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ThePreambleProject Bill Wilt

        Like I said earlier, how much more inspiring, and educational would it be if every child (and every public official), recited the Preamble to the Constitution every day, before classes, before sessions, before hearings and all those other places and events where the contra-constitutional “pledge” is said.
         Wouldn’t it be nice if our officials actually honored their oaths to support and defend the Constitution in their quotidian activities, instead of leaving it all up to Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich (and perhaps Marcy Kaptur…and who else? Any officials you know who constantly refer to the Constitution, or who have memorized it (it’s not all that long, actually).
        Remember when Romney, in 2008, answered a question on invading Iran (again), as to whether he’d check with anyone else before launching a war with Iran–Romney said, Oh, of course we’d check with our lawyers first.
         (Which elicited close to a feral howl, and said “Check with your lawyers!!!??? Just open the Constitution to Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 12: Congress shall have power…

    ¶12). To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
    To provide and maintain a Navy;
    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

  • http://www.facebook.com/ThePreambleProject Bill Wilt

       Actually, the entire “pledge” should be scrapped, enabling laws repealed, and the issue “disappeared.” My view is that the “pledge” is contra-constitutional, if not downright UNconstitutional.  Instead, I’d propose we recite the Preamble to the Constitution. In all places where folks now feel a need to recite a patriotic “something”, we should have them recite the Preamble. Fifty-four words. 
        For lawmakers, elected and appointed officials, all those who must take an oath to “support and defend the US Constitution” (and the President, who swears, only to the best of his (or her) ability, to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution, as it says in Article II of the very same document. (It also says the President is supposed to See that the laws be faithfully executed, but they all seem to forget that one. 

         I’d urge everyone posting here to undertake memorizing the Preamble:

    We the People of the United States, in order to:
    1) form a more perfect Union;
    2) establish Justice;
    3) insure domestic Tranquility;
    4) provide for the common defence [sic];
    5) promote the general Welfare, and
    6) secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,
    do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Imagine if you could talk w/ your elected officials (or your kids could), to ask, “What did you do today to “form a more perfect Union”?
      
        Mr. Police Chief, do you think pepper-spraying people who have peaceably assembled to petition for redress of grievances is “establishing Justice”? Or “insuring domestic Tranquility”? Or even “promoting the general Welfare”? 

       The Preamble sets up the contract between our employees, those folks in government, and We the People of the United States. “We” are the boss of them. They function on “little islands of delegated powers,” surrounded by an ocean of rights retained (9th: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”) and powers reserved by the people or (as in the 10th, by the states or the people. (10th: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”   etc.

  • USMC3gen

    As long as some form of Pledge is said, the same principle applies. We are showing our allegiance to our country. And may I be perfectly blatant in saying that if you have no allegiance to the United States and live here you ought to spend a few years in India and see how good you have it. It is shameful when people have a problem supporting their own country like the gentleman who posted lower down. If your own country does not have your allegiance, then which country does???

    • Anonymous

      This is America. My country has allegiance to us – of, by and for us.

  • Anonymous

    i have trouble thinking the words ‘under God’ should ever be made mandatory by any governmental body in the united states. the majority of the population my be christian, but the constitution protects everyone, not the majority. one can say the words in your church, synagogue, mosque or any other place of worship and your home. a tax paid for venue, ie public schools are free from laws forcing someone to pay homage to any religion. 

  • Wescorshop

    Last time I checked our money says ( IN GOD WE TRUST) do her parents feel that they be paid any differently 

    • Anonymous

      that’s next on the agenda for removal.

  • mdmtnwmn

    We are NOT “one nation under God.” As the founders explicitly stated and intended, we are one nation under a constitution, founded on reason and laws, not faith and religion. Iran is “one nation under God.” Afghanistan during Taliban rule was “one nation under God.” Spain during the Inquisition was “one nation under God.” Egypt in the days of Pharoah was “one nation under God.” The whole point of the settlement in the Americas and the establishment of the United States was to NOT be “under God.” Bill Wilt is right on his points and so are others who point out the government establishment of religion in the pledge, childrens’ inability to form consent and vulnerabilities inherent in opting out of such “voluntary” activities, and the incongruity of a nation based on personal liberties and dissent requiring such a pledge.

    It also astounds me that so many people, even here defending against the pledge, seem to think that religion and faith in God are synonymous with Christianity and exclusively Christian traits.

    • Anonymous

      good points. Also, the Pledge was the origin of the Nazi salute and nazi behavior. See the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry. So, the God thing is not the only problem with the pledge. It is uncanny that some people only complain about the “under God” part. The Pledge caused violence, castration, jail, even lynchings. It continues to cause bullying, divisibility and lawsuits. Support the “Stop the Pledge” campaign.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hhibrawn Hayward Brawn

    “one nation under God sounds good to me. stay out of my writes and I will stay out of yours OK.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll stay out of your “writes” and not correct you.

    • ThinkBeforeYouSpeak

      What do u mean “stay out of my rights” (ill pretend writes was rights). What rights have we gone into? Only you have gone into ours by making the pledge have something to do with god. 

  • http://twitter.com/Skeptical_Lady Question Everything

    Having “under god” in the pledge is discriminating towards anyone in America who does not believe in “god” whether they are non-christian or non-religious. We make up 40% of the population of the country & deserve the same freedom as everyone else.

  • Doubting Thomas

    http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/
    I’m all for freedom of religion, and are well aware that “under God” was added to differentiate us from the USSR. But look at the Declaration, down in the second paragraph. I don’t like revisionist history, whether it be TEA Party or atheists who seem to believe that proving the null hypothesis is within the realm of possibility.

    “Discriminating” against anyone in America who does not believe in God would be forcing them to publicly admit to such beliefs. What you should be asking is if this is really worth the money and the time. You don’t make up 40% of the population “Question Everything”, atheists make up perhaps 4-5% of the population according to recent estimates, and if you include the other nontheistic religions and agnostics the total moves to ~20%, when being generous including some of the polytheistic/animistic religions. Well less than 40%. Again, facts, not fiction.

    You don’t want to say “under God”? THEN DON’T. I personally don’t care, as long as you say the rest of the pledge and still think that America is awesome. This just reminds me of a girl in my class who was under the impression that “gay marriage was the biggest issue facing the country today”, when we were still in the middle of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. I’m glad that in a few states they have equal rights now, but to think that while our servicemen and women were dying that marriage equality was a bigger problem was dumbfounding. We have bigger issues facing us right now, such as the financial charlatans still allowed to run amok, the great recession they caused, a broken political system they lobbied and took advantage of, Chinese hackers stealing the fruits of our R&D, our continuing war in Afghanistan, and the idea that a nation who wants to wipe several others “off the map” is about to acquire nuclear weapons. Even compared to equal marriage rights, this ranks pretty low on the list. Do any of you ever even have to say the pledge regularly?

    • Anonymous

      The atheists don’t have to prove that gods don’t exist.  Those who claim that there is something have to prove it. 

  • Bubba

    The word “indivisible” is negated by the phrase “under god” as religion is VERY divisive! It needs to be removed.

  • Joe

    “With liberty and justice for all” is also a part of the pledge.  Yet enforcement of our drug laws is disproportionate in minority and poor neighborhoods even though drug use is uniform across class and race.  

  • Timshel01

    Much ado about not much.

    “”State law in Massachusetts  only  mandates that students say the pledge”" That’s “only” one step away from Nazi Germany to “only” hail the Fuhrer or require they say something to appease someone else beliefs .
    Trying to force people to say something they don’t believe like the pledge is in violation of freedom. Also, if an atheist feels he or she  have an issue because of invoking God then they should excuse themselves or remain in silence while the pledge is recited without disruption.
    See how easy that is ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1297671516 Patriotism ForAll

      Like you would just leave the room if the Pledge affirmed, “one nation, under no Gods”

  • Nicholas

    If we can’t worship God we shouldn’t worship the flag or the government either. I chose to worship God but I refuse to worship the flag or the government. 

  • Mybaginhouse

    I’m so sick and tired of all the atheist, anti Christ, that sue -thinking they
    should have the right to remove God from believers and our children… Who do
    you think you are? YOU don’t want to pray, or don’t want your children to go to
    heaven, then don’t – but leave us who do alone… SHUT UP and mind your own
    business…. SIMPLY DONT PRAY and tell your children not to participate but
    leave my children free to worship God as they please… Again – SHUT UP! Can’t
    wait until you stand before God and give an account for your ignorance… 

    • Anonymous

      i’m so sick and tired of all these christians that think only atheists sue to remove god from believers. they sue for their rights which are your rights, too. as for children, i do not think they should be exposed to religious intolerance until they are 18. this means no religion classes until they are of age. we do not want you to use our government to force us to perform your superstitious actions. we have a choice the same as you. we do not go to your churches and tell you not to pray. we do not pass laws saying you have to give up religion. oh, and the first amendment applies to all of us. the constitution prevents the government from making any law respecting any religion or any establishment there of. so take your over angry self to the cooler and read up on the law works. separation of  church and state prevents such theocracies as we see dominate the middle eastern countries. think about it.

    • Colton

      The Constitution was made to protect minorities. References to “God” in a national anything is unconstitutional. Only reason our corrupt government keeps it is because they are all Christians. I do not understand. We atheists have to deal with religious stuff all the time. You got control of the government, the majority, the ability to run over minorities in the name of a made up guy in the sky, God on the money and flag… Turn the tables for one day, atheists (Or some other religion) being the majority trying to get rid of all Christians for some reason. (Atheists are more tolerant) See if you can sit down and take that, or leave family and friends because of it. A peaceful nation must be secular, it is fair to all people. We cannot just trample on the rights of minorities of any kind. 

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