Is This Nation Under God?

29 posts

Flag Post

Is the United States of America “Under God”?

The United States Pledge of Allegiance had the words “under god” added to it in 1954. Now, we are not as scared of atheism and communism as we were, and many argue that since Congress endorses it, it goes against the establishment clause of the Constitution (the establishment clause being the clause that says Congress cannot establish or church or endorse a religion).

Now what do YOU think?

P.S. Hopefully this isn’t too much of a sensitive topic. I hope for nice, non-flaming (if possible), answers.

 
Flag Post

Well this country wasn’t found under god, it was just founded under a “higher power”. This is just something I’m not sure of.

(by this country i of course mean the US :P )

 
Flag Post

Didn’t a recent survey reveal that Americans would rather elect a female, black or even homosexual than an atheist one. Considering the history of the US, that’s a powerful fact.

 
Flag Post

Ask any dollar, quarter, or even the “Pledge”

 
Flag Post

Depends by what you mean by “Under god”. Obviously, all 300,000,000 people in the U.S. don’t worship the same God, and I think around 10-15% of the population is atheist. However, I think that a large portion of the government is influenced by religion, despite separation of church and state =P

 
Flag Post

This nation is in fact NOT under god. To many of you think you are above god. Your all going to hell that’s all I can tell you.

Edit: damnit! I actually read the first post instead of just the topic title and unfortunately that wasn’t what this topic was about. Seriously though I don’t worship any god nor do I even say the pledge when I’m in school. I think the pledge of allegiance in general is flawed. Why does the US government require us to tell everyone around us we are loyal to our country every morning? This is too much similar to how god needs us to tell him how great he is every dinner or night before bed. It’s the government and their god complex trying to influence your life in my opinion.

 
Flag Post

Wow – I’m glad you posted this topic! I had no idea “under God” was an afterthought for the Pledge (over 50 years later).

For the record, the government does not (and cannot by Supreme Court ruling) require you to say the Pledge.

Personally, it has always bothered me that “under God” and “in God we trust” appears in our government. I would argue that our nation was specifically founded without God. We were founded on the principle of religious freedom, and I don’t think you can credibly claim to support religious freedom if you force everyone to believe in the same deity. “Under God” should be removed, as should “in God we trust” from all of our money. In fact, it should be illegal to print it on our money and I’m rather surprised anyone would suggest otherwise.

 
Flag Post

“Under God” should be removed, as should “in God we trust” from all of our money. In fact, it should be illegal to print it on our money and I’m rather surprised anyone would suggest otherwise.

That is exactly the reason atheist are hated so much. They feel we are pushing our ways onto them when in fact it is just the opposite. I couldn’t care less what they print on our money. Unless I actually read every dollar and every quarter that comes my way it won’t really bother me but hearing it every day in a pledge does get on my nerves. It does feel like they are trying to force it on you subliminally.

 
Flag Post

I think having “In God We Trust” on our money is ironic, to say the least. You’d think the theists would be the ones trying to re-mint our coins, not the atheists. Kind of like putting that Jesus-fish on RU486 pills.

 
Flag Post

I think those words in the pledge and on the dollar do no one harm — us agnostics and athiests can simply ignore them.

But if there is a god, and if he favors nations that utter his name daily before school begins, there is a chance they do us some good.

Pascal would be proud of us.

 
Flag Post

http://www.godhatesamerica.com

 
Flag Post

http://www.godhatesamerica.com

yeah those guys are crazy as all hell

 
Flag Post

That is exactly the reason atheist are hated so much. They feel we are pushing our ways onto them when in fact it is just the opposite. I couldn’t care less what they print on our money.

First off, how on earth can you claim that it is the “opposite” of pushing your ways onto atheists? The opposite would be encouraging everyone to have their own beliefs, and you can hardly argue that printing “in God we trust” on all money encourages everyone to believe whatever they want.

Furthermore, can you honestly tell me that you (and more importantly, Christians/theists in general) would have no problem printing “There is no God” on all of our money?

 
Flag Post

For the record, the government does not (and cannot by Supreme Court ruling) require you to say the Pledge.

This is quite interesting. I always thought it was required by law. So this raises an interesting question for me.

Does this mean that saying the Pledge is also not required when you are sworn in as an American citizen? I.e. you don’t actually HAVE to speak along with it.

 
Flag Post

Hmmm…I should check to be sure about this – the ruling I was referring to was actually aimed at schools (since they used to require everyone in public schools to say the Pledge every morning), but it looks to me like it would also apply to citizenship.

(from wikipedia) In 1940 the Supreme Court, in deciding the case of Minersville School District v. Gobitis, ruled that students in public schools could be compelled to recite the Pledge, even Jehovah’s Witnesses like the Gobitases (whose name was misspelled as ‘Gobitis’ in the court case), who considered the flag salute to be idolatry. In the wake of this ruling, there was a rash of mob violence and intimidation against Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1943 the Supreme Court reversed its decision, ruling in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that “compulsory unification of opinion” violated the First Amendment.

I would interpret this to mean that not even naturalization requires the pledge. I think you have to swear to abide by the laws and authority of the country, but not necessarily pledge allegiance to it.

 
Flag Post

you (and more importantly, Christians/theists in general)

WTF!? did you just say I worship god? I think I just told everyone I don’t worship any god a few posts up. Believe it or not this is actually the SECOND time you have mistaken me for a person of the flock.

First off, how on earth can you claim that it is the “opposite” of pushing your ways onto atheists? The opposite would be encouraging everyone to have their own beliefs

Well first off its not “my ways” and in fact the opposite of Christians pushing their ways onto Atheists is Atheists pushing their ways onto Christians. An Atheist’s way is not believing in any god they want, their ways are not believing any god at all. Not sure where you got this information. I am sure what you meant was that atheists don’t care if someone else worships a god but that actually isn’t true. Look at communist Russia a few decades back they believed religion would corrupt everyone so bad they banned it from existence in Russia.

 
Flag Post

Well, I’m sorry if I mistook you as a theist, but I think you’ve been rather confusing about the topic:

DarthNader That is exactly the reason atheist are hated so much. They feel we are pushing our ways onto them when in fact it is just the opposite.

You use the term “we” here. If you’re not a theist, then who’s “we”? Perhaps you can see why I was confused.

I’m also not sure what information of mine you are claiming is false. The freedom of religion includes the right the worship whoever you want or to not worship at all. It is the religion of atheists (at least, of those atheists who specifically believe God doesn’t exist) that, well, God doesn’t exist. Thus, by printing “In God We Trust”, you are directly attacking the religion of atheists in the same way that printing “There Is No God” on money would attack the religion of theists (which is why it shouldn’t be mentioned at all on our money and I would argue is a breach of our Constitution).

 
Flag Post

You use the term “we” here. If you’re not a theist, then who’s “we”? Perhaps you can see why I was confused.

I meant “we” as in you and me phoenix, atheists. I will redo my post so you can see what I meant.

That is exactly the reason atheist are hated so much. They feel we (atheists) are pushing our ways onto them (Christians, ect.) when in fact it is just the opposite.

Sorry about not being clearer and sorry for arguing for the other side of the argument. It is just that our side has flaws and by scrutinizing them they can be made clearer. Also it is because the way you think we should take care of this problem isn’t the way I would.

 
Flag Post

Wow – I completely read that backwards then… My apologies – I definitely misread it.

 
Flag Post

I’ve thought a lot, and I would like to share my whole opinion:

The pledge of allegiance has become a daily ritual in almost every school in the United States since its creation in 1892. Since then, it has also gone through many changes, including the addition of the words “under god” in 1954 (Real Story Behind…). After the Cold War and Communist Scare were over, “under god” has been stuck in a cloud of controversy. The Framers believed in a god, but they also wanted to separate church and state. Under god may mean our nation is under god, but it could also just be a couple words pertaining to god, as there are in many federal documents. The words “under god” should not be in the pledge of allegiance, because the Framers wanted church and state to be two separate institutions, and those two words show a bias against nonreligious or polytheist people.
The Framers of our Constitution did not want church and state to be connected in any way, and did not want Congress to show any bias at all towards a certain religion. In creating the Constitution, the Framers stumbled upon the complication that had caused many powerful empires to have problems within—the problem of religion and government. Although they were religious, they knew that religion had frequently disrupted government in the past, and they decided to completely separate church and state. The pledge of allegiance is sanctioned by Congress, and since the words “under god” have been added, it has been a glaring disagreement with the establishment clause of the Constitution. Clearly, the Framers did not want such a biased, prejudiced, phrasing in one of the representations of our country. Although schoolchildren have the choice of not saying it, such children dare not because many are then bullied for being different and defiant. The government should not be asking schoolchildren to acknowledge the existence of god at the same time they are affirming their allegiance to the country and its values, including unity, indivisibility, liberty, justice, and as can be seen since 1954—monotheism.
These two words are also against the values of religious tolerance in this country. A nonreligious or polytheistic immigrant to the country would not relish the fact that their children recite or listen to the words “under god” every single day. This is because “under god” implies that there is a single god who presides over America. To a nonreligious or polytheistic person, it is apparent that this nation has an unmistakable bias against them. Such thought was made apparent when atheist Michael A. Newdow, an attorney in Sacramento, California, filed a lawsuit on behalf of her daughter against the inclusion of the words “under god” in public schools’ recital of the United States Pledge of Allegiance. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently ruled that the phrase constitutes an endorsement of religion, and therefore violates the establishment clause of the Constitution (Reaves). In addition, the largest private opinion polls have about 15 percent of the population not subscribing to any monotheistic conception of God (313 RELIGIONS AND DENOMINATIONS…). In the pledge, this official reference to god may well strike nonbelievers as an act of exclusion and disqualification in the United States of America.
The pledge of allegiance should not include the words “under god” because those who created our Constitution created a barrier between church and state, and the endorsement of the pledge with those words in it breaches that barrier. Even more so because in such a religiously and culturally diverse country, a bias can be viewed as an act of exclusion. One day—actually, right now, the people of the United States of America are facing this dilemma, and they should make the right choice, to delete the words “under god” from the Constitution, and to apply the values of religious tolerance and those values of our country as were spoken in the pledge before 1954: unity, liberty, indivisibility, and justice.

 
Flag Post

Nice topic. And very eloquently put dwaxe (do you happen to have links to sources for the information you provided? Not to doubt you, I would just love to read them). I too am an Atheist, and feel there should be, as is written, separation of church and state. But in todays increasingly religion conscious world (compared to recent past), it seems as though such a thing will never happen. Granted that the punishments for not proclaiming oneself to a particular religion are not as extreme in modern America as they were in older time, and still are in other countries, many who feel as I (Atheists) are still shunned in many circles, and many put on a mask to hide this fact and take on an alter ego of a religious person out of fear of repercussion.

So to answer the original post, yes I do feel and all references to ‘God’ should be taken out of any verse, print, etc. that pertains to government in this country. As many theists may not see the problem as Pheonix pointed out; they can interoperate such phrases to invoke ‘their God’, but it also therefore is against those of us who feel there is no God. And as there are extremists in every faction of life, so are there in Atheism; those who would show such outrage by such a topic as to turn to violence over it. I for one am not bothered by the fact that it is printed on my money or in the Pledge of Allegiance as others may, but I do not believe it has a place there.

Again great topic and post dwaxe. I love religious debate.

 
Flag Post

by “under god” this is reffering to the fact that our countrys laws and some of the amendments (though i could be wrong about the amendments) are based around the ten commandments which were given to moses on mt. sinai. if you dont belive me, look it up.

 
Flag Post

Do you realize how old this thread is?

Not to mention, you’re essentially wrong, and didn’t read the rest of the thread.

 
Flag Post

Of the commandments how many are law?

Hmmm… let’s see.

I am the Lord your God you shall have no other gods before me

You shall not make for yourself an idol

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy

Honor your father and mother

None of those, and we’re already half way done.

You shall not kill

Yup. But also a aprt of every moral framework there is. So can’t really credit this one as being “from the bible”.

You shall not commit adultery

Nope.

You shall not steal

Again, a part of every moral framework ever, and not taken from the bible.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

Not usually, but sometimes illegal. Purjury for example.
Gossiping however is not illegal.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house

The entire US way of life is based on coveting what everyone else has, and working to get it.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife

Heh, hardly illegal. At worse it wil lget you a smack in the mouth if you go too far beyond covetting.

Yeah I’m really not seeing the connection between US law and the bible, here.

 
Flag Post

Well, even though I’m Atheist, I’m fine with the term. Its not insulting, its more of a compliment.