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A short essay donated by Cary Cook

Should "Under God" be in or
out of the Pledge of Allegiance?

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Most American theists want "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Most atheists want "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Atheists argue that since they don't believe in a God, they should not be forced to pledge allegiance in a manner inconsistent with what they believe. Further, if they choose to pledge allegiance to the USA, the same is true.

Theists argue that their allegiance is first to God, then to country, and that they refuse to pretend allegiance to any nation that doesn't acknowledge the sovereignty of God.

Both of these positions are perfectly just and legitimate. No person should be forced to say something inconsistent with what he believes. Even if the pledge is voluntary, no country has a moral right to establish an official statement for all of its citizens, which is inconsistent with the beliefs of any of those citizens.

Two and only two just solutions are possible:

1. Have multiple pledges to accommodate all citizens.

2. Abolish the Pledge of Allegiance.

I favor option #2. My State doesn't require me to pledge allegiance to it. My city doesn't require me to pledge allegiance to it. My parents didn't require me to pledge allegiance to them. I'm not aware of God requiring a Pledge of Allegiance to Him. Why should my country be an exception? I personally don't pledge allegiance to anything. If I did pledge allegiance to something, it would be to truth and justice as I understand them.

Of course, if a person wants to pledge allegiance to something, I have no objection. Jesus said, "Don't swear," but that's not exactly the same. Besides, Jesus' objection doesn't require me to echo the same objection, even if I'm a Christian. Any person who wants to pledge allegiance to anything should have the right to choose his own words.

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Initial posting: 2009-OCT-04
Latest update: 2009-OCT-04
Author: Cary Crook

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