This has been floating around my friend’s posts on Facebook for the last couple of days. I am concerned about the message it sends.
“I am an UN-APOLOGETIC AMERICAN!! 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! I grew up reciting this every morning in school. It is a shame we no longer do ...that for fear of OFFENDING SOMEONE! Let's see how many Americans will post this and not care about offending ANYONE”
I wonder how many people realize what the actual history of the Pledge of Allegiance is. It did not start out with the current wording. It was originally written in 1892 by the minister Francis Bellamy. I find it rather ironic that a man of the cloth wrote it. He did not include any reference to religion. Does anyone else find that odd? He had the perfect opportunity. What he did do was leave out a reference to equality for all because of the existing feelings that women and African Americans were not equal to white men. So here are the original words…
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Now we jump to 1923. There is still no mention of religion.
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
It isn’t until 1954 that the words, “under God” were added. Why were those particular words added? Let’s take a look at the time period.
During the late 1940’s and through the 1950’s the anti-communism sentiment was running rampant across the country. It was age of McCarthyism and the Cold War. Americans were so consumed with the communist state that Illinois Senator Paul Broyles started holding hearings to investigate professors’ political activities were in some way associated with communism. He even introduced legislation to outlaw communism in America. That fear spread like wildfire. By the mid 1950’s government worker in Illinois were required to take an oath against communism in order to keep their jobs. Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin began holding hearings on the Senate floor using the organization, House’s Un-American Activities. Does anyone see where I’m going? I hope so.
This country was founded on freedom. The right to choose our religion, our partners, and our political beliefs is given to us in the First Amendment. When you add the words, “under God” to the pledge, you take away everyone’s right to their own religion or not to have one if that is their choice.
I do realize this could be my death notice as religious zealots will fight to the death for their way of thinking. Remember this; we have enough discrimination in this world, why do we have force it on everyone? Why would we want to offend people who help this country run? I know I don’t, because I believe in the First Amendment. And I am an un-apologetic American.