Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Pledge of Allegiance

  1. May 12, 2003 #1
    [SOLVED] The Pledge of Allegiance

    Changing it is a bunch of bullcrap. We have had that pledge for so long and it means so much to so many people, including me being that I have said the pledge of alligiance every day since I started kindergarten all the way up until now! And I still have quite some time left in school. over 90% of the worlds populations believe in God or at least have a religion. Why should a small percentage of atheists change it for everyone. Besides since the pledge is mostly centered in schools I seriously think they should let the "kids" and "teenagers" decide. We arent stupid and the pledge means more to us than anyone else. Don't change it now. This kind of connects to the seperation of church and state. This situation is different because it fits in the church and state category. However it has been aroudn for a long time and like stated before it means a lot to us, the "kids" and "teenagers." I say keep the Pledge!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2003 #2
    The pledge is dumb. We start teaching it to kids before they know what the words 'allegiance' or 'indivisible' mean. It's creepy in a cult-like everyone-recite-the-mantra-in-unison sort of way. Anyways, the real pledge didn't have "under God" in it until the 1950s when they changed it. And this court case is not challenging the pledge; it's just challenging schools requiring its reading. Same thing as prayer in schools, pretty much.

    And a huuge number of those religious people -- Buddhists, Hindu, Shinto, etc -- do not, in fact, believe in 'God.'
  4. May 12, 2003 #3


    User Avatar

    let's say the line in the pledge was "under buddha". would that offend you? references to god (the christian god) are like a slap in the face to those who believe differently. it's like the government is telling you that you are wrong, that you should adopt their god. it just shows no consideration for those who are different.

    let us not forget that the pledge originally didn't include "under god." it was added during the red scare after world war 2, in an attept to scare off the godless commies. so based on that context, it's outdated and unnecessary.

    the only reason why the pledge means so much is because you've been saying it just about every day from when you were 5 until you were 18. 5 year olds are very impressionable.

    schools where i live started up again with the pledge last year. unfortunately, many do not see the objections some have to the pledge. some teachers create pressure on kids to stand up and recite it.

    to me, the pledge represents what's wrong with the country, like bush's imperialist jingoism, a sort of i'm right, you're wrong mentality when dealing with others. even in the classroom, there's an instilled sense of anti-anti-patriotism, i'm almost scared that next time i sit down for the recitation of the pledge, i'll be taken from my bed in the middle of the night and locked up in camp x-ray. and i'm not sure we aren't close to that already.
  5. May 12, 2003 #4
    It was created in the 1892, by Francis Bellamy, a Christian Socialist. According to http://history.vineyard.net/pledge.htm,
    "His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]"

    The "under god" part was added in 1954 after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus.

    That doesn't mean that the school should orchestrate it and ostracize those who don't wish to say it. If you feel that way, you are always free to do it on your own.

    And that's a big problem--indoctrination. Did you really understand the pledge in kindergarten? Did I? No. We just did it because we were told to, and it eventually became routine brainwashing.

    The best part of this nation and its Constitution is the protection it affords to minorities and dissent. This statement smacks of irony.

    *edited to fix "QUOTE" tags*
    Last edited: May 13, 2003
  6. May 13, 2003 #5
    Yes, I agree with Nicool, why should minority rights be protected? It is GOOD that a majority can force3 its beliefs on others, that is teh American Way, right?
  7. May 13, 2003 #6
    THat was stupid. I wasn't saying that. I'm saying Atheists don't have to participate in the pledge because it says under god and are they even a minority? Atheism isnt a religion, a group, a race. What is it? And Why should say 5% or less take over what 95% are willing or glad to do? Is it the American way to force the MAJORITY to have to change beacuse a very small "minority" dislikes a very small part of something much bigger?

    THey believe in a holy person or a prophet and I said those that dont bleieve in god have a religon. Next time read my post more carefully.

    Your comparing the pledge to a cult? that's sick
  8. May 13, 2003 #7
    The Pledge of allegiance should be worded to include ALL Americans, don't you think? Why should you have a pledge that some Americans cannot, in good conscience, participate in? THAT'S the idea that is bullcrap, that American citizenship can only belong to the majority, and everyone else is second-class.

    Removing 'under God' makes the Pledge INCLUSIVE...which is the whole point, isn't it? Why in the name of whatever you hold holy would you suggest a national Pledge that only includes part of the nation??

    BTW, the last statistic I read put non-Christians closer to 25% of the population. Should a quarter of Americans have to yield their freedom, so that Christians don't have to compromise?
    Last edited: May 13, 2003
  9. May 13, 2003 #8
    Nicool, the author of this post spoke to soon, and she also spoke the truth without knowing it. She said:

    "Changing it is a bunch of bullcrap."

    You're right. It should have been kept as it was at first. Our founding fathers we're all self-declared atheists accept 2 of them. To add this GOD idiocy into it was to Sh*t on our fathers wisdom and to literally perform reverse evolution.

    To remove it won't be to advance as a society, but simply to recover from an embarassingly stupid mistake.

    After doing so, americas face should still be blushed, it deserves to feel retarded for making such an anti-humanitarian choice.

    Needless to say the changing of it broke one of the fundamental rules, number 2. It's in my sig. You'll be amazed over the course of my time here how many times those two rules are broken, and those of you who "think like me" general meaning atheists who are also anti-speudoreasoning, will hopefully take to hear those statements and please feel free to share them.

  10. May 13, 2003 #9
    Something I wonder...why is it that some people have to force their opinion on others. officially? Is their faith so weak that they have to get government support for it?
  11. May 13, 2003 #10
    Zero. Think of emotion as a fuel. The stronger emotion the stronger the fuel.

    Some people must so contain themselves into a world where their UNTRUE and easily proven believes go against reality, that they cannot live on a planet where truth that hurts their feelings exists.

    They must stop at nothing to force the world to agree, because challenging these things they hold so hardset into their brains literally causes them a physical pain.

    It's sad, and very very sickening. It sounds like a horror movie but to them it is their every day life.

    It's one of the saddest things about humanity.

    Rest assured science is exploding. Just think of it's history, and look at religions PEAK time and how it's downfall is occuring. At this rate my rough estimate is that religion will return to a nonsuperimposing nature in perhaps 2,000 to 5,000 years history depending.

    Feel good ZERO that humanity is on a positive path. And with every atheist popping their head out in the birth room, we move closer

    and closer, and closer.
  12. May 13, 2003 #11
    I've been reading up a little on America's 'pledge' since I knew nothing about it before. I don't think it should have the words 'under God' in it, obvious reasons really.

    What I don't understand is why those words are an addition to the original version, especially since America has surely become more culturly and religiously diverse over the past 100 or so years.
  13. May 13, 2003 #12


    User Avatar

    33% of americans are atheists. And I did not realise that the USA just became a theocracy.

    The idea of the pledge is allegiance, not just to the nation, but to the fundamental values of this nations. One of these values is respect and freedom of belief and action for all, regardless of their religion, race, sex etc. To have a pledge that implies that atheists are second class citizens, or however excluded, is one of upmost hypocrisy. No matter how small the minority, the constitution demands that their peaceful rights be respected. History has taught us that any segregationism in this way leads to greater loss of freedom, and typically bloodshed. Would it be acceptable to have a pledge that exluded, say, Jews, because they represent less than 1% of the population. No. With any other group, it is no different.

    EDIT: I got the values from another post. Not sure if they are correct. But for such a pledge of allegiance, I don't think that the % of people is really so relevant. Being American has nothing to do with your religion.
    Last edited: May 14, 2003
  14. May 13, 2003 #13
    FZ - you said it!

    MULDER - the allegiance was changed when someone (congress of course and a president who I don't recall) slyly had this done during a time when their was huge world news, a war or something I forgot, so as to have this ruling overshadowed.

    President BUSH has done this lately with his faith-based intiative. That's what he likes to call it, but if you investigate it you'll see it can also be called his HATE-BASED INITIATIVE.

    He's doing all sorts of sly Sh*t behind peoples backs.
  15. May 13, 2003 #14


    User Avatar

    i believe this was added by eisenhower and mccarthy, maybe huac had something to do with this too. and as i said earlier, it was added during the beginning of the cold war, back when everyone was terrified of communist infiltration.
  16. May 13, 2003 #15


    User Avatar

    Presumeably communists, as spawns of the devil, would melt away in spectacular pyrotechnics the moment they said it.
  17. May 13, 2003 #16


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    A bunch of incorrect data here...

    1) Atheists do NOT make up 33% of the population. They make up 1.5%. Agnostics are another 2%. 'Non-religious' (whatever that means) is up to 18%

    2) The founding fathers were not atheists. They were deists for the most part. There is a subtle difference.


    And Nicool, changing it (back) is not "a bunch of bullcrap". The constitution leaves nothing up to chance here: The government is not allowed to make ANY law which says ANYTHING about what goes on outside this realm of existance (i.e. god and religion). If you think this is a bad thing, I suggest you take a look at countries which don't have those rules like Iran and pre-war Afghanistan.

    In the 1950s, "under God" was added by Christian groups with the sole purpose of proving that the US was different from the awful godless commies. It was codified by the congress... made into law. See above.

    Adding "under God" marginalizes those who do not buy into it by creating an 'us vs. them' type scenario. It makes those who disagree with the tenet of "under God" the same as those who disagree with the tenets of "liberty" and "justice".

    "under God" <-> "indivisible"

    pick one.
  18. May 13, 2003 #17


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    My guess would be theother 18% are people who don't understand the definitions of "athiest" and "agnostic."

    My opinion of the "under God" part is that it really isn't an important part of the pledge and I wouldn't care one way or another if its in there (I'm a Christian) except that I have a HUGE problem with the REASON its in there. So I'll not say those two words.
  19. May 13, 2003 #18


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    My thoughts exactly. I'd bet that 1/3 are atheists, 1/3 are agnostic (both say 'non-religeous' to avoid the stigma attached with them), and 1/3 don't give a rat's ass...
  20. May 13, 2003 #19
    Was the pledge of allegiance out lawed or something? My teacher still makes us do it, so I was just curious.
  21. May 13, 2003 #20
    I'm glad that you mentioned it. You beat me to it. I found those to be peculiar statements, as well. I know that many of the founding fathers (jefferson, paine, madison, others, and possibly washington) were deists. And 33% just sounds way off.

    I suppose that "non-religious" means anyone who doesn't fall into a major category, and probably includes deists and people who haven't really thought about it or aren't sure enough of what they believe to give them any type of label. 3.5% sounds a little low for atheists/agnostics to me.

    From http://www.teachingaboutreligion.org/Backdrop&Context/nonreligion.htm:
    "There exist today many philosophical variants of nonreligious belief systems. Naturalism, rationalism, secular humanism, atheism, and methodological skepticism, along with agnosticism, are the most common perspectives. Outlooks that fall under the umbrella description “nonreligious” presented here have in common that they do not contain any supernatural beliefs."

    And one thing...I don't know how accurate these surveys are. I know that I've never been asked for a survey.

    Good statement.
    I'm not sure if you can call the Buddha a holy person, and definitely not a prophet (prophets receive revelation from deities). Anyway, that statement is relevant to the pledge. The pledge says "under god", not "under some idol".

    According to the 1st and 14th Amendments, the government shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, and "under god" in public schools' ritual of the pledge is an establishment of religion by the government.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?