Atheists Want ‘Under God’ Removed from Pledge of Allegiance

The Washington Times reports that “the American Humanist Association kicked off a national campaign to press people to stop pledging allegiance to the U.S. flag, until the phrase ‘under God’ is removed. The campaign includes YouTube video spots and bus stop ads in New York City and Washington, D.C., the group announced in a press release.”

Because atheists are offended by any mention of God, they want every person who does believe in God to be offended. How does this fit with their call for “true inclusiveness”? How does excluding people who believe in God lead to inclusiveness?

What will be next for these easily offended atheists, removing references to God the Creator and Judge from the Declaration of Independence and “in the year of our Lord” from the Constitution?

These atheists have been relentless in forcing everybody to comply with their non-inclusive worldview.

What the atheists want is for the Pledge to return to its original form as it was written by Francis Bellamy. It might surprise a lot of people to know that Bellamy was a Baptist minister who was a socialist. More about the Pledge’s socialist origins below.

If the atheists really want to get back to the original Pledge, then they need to resurrect the original “Bellamy Salute”:

“It involved stiffly extending the right arm upward and outward, fingers pointed ahead. By the 1930s, however, this gesture began to make many Americans uncomfortable — not because it was physically difficult but because it closely resembled the ‘Heil Hilter’ salute that Americans began to see depicted in newsreels and still photos of Nazi rallies in Europe.”

Bellamy Salute

Three times in one month in 2010, President Obama left out a very important qualification about the source of our rights when he cited a portion of the Declaration of Independence. He said that “each of us are [sic] endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The complete text of the Declaration includes the phrase “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” The use of “Creator” specifies to everyone everywhere that rights are not granted by the will of the majority or the legislative actions of the government but are a gift – an endowment – from God.

On April 12, 2011, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid omitted the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance on the floor of the U.S. Senate after telling the audience how he is “moved to hear the Pledge of Allegiance when it marks the beginning of a new legislative day in the United States Senate.”

At the U.S. Open golf championship, during a taped patriot segment that included school children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, someone at NBC edited the tape when the children said “under God.” Twice! (see video here).

So while the courts have ruled that “In God We Trust” and “under God” are not unconstitutional, even when said in a governmental context, a number of prominent Americans and secularists have taken it upon themselves to excise references to God.

To be honest, I am not a big fan of pledging allegiance to any political entity, including the United States of America, especially when so many things have changed in America since its founding., but that’s a topic for another day.

Then there’s the history of the Pledge to consider. The earliest version was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a newspaperman, who wrote for the Youth’s Companion magazine. The original Pledge was first recited in public at a Columbus Day program on October 12, 1892. To mark the 400th anniversary of the Columbus voyage, Chicago held the World Columbian Exposition in 1893.


The World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893

Bellamy was a Baptist minister. He was the first-cousin of Edward Bellamy, author of the socialist utopian novels Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).

John W. Baer, the author of The Pledge of Allegiance: A Centennial History, 1892–1992, writes that “it never would have occurred to Francis Bellamy to put ‘under God’ in the Pledge, at least according to what he had to say at the time.”

Bellamy preached sermons on topics such as “Jesus the Socialist” and “The Socialism of the Primitive Church,” over which he lost his pulpit at Bethany Baptist Church in Boston.

Bellamy believed that universal public education was the great equalizer and remedy for national reformation. “Our fathers in their wisdom knew that the foundations of liberty, fraternity, and equality must be universal education,” Bellamy wrote in a speech. (Note that these terms were the rallying cry of the 18th-centgury French revolutionaries.) Consider this frightening Bellamy manifesto:

“The free school, therefore, was conceived as the cornerstone of the Republic. Washington and Jefferson recognized that the education of citizens is not the prerogative of church or of other private interest; that while religious training belongs to the church, and while technical and higher culture may be given by private institutions—the training of citizens in the common knowledge and the common duties of citizenship belongs irrevocably to the State.”

At the time, public schools were generally Protestant, a carry over from colonial Puritanism. Public schools were eventually co-opted by secularists and eventually nationalized during Jimmy Carter’s administration and the creation of the Department of Education with a budget of nearly $70 billion and thousands of employees.

Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind.

The Pledge wasn’t formally adopted by Congress as the national pledge until 1942. It has been modified four times since its composition, with the most recent change happening in 1954 when the words “under God” were added in reaction to “godless Communism.”

If the American Humanist Association wants to get honest with the Pledge, it should also tell people that the person who wrote the words to the original Pledge was a Baptist minister who was an outspoken socialist, the original salute looked like something out of Nazi Germany, and atheism was the worldview choice of communism.

To be honest, the Pledge should include this phraseology: “one nation under the state as god.”

Here’s a reading of the pre-1945 Pledge of Allegiance done by Porky Pig:

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