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Savanna Snow Laurie Oberg English B2 24 February, 2016 Is “Under God” a Religious Phrase When Placed in The Pledge of Allegiance?

Having the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance (POA) has been a controversial subject for years. Some people believe it should be taken out due to the fact that it is religious content and therefore is unconstitutional. Others believe that rather than being religious content, it simply represents love for our country and what our country stands for and so it should be kept in. When looking at both sides of the argument, it is clear that the phrase “under God” should be kept in the Pledge of Allegiance (POA). The phrase “under God” is not religious content. “Solicitor General Theodore Olsen characterized the phrase as ‘descriptive’ and ‘ceremonial’ rather than a prayer or religious invocation” (Baer, 1). When placed in the POA the phrase simply represents our country. “Judge Frank Easterbrook concluded that the words ‘under God’ reflect ceremonial deism rather than a constitutionally prohibited religious exercise” (One Nation Under God? A Constitutional Question, 3). The Pledge symbolizes our country and the views our country represents, not religion. When the phrase “under God” is placed in the Pledge it represents our country as a whole. “Judge Carlos Bea said ‘The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our public was founded’” (Chea, 10). The phrase serves to unite our country as a whole through shared ideals. “Greg Katsas said ‘This phrase encapsulates the philosophy on which the nation was founded.’ ‘When someone says the Pledge, they’re not praying to God, they’re pledging allegiance to the country, the flag, and the ideals of the country’” (Chea, 10). By saying the phrase “under God” in the POA people are simply pledging to a country with shared ideals not to God. It does not make sense to take the phrase “under God” out of the POA. “In light of the 1943 Barnette decision people are free to refrain from reciting the Pledge at school or they can recite it and simply omit the words ‘under God’” (One Nation Under God? A Constitutional Question, 3). Since people who wish to not say that phrase have the opportunity to personally remove it, then why take it out of the Pledge altogether? “On average the Pledge is recited tens of millions of times a day” (Robinson, 4). The Pledge is recited so often and has been in place for so long, why bother changing it now? Also why change it for just a small group of people who can take it out if they wish? The phrase “under God” should be kept in the Pledge. When used in the Pledge the phrase simply represents the ideals of our country. It does not make sense to change the Pledge itself when people have the choice to personally remove it. For all these reasons it does not make sense to take the phrase out and therefore it should be left in.

Works Cited Baer, John W. ”The Pledge of Allegiance a Short History”. oldtimeislands.org. nd. Web. February 4, 2016.

Chea, Terence. “’Under God’ in Pledge of Allegiance Upheld by Court”. Huffington Post. March 11, 2010. Web. February 8, 2016.

“One Nation Under God? A Constitutional Question”. Pewforum. March 19, 2004. Web. February 10, 2016.

Robinson, B.A. “The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance”. Religious Tolerance. nd. Web. February 4,

2016.