This is Not What I want to Associate America With

We say it every day, you probably aren’t even conscious of it, but what does it mean? I believe that saying “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance seems to be against the main principle that made America great when it was founded, the notion that Religion was completely separate from the government and public services, etc. It wasn’t even in the Pledge for most of America’s history; it was added roughly 60 years ago! While I don’t find it offensive, nor should anyone really, it just seems to be un-American to me, among other things.

Some may say that removing it from the Pledge is un-American, as America was founded by Christians primarily, as a primarily Christian nation. But to be truly American would be to practice any religion you want, with no state-sponsored religions anywhere, which was a primary concept the “founding fathers” had in mind when drafting the U.S. constitution. The phrase (from the constitution) “Separation of Church and State” should sum it up simply. This was main reason for settlers to come to North America in the first place,to have religious freedom, which was one of the main principles that America was founded on, like taxation policies. Is this then not the most-American thing you can do, to remove ANY religious favoritism in ANY form of government? Have no governmental proactivity for ANY religion? Wouldn’t that be the intent of the “founding fathers”, who are supposed to be “perfect” Americans?

Now to the perspective of the Pledge’s “under God” as if you were offended by it. Many people, including our current President, Barack Obama, have said that those two words are non-threatening, and it would essentially be a waste of time to remove them, and that those words shouldn’t bother anyone. But, this is hard for him to say as he is a Christian, so he didn’t have the possible offensiveness that a Muslim would have had for example. Imagine the phrase being “under Allah” or “under no God”, to get a perspective on what non-Christians see these two “non-threatening” words to be. Again, I reinforce, that I am not offended by it, it just seems like it is an unnecessary alienation of certain Americans. And it serves no purpose, so why should it even be there if it’s occasionally a problem for some people? There IS no reason that it is there, other than no president/congressman wants to be seen as “that guy” that “hates God”, and be the one to remove the phrase, a potential problem that had no measurable benefits for anything.

There are those who say that those two words, said in a public school environment, help “remind our students of God”, which allows them to develop more positive life styles and habits. But that only applies to Christians really, because making a Muslim say “under God” won’t do anything for them morally (unless they associate “God” as having the same meaning as “Allah”, but that is irrelevant). If a Christian (for example) needed to say that America was protected and “under God” every day to be a good person, wouldn’t that take out most of the weight and purpose of a Church meeting on Sunday? Wouldn’t that substitute itself as a church session if that was all a person needed to be a morally good person (by the supporter’s logic)? This phrase makes Christianity, the one it was intended to honor, more hollow because 1) the above example of it being a replacement for Church (when rationalized, not explicitly said by the supporters) by supporters of the phrase’s being in the constitution, defeating the purpose of Church, and 2) making everyone say “under God”: atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Christians alike, seems kind of insulting to Christianity because they make EVERYONE say it, which takes out all of its meaning if so many people say it falsely. So again, there is no purpose that this phrase serves, it is only a potential source of alienation and is un-American to a certain degree.

This is a small and unimportant issue with today’s economy with the more important political issues at hand, but it should not be ignored forever. For America to be more truly what it was intended to be, this phrase should be removed, or have a “rule” instated that any religion or non-religion can insert their own corresponding phrase in this two word slot. This would be a more perfect America to me. Also it should be “I pledge allegiance to the United States of America” not “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America”. Why would I want to give my allegiance to a piece of colored cloth, and not a country?





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