The Instigator
voltairelines
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
AshleysTrueLove
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Should the words "Under God" be in the US Pledge of Allegiance?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
voltairelines
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/28/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,860 times Debate No: 28698
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

voltairelines

Con

The first round is for acceptance only.

Con would argue, "The words 'Under God' should not be in the Pledge of Allegiance."
Pro would argue, "The words 'Under God' should be in the Pledge of Allegiance."
There would be a shared burden of proof.
"Should" as in whether or not it is legal and/or appropriate to have.

Thanks to whoever accepts, and good luck. :)
AshleysTrueLove

Pro

I accept :) good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
voltairelines

Con

The words “Under God” should not be included in the United States Pledge of Allegiance. It is a breach of an American’s constitutional rights. The phrase stomps on the first amendment and climbs over the wall of separation of Church and State. It is an exclusive, religious phrase in a Pledge that should solely embody patriotism. Religion and God have no place in it.

For the sake of reference, it is important to look at the first amendment, or at least the parts that matter for this debate. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” [1] The phrase “Under God” in a Congressionally adopted Pledge of Allegiance is an infringement of that right. In this case, Congress is respecting an establishment of religion. Those who are irreligious are excluded.

Some might argue, however, that the government can respect religion over irreligion, just not different religions over different religions. Assuming this was true, which it is not, there would still be problems with this phrase in the Pledge. The phrase “God” is not something that every religion relates to. This excludes dozens of religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, the religion of the ancient Norse, and the religion of the ancient Greeks are all excluded when the term “God” is used. In this case, whatever God Congress is referring to here (likely the Judeo-Christian one) is just an example of Congress respecting that God’s religion over another religion. And thus, it is unconstitutional. As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently put it, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” [2] Because Congress adopted the Pledge of Allegiance in 1942, and added the phrase, “Under God” in 1954 during the Red Scare, Congress is, I reiterate, breaching the wall of separation between Church and State.


And yet, some might say, “Yes, the irreligious (and some religious people, like Buddhists, for that matter) are excluded by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance -- but look at the demographics. The majority of Americans believe in a God.” Either way you take it, however, that statement is erroneous. First of all, just because the majority wants something to be a way does not always mean it can have it that way. Particularly when it tramples over the rights of other citizens. Attorney Michael Newdow articulates it well, "We have a democratic process, and the majority should do whatever it wants. But when we're talking about fundamental constitutional rights, we're in a different ballgame. In those situations, it doesn't matter what the majority wants. If the majority wants to enslave blacks, too bad. You can't do it. If the majority wants to have the government implicating a religious belief, too bad. You can't do it. [Our Constitution] doesn't allow you to." [3]

And even if what Mr. Newdow is saying is incorrect, which it is not, we can still look at the demographics to prove my point. As Phil Zuckerman wrote in his Huffington Post article, “One Nation, Under God - Not!” “Back in the 1990s, about 8 percent of Americans claimed "none" as their religion. Then, in 2007, the Pew Forum found that the percentage of non-religious Americans had doubled, up to 16 percent. In 2010, Putnam and Campbell's national survey put the percentage at 17 percent. In 2011, the General Social Survey reported it at 18 percent. This year, the Pew Forum bumped it up to 19 percent. (Anyone see a pattern here?)” [4] “Under God” excludes, unconstitutionally, the freedom of/from religion of tens of millions of Americans.

Any way one takes it, “Under God” is not constitutional. It is not inclusive and unrepresentative of the patriotic feelings expressed by so many Americans who are good without God. And if I was a member of Congress at the moment, there would only be one thing I would be chanting, and Christopher Hitchens put it best.

“Mr. Jefferson, build up that wall.” [5]


1: The Constitution of the United States
2: Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in Danbury, Connecticut. January 1st, 1802
3: Interview in American Jurist
4: http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
5: http://www.vanityfair.com...
AshleysTrueLove

Pro

AshleysTrueLove forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
voltairelines

Con

Pro forefited the round. Let's hope he gives it another go.
AshleysTrueLove

Pro

I apologize for forfeiting, I thought I had time for such a debate but I was wrong, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
voltairelines

Con

Thanks for saying so!
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Aned 3 years ago
Aned
Not everyone has been able to receive a religious education, so who is God? Are we supposed to know about God even though no one taught us about him? I know that many people would say they believe in God out of fear, in case he does exist.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Hey, he takes advice! :)

Good changes.
Posted by voltairelines 3 years ago
voltairelines
Sure.
Posted by Chuz-Life 3 years ago
Chuz-Life
I might take this challenge depending upon how Con defines "should" for the purpose of this debate.
Posted by voltairelines 3 years ago
voltairelines
I think you're right, again. Sorry for the ambiguity and mistakes, everyone.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
voltairelines wrote:
: Con would argue, "The words 'Under God' should not be in the Pledge of Allegiance."
: Pro would argue, "The words 'Under God' should be in the Pledge of Allegiance."

If that's what you want, then you need to say that in the opening post too. Otherwise, Secondguy could win just by saying, "You haven't succeeded in proving that those words shouldn't be in the Pledge." He wouldn't have to actively argue that they should be in the pledge.

It sounds like you want a shared burden of proof, which also needs to be articulated clearly in the OP.
Posted by voltairelines 3 years ago
voltairelines
Yeah, I thought that would be best originally, and changed it. Thanks for the suggestions, guys.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
More people than philochristos are confused when Con argues first. I recommend that you, Voltairelines, change the resolution to something like, "Resolved: the phrase, "under god," should not be in the US Pledge of Allegiance. That way you can be "Pro," and we can be unconfused.
Posted by voltairelines 3 years ago
voltairelines
Yeah, thought so. That's why I included both.
Posted by voltairelines 3 years ago
voltairelines
Con would argue, "The words 'Under God' should not be in the Pledge of Allegiance."
Pro would argue, "The words 'Under God' should be in the Pledge of Allegiance."
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 3 years ago
Chuz-Life
voltairelinesAshleysTrueLoveTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Total FF by Pro. I could go either way in reality so I was looking forward to a more in depth exchange in this debate.