The Instigator
IveGotUrOuts
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DakotaKrafick
Con (against)
Winning
8 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 2 votes the winner is...
DakotaKrafick
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,699 times Debate No: 23022
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

IveGotUrOuts

Pro

I will be arguing that the words "under God" should be in the pledge as pro...........

Round 1 acceptance only
DakotaKrafick

Con

I accept. The pledge should read "one nation indivisible" as it originally did. Please present your case.
Debate Round No. 1
IveGotUrOuts

Pro

I would like to thank my OPP for accepting this debate and thank our audience for reviewing it.

History of the Pledge of Allegiance:

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy a Baptist minister and magazine writer for The Youth's Companion. The Pledge was first published in 1892 in The Youth's Companion. It was included in an ad for the "Official Programme for the National Columbia Public School Celebration of October 12, 1892," a celebration of the 400 year anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America. On this day in New York City the pledge was first recited. The rest of the nation participated in the ceremony on Oct. 21, where millions of schoolchildren recited the Pledge.

In writing the Pledge, Bellamy was inspired by the speeches of Lincoln and Webster and also by the Civil War and the slogan of the French Revolution, "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity." The wording of the Pledge has been changed several times since its birth. Most of these changes were made so the Pledge would be specific and more unique to the United States.

Evolution of the Pledge of Allegiance timeline:

1892 "I pledge allegiance to my flag
and the Republic for which it stands,
one nation, indivisible,
with liberty and Justice for all"

1892 "I pledge allegiance to my flag
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation indivisible,
with liberty and Justice for all"

1923 "I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all"

1924 "I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all"

1954 "I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all"

My argument:

Every constitution of the fifty states contains a reference to God. Oaths sworn in court use the phrase '…so help me God.' The Supreme Court convenes with a prayer, "God save this honorable court". We are, and have continued to be, a religious people since our founding.

"The great pillars of all government and of social life are virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible."
-- Patrick Henry
Founding Father

Neither the Pledge or its recitation constitutes a forbidden religious exercise because pledging allegiance is, by its nature, purpose, and effect, a secular activity an individual statement of patriotism and respect for this country and its primary symbol which is our flag.

One of the main arguments against The Pledge of Allegiance is that it might offend some well there are plenty things that might offend someone in America. Where do we draw the line ? Point being we cannot please everyone all the time if we start banning things that might offend we will have to ban everything.

Here is a statement that sums up the argument for "under God" in the pledge......

"This abominable ruling Ninth Circuit ruling in Newdow vs. US by an imperious court is a slap in the face to all Americans and people of faith. At a moment when national unity should be of the utmost importance, two individuals chose to speak for an entire nation and, in the process, divide this country. There is no place for myopic edicts, especially during this time of national and international uncertainty clearly neither the events of September 11, nor America's war on terrorism, was weighing on the judge's minds."
-- James Dobson
Founder and Chairman of Focus on the Family
Press Release
June 26, 2002


DakotaKrafick

Con

My Opponent's Argument

Let it be clearly understood that my argument for why "under God" should be removed from the Pledge is not an appeal to tradition. I believe appeals to tradition are fallacious; however, they are the core of my opponent's arguments. He boldly asserts "We are, and have continued to be, a religious people since our founding". Therefore, I must refute my opponent's claim that the founding father's meant for the United States to be a religious nation, but these are my counter-arguments, not my arguments.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." [The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution]

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." [Article 11 of The Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams and ratified unanimously by the US Senate]

The founders of America wanted this nation to be free from religious favoritism as they themselves were escaping religious persecution from Europe at the time.

My Argument

My opponent's appeal to tradition is not only factually incorrect, but also irrelevant. I don't care how many congressmen pray before proceedings or how many Fox newscasters say faith is the glue that will hold us together in these times of crisis; I don't care if George Washington himself said "May Jesus Christ bless this land forever".

I will not try to tell you this nation should be secular because it is secular, or because it's always been secular. Because that just doesn't make any sense. You cannot justify how things should be by merely explaining that that's how it is. Remember: at one point in time, this country advocated slavery and always had.

Nor is my argument that "it might offend some" as my opponent tries to allude.

My argument is simple: in order to ensure the people of this nation remain undivided, we must not promote or relegate particular sexes, races, or religions in government. This is to say that all people be seen equally and treated equally by the state.

The phrase "under God" is as dividing to the American people as any other of similar content (but which appear obviously wrong to us), such as "under males" or "under the arian race".
Debate Round No. 2
IveGotUrOuts

Pro

First my OPP stated : "Nor is my argument that "it might offend some" as my opponent tries to allude." I did not even know your argument so that is not correct.

I agree with my OPP The phrase "under God" is dividing America but it is dividing because it has been removed.

For more than two hundred years many of our expressions of national identity and patriotism have referenced God. The Supreme Court opens 'God save the United States and this honorable Court, affirmed time and again that such official acknowledgments of our Nation's religious heritage.

There is nothing more American than the Pledge of Allegiance and an acknowledgement of God is at the heart of our founding principles and is our nation's motto. The district court ruling Eastern District of California's Newdow v. US Congress ruling seriously undermines our ability as a nation to encourage civic pride, respect for our heritage, and much needed patriotism in our public square.

Some people want America divided regardless what they say in public forum. The majority should rule regardless what the fringe of society would like.
DakotaKrafick

Con

Though unofficially, our original motto was "E Pluribus Unum" ("from many, one"). Our newer motto implies "from many theists, one" even though this country is made up of more than just theists.

My opponent states: "I agree with my OPP The phrase "under God" is dividing America but it is dividing because it has been removed."

How is the removal of a phrase that specifically excludes particular demographics "diving"? It could only be more uniting, unless some people were just getting offended, but you know... "there are plenty of things that might offend someone in America. Where do we draw the line? Point being we cannot please everyone all the time, so if we start including phrases like "under God" to not offend people, we'll have to include all sorts of phrases afterwards like "and Allah, Krishna, Buddha, Ra, Zeus, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc, etc, etc.""

The only way to be completely inclusive (and thus not dividing) is to either (1) make reference to ALL religious figures and then add a little something for atheists as well, or (2) make no reference to religions or lack thereof at all. The second option just seems the most practical to me to keep the Pledge succinct.
Debate Round No. 3
IveGotUrOuts

Pro

IveGotUrOuts forfeited this round.
DakotaKrafick

Con

Extend all arguments and refutations.
Debate Round No. 4
IveGotUrOuts

Pro

IveGotUrOuts forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
frozen_eclipse
i am extremely objective towards this resolution. I have a debate going on about oaths in court. We shouldnt have the oaths because we assume the person taking the oath is religious. But if there are not then by forcing people to take the oath, your forcing them to lie. Thus contradicting an oaths purpose. Also by adding under god. Your contradicting seperation of religion and state.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
IveGotUrOutsDakotaKrafickTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Double FF
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
IveGotUrOutsDakotaKrafickTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's entire case was an appeal to emotion and tradition. When Con counters by explaining that societal division would lessen by the removal of the phrase in question, Pro had no response. Conduct for Pro's forfeits.