The Instigator
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
AustinChase888
Con (against)
Losing
14 Points

The Phrase "Under God" Should be taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,761 times Debate No: 6267
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (85)
Votes (6)

 

TheSkeptic

Pro

"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."

On February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.)[1] made a bill into effect with the phrase "under God". I contend that this phrase is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and therefore should be taken out.

There is a strong wall between state and religion[2], and this phrase certainly violates it. Because the phrase "under God" implies a monotheistic religion, this is skewed against:
-->Deists (a belief in a God that doesn't interact with the universe)[3]
-->Polytheists (belief in many gods)[4]
-->Atheists(no belief in a deity)[5]

This is why the phrase "under God" should be taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I will await my opponent's response.

---References---
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://www.deism.com...
4. http://www.polytheism.net...
5. http://www.atheists.org...
AustinChase888

Con

The statement one nation under god reflects a very basic and very fair statement. It doesn't really refer to the United States as a religious nation it is simply pointing out the role that the belief in god had in the foundation of the country. The man who decide on this wording for the pledge were deist meaning they believed in god and that belief affected those who founded the country. Religious freedom and the ability to believe in one generic god was greatly appreciated in comparison to back England where if they had, had a say in the matter it would have said one nation under Jesus Christ. The reference to god in the pledge is more of a patriotic way to show their is religious freedom in the country instead of one state religion.
Debate Round No. 1
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and I hope we have a great time!

=====Counterarguments=====

"It doesn't really refer to the United States as a religious nation it is simply pointing out the role that the belief in god had in the foundation of the country."

----> Untrue. The pledge of allegiance isn't some historical document or phrase (though of course it was made a long time ago). We still recite TO THIS DAY, it's the UNITED STATES PLEDGE. A pledge isn't a historical document; it's a pledge that should remain fair and balanced towards all the inhabitants of the country.

"The man who decide on this wording for the pledge were deist meaning they believed in god and that belief affected those who founded the country.".

----> If you mean the man who created the pledge (without the under God phrase), it was Francis Bellamy [1]. He was a theist, not a deist (you got the definition of deist wrong, so you probably mean theist). In fact, he himself wouldn't mind if the phrase "under God" was taken out[2].

"Religious freedom and the ability to believe in one generic god was greatly appreciated in comparison to back England where if they had, had a say in the matter it would have said one nation under Jesus Christ."

----> Not relevant to the topic. Even if this was the original point of the pledge, it doesn't mean that it should remain the same. Saying so would be committing the genetic fallacy [3].

"The reference to god in the pledge is more of a patriotic way to show their is religious freedom in the country instead of one state religion."

----> I am not saying it's advocating a state religion, but how is it celebrating religious freedom in a patriotic way? By saying "we are one nation under God", it leaves out those who are NOT monotheistic! If you really want to praise the religious freedom of our nation, why not change the pledge to "one nation with religious freedom"? Of course, you can make the fancy diction later.

=====Conclusion=====

The "under God" phrase was put in during the McCarthy era and communism scare [4]- a time when "atheist" was synonymous with "Communist". This of course is NOT true - you don't have to be a Communist to be an atheist. Sure, many communists were atheists, but many atheists WEREN'T communists. "Under God" should be taken out because it trespasses the wall of separation between church and state.

---References---
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.sullivan-county.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.religioustolerance.org...
AustinChase888

Con

AustinChase888 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
TheSkeptic

Pro

Ah man, my opponent forfeited. Which means this debate won't appear on the homepage when it's done. Which means it will get little to no views. Which means simple vote-bombing will prevail. NOOOOOO!!!!

My argument are unrefuted, so extend them to this round.
AustinChase888

Con

AustinChase888 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
85 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
"People can still say it all they want." We shall see won't we. Our lord and master big gov't has the final say not the people.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject or a citizen to his/her state or sovereign."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

" 1. Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty, as to a nation, sovereign, or cause. See synonyms at fidelity.
2. The obligations of a vassal to a lord."

http://www.answers.com...

Now, obviously, it's not a pledge to the cause of "liberty and justice," it's made in schools funded by stolen money, schools which innocent students are forced to go to. That leaves only the nation or sovereign. A pledge to the state, or to the electorate which determines the state, there is very little difference.

Maybe most kids don't spend much time with a dictionary, I don't know, but I liked to look up words if I was to be required to say them. It was several years before I ever knew that the Pledge of Allegiance was not legally requirable, I'd had several teachers tell me otherwise (making it, in practice, required, though illegally). It's quite likely this is not unusual. The first one that didn't told me the only exception was for noncitizen students, so it was a few more before I learned I had any legal power to not say the Pledge.

And either way, a state endorsement is a state endorsement, it's that I'd seek to eradicate for the Pledge-- not necessarily any particular phrase. People want to choose themselves a master, far be it from me to stop them.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"Mandated salutes to the flag are illegal..."

That's not the intent of the pledge, that's just a constitutional accident that Bellamy overlooked.

"Besides - no kids think they're pledging to the government."

Really? When I was in elementary school, it seemed quite clear to me what the pledge meant, and it was that... before I started having a problem with it that is.

"The argument is to mandate that no one be allowed to."
What are you, crazy? The argument is to remove Congress's (and public schools') official endorsement of the Pledge, or, in this particular debate, to remove it's endorsement of the words "Under God." People can still say it all they want. Lol.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
No body makes anyone say the pledge of allegiance. You can remain silent and not participate. The argument is to mandate that no one be allowed to.
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
No surprise why I voted Pro.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Mandated salutes to the flag are illegal... Barnette overturned Gobitis in 1943... one of the fastest overturns of a case rule ever...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

No mandatory salutes. Can't mandate obedience to the state. Besides - no kids think they're pledging to the government. At least, I hope not.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Um... you say the pledge in STATE FUNDED SCHOOLS, by declaration of CONGRESS.

And it was written by someone whose explicit purpose was to inculcate OBEDIENCE TO THE STATE, in the name, not of the actual ideals upon which this republic was founded, but of SOCIALISM.

Quit the revisionism about what it means and listen to the person who WROTE IT.

Lol.
Posted by Puck 8 years ago
Puck
terpconnect.umd.edu/~hannahk/bulletin.pdf

That appears to be the study in question.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
"You weren't taught well enough, or you'd throw away the pledge of allegiance, which demands that you give your full allegiance to that government."

o.0

No - the Pledge is to the Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands. That means that if the government becomes tyrannical, we have an obligation of allegiance to the NATION to restore the government to one that promotes liberty and justice for all. The pledge does not render an obligation to the government.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
Could you give me a link to the actual study instead of what this person wants me to think it says. As I can see a disclaimer is in place for this article. Why would their be a disclaimer? Are they not sure of their findings and don't have sufficient evidence to back their claims. My link is from a very well respected and prominent psychologist who meets the highest level of standards and uses his own words. Plus his study cost the taxpayer nothing. This study cost 1.2 million and has a disclaimer. Sounds like a typical liberal study to me, Horribly expensive with no conclusive findings.
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