The Instigator
Eve13
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
voltairelines
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

"Under God" should be in the pledge of alligiance

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
voltairelines
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,125 times Debate No: 28925
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Eve13

Pro

Hey I saw how your debate on this didn't get done, but I'm totally willing to challenge you on it!
voltairelines

Con

Thanks so much, I'd love to do this with you.
Same rules? Or do you have the BoP since the resolution is like that?
Message me or post it in your argument.
Debate Round No. 1
Eve13

Pro

Eve13 forfeited this round.
voltairelines

Con

Since you're affirming the resolution, I'll let you give your argument in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Eve13

Pro

Eve13 forfeited this round.
voltairelines

Con

May as well say what I said in the other debate on the matter.

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...;
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Eve13voltairelinesTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited. Also, I feel bad for Con; wish I could think of a decent Pro case, just so he can actually debate instead of getting accidents and forfeits.