The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
Winning
37 Points
The Contender
Alec_Rhodes
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

"Under God" should be removed from the Pledge of allegiance.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,107 times Debate No: 62790
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (181)
Votes (7)

 

kasmic

Pro

"Under God" should be removed from the Pledge of allegiance.

Text of the pledge:

"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."

Please comment if you are interested in debating this topic.
Alec_Rhodes

Con

I guess I'll accept this round. And you can start the argument.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

The phrase "under God" should be removed from the pledge of Allegiance.

Clarification: I am a Christian and have a strong believe in God. Because of this belief, I am a strong supporter of liberty, and the separation of church and state. Ergo despite and even perhaps because of my belief in God, I believe the phrase should be removed from the pledge.

A: History of the pledge of allegiance

"The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth's Companion on September 8, 1892.

In its original form it read:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
In 1923, the words, "the Flag of the United States of America" were added. At this time it read:

"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."

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God," creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Bellamy's daughter objected to this alteration. Today it reads:

"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."(1)

The phrase "under God" was not originally in the pledge. There is no historical case to be made that would justify keeping the phrase. The justification of adding the phrase under God includes the "threat of communism." The cold war has been over for more than 20 years. The justification used for adding the phrase is no longer a current concern.

B: Purpose of the Pledge

It seems obvious from the text of the pledge that its purpose is to promote unity as Americans. Hence, phrases like "one nation," and "indivisible." The phrase "Under God" in the pledge is not helping this purpose. Rather, it alienates and separates atheist Americans from theists Americans, causing a division. This is evident from the following links. (2)(3)

C:Patriotism

The pledge of allegiance is a way to outwardly express your patriotism. The phrase "under God" does not promote patriotism.

D: Who is saying it?

As an adult I have not had many opportunities to recite the pledge. However, as a child, the public schools I attended said it every day. It seems odd that atheists parents who"s kids are sent to public schools are made to participate in a pledge that includes God.(4)

E: Separation of Church and State

Thomas Jefferson, who is accredited with writing the Declaration of Independence and was the 3rd President of the United States, wrote the following to the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, 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."(5)

Jefferson clearly believed that the constitution solidified a separation of church and state with the first amendment phrase "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." An overwhelming majority of Americans agree with this interpretation.(6) With such a separation supposedly to exist, it is amazing that the phrase "under God" ever made its way into the pledge, let alone remain there.

Conclusion:

The phrase "under God" was not originally included in the pledge. The reasons for adding the phrase are no longer relevant or sufficient reason keep it included. A main purpose of the pledge is to promote unity, the phrase "under God" has the opposite effect. Another purpose of the pledge is to promote patriotism, the phrase "under God" does not fit in that context. Children all across the U.S. are made to participate in this pledge, perhaps against their, or their parents preference. The phrase is a breach of our separation of church and state. Due to these reasons the phrase should be removed for the pledge of allegiance.

(1) http://www.ushistory.org...
(2) http://www.christianpost.com...
(3) http://www.aleteia.org...
(4) http://undergod.procon.org...
(5) http://www.loc.gov...
(6) https://www.au.org...
Alec_Rhodes

Con

Good Lord! (Oops, can I say that?). This is a lot of information to chop through. So I'll go through the debate points, or letters in this case, one at a time. Everything in letter "A" is spot on. Good research and good history fact finding Pro. "B" is half right, and "C" is also spot on. "D" ties into my problem with "B", and "E" is also right on the money.

Now onto my problems with "B" and "D". Now Pro states in his intro that he is a "strong supporter of liberty". That is great! But ask yorself this: Is it easier to remove God from school, or to to include God in school? Now anyone who watches the news or looks at social media knows religion is under attack in schools. Even mentioning God in public universities can get you failed by a anti-religious teacher. Now separation of church and state is important. Keeps religious punishments like stoning out of our justice system. We all can agree that it's nessiary to overlook our religious differences to work together and solve problems. But few actually know what the United States Justice System is based on. On the entrance to our Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., there is a huge statue of a man. And in each of that man's arms is a stone tablet. Anyone know who this man is? It's Moses. In Moses's arms are the Ten Commandments. Now why is there a statue of Moses outside our Supreme Court? Because the United States Justice System is based on Judeo-Christian philosophy. This is the foundation for American Law. Phrases like "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness", "In God we trust" and "Do you solemnly swear to tell the the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God" tell the American citizen that religion played a major part in shaping our country. Even the devout atheist Thomas Jefferson said that Christianity had "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man." Now Jefferson is certainly not a religious man, but he understood that the philosophy of God had a huge role in the foundation of the United States. Now for God Himself. He promises us that those who follow Him will have everlasting life, and that all are welcome to follow Him and His teachings. But He does not force you to believe anything. It's your choice if you want to embrace Him. If not, fine. This is a direct link to freedom of and from religion. It's your choice if you want to believe, just as it's your choice to stand and recite His Name during the pledge. And what happens to those who force someone to stand during the pledge of alligence? They are ruthlessly attacked by both religious and atheist people alike, as they should be. God gives you the choice to follow, and 2,014 years later that choice is still here. And many Americans take advantage of that choice, as they should. Now this does cause division among the more extreme of both sides, and God tells those who choose to follow him "Love your neighbor as yourself, and forgive them if they hurt you. Turn the other cheek." (Btw, the "neighbor" part includes homosexuals, women who abort children and atheists people). Now if you love everyone (your neighbor) as yourself, then there will be no problems between Christians and atheists right? Well, no sadly. Atheists, parading under the flag of "separation of church and state", (which as explained before, came from the same man who thought Christanity had "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.") often try to erase God from everything in society. This includes American public schools. But to erase religion from the classroom, you also erase a crucial part of the foundation of America. If not Judeo-Christian philosophy, then what did our Founders base our Justice System on? No other country at the time had a justice system that operates like ours. The closest one is Great Britain, but they're a monarchy who's kings power had to be forcibly limited by the Magna Carta. But America chose elections over kings. George Washington, the father of this country, was even asked to be king. But old George knew that that would lead to disaster in the wrong hands. Imagine where America would be if presidents like Jackson, Johnson, Roosevelt, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Bush 1, Bush 2 and Obama were given unrestricted power over their citizens? (I say citizens and not constituents, because you are nothing in a regime like that). So George Washington looked at the man who asked him that and simply said "I didn't fight George III to become George I." Amen to that. And because of that one simple choice in history, 320 million Americans now have the choice to either stuff their fingers in their ears, or stand up and put their hand over their heart. A choice that is just as important as the choice God gave everybody. You can choose to believe or you can say this "God stuff isn't really my thing". And this is why Moses stands outside our Supreme Court, silently reminding us all of the key role Judeo-Christain philosophy played in the foundation of our country. A role that both Thomas Jefferson, an atheist, and George Washington, a God fearing man, both understood.

That should wrap it up. Both points were covered with a dash of history mixed into it. Sources can be found in front of the Supreme Court, in major news stories involving atheist and ACLU groups at public schools, The Bible itself and from authors of books about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Hope the readers learned something, or maybe some of you already knew this! Anyway I will see you all in the final round! And Pro, are we opening up new arguments, or giving a conclusion, or what? Thanks everyone and good luck in your individual debates!

-Alec R.
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Pro

Con says of my arguments

A: "is spot on"
B: "half right
C: "spot on"
D: "ties into my problem with B"
E: "right on the money"

Rebuttals:

Con asks the question "Is it easier to remove God from school, or to to include God in school?"

Being that the schools are public, meaning paid by tax dollars, and we should have a separation of church and state as con agreed, The question is not about which is easier, it should be which is consistent with our laws. That makes the question easy to answer. We should not include God in public schools funded by the state.

Con says "Now anyone who watches the news or looks at social media knows religion is under attack in schools. Even mentioning God in public universities can get you failed by a anti-religious teacher."

There is no war on religion. No war against people attending church. No war against people celebrating religious holidays. No war against reading scriptures. No war against someone praying. There is a desire to separate church and state as our law dictates. This idea of a war on religion is mythology.

Con says "But few actually know what the United States Justice System is based on. On the entrance to our Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., there is a huge statue of a man. And in each of that man's arms is a stone tablet. Anyone know who this man is? It's Moses. In Moses's arms are the Ten Commandments."

I will list the ten commandments
Forgive me as I am paraphrasing...

1: One God: 2: No bowing before Idols 3: not taking the Lords name in vain 4:Keep the Sabbath day holy 5: Honor your father and mother 6: No killing 7: No adultery 8: No Stealing 9: No bearing false witness 10: No coveting
Of these ten, numbers 6 and 8 are the only ones included in our law. Maybe 9 if we reach a little. These three are certainly not exclusively judeo Christian as they are laws that are found almost universally across the world.

Con says of Judeo Christianity "This is the foundation for American Law."

Not only is it obvious that we are not based of Christianity, many of the founders expressly stated that we are not.

John Adams "The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."(1)

Thomas Jefferson "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law."(1)

James Madison "The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the church from the state."(1)

Con says "Well, no sadly. Atheists, parading under the flag of "separation of church and state", (which as explained before, came from the same man who thought Christanity had "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.") often try to erase God from everything in society."

Again, I think it is clear that atheists and other Americans (like myself) are not trying to erase God from everything in society. However, there are those of us trying to keep church and state separate.

"you also erase a crucial part of the foundation of America. If not Judeo-Christian philosophy, then what did our Founders base our Justice System on?."

The United States is founding on principles of the Enlightenment period. This did involve some Christian ideologies, but it also included many who were not. One thing we know for sure". This nations founding principles include the of separation of church and state.

Conclusion:

As I concluded in round two "The phrase "under God" was not originally included in the pledge." The reasons for adding the phrase are no longer relevant or sufficient reason keep it included. A main purpose of the pledge is to promote unity, the phrase "under God" has the opposite effect. Another purpose of the pledge is to promote patriotism, the phrase "under God" does not fit in that context. Children all across the U.S. are made to participate in this pledge, perhaps against their, or their parents preference. The phrase is a breach of our separation of church and state. Due to these reasons the phrase should be removed for the pledge of allegiance."

Thanks for reading!
vote pro!
Alec_Rhodes

Con

Well I belive there is a war on Christmas and religion, but that subject can be debated later. But our justice system is based on the philosophy, not the religion. It had a tremendous role in helping establish our country. (Hints Moses outside the most important court room in America). Most of the 10 commandments are punishable (we're not talking across the world, since our justice system because of the Judeo-Christain philosophy) not only in the court room but also within the family. Honor your mother and father is a big one in the majority of American households. It ties in to do as your told, be respectful and don't lie. In the court room, killing, stealing, committing adultery and bearing false witness are some of the most highly punishable crimes in America that one can commit (coincidence?). So we are indeed based on the philosophy of God, while also being free from a Christain religion. Now the Founders are the greatest men America has ever seen. But Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were only two out of the seven Founding Fathers. Men like John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and George Washington all were religious men who believed that the Divine Providence would play a role in America and American law. Even Jefferson said (as stated above) that Christanity had "the most sublime and benovlant code of morals which has ever been offered to man." Jefferson, an athiest agreed with God's philosophy, though not believing in His existence. Jefferson agreed with Jesus's message of love, tolerance, forgiveness and redemption, but did not believe in His existence. Most athiest would agree on the message of God, even if they don't t believe in Him. One of those athiests would be James Madison who once said "If the public homage of a people can ever be worthy the favorable regard of the Holy and Omniscient Being to whom it is addressed, it must be that in which those who join in it are guided only by their free choice, by the impulse of their hearts and the dictates of their consciences; and such a spectacle must be interesting to all Christian nations as proving that religion, that gift of Heaven for the good of man, freed from all coercive edicts, from that unhallowed connection with the powers of this world which corrupts religion into an instrument or an usurper of the policy of the state...Upon these principles and with these views the good people of the United States are invited, in conformity with the resolution aforesaid, to dedicate the day above named to the religious solemnities therein recommended." Call me crazy but it seems that Madison claims "these principles" are proper for Christian nations to conform to. Freedom of Conscience is what he is referring to, while comparing us with all Christian nations, to what common sense dictates, we must be a Christian nation. Common sense asks why would Madison compare us with a Christian nation if he did not believe we were such, because he, like Jefferson was an atheist. Well, James Madison believed the context of the First Amendment, as the other Founding Fathers believed, that freedom of conscience was granted to all, and a Christian denomination was the only sect that could not be established by the Federal Government. Notice the correct context for the First Amendment by the Father of the Bill of Rights: "All men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others." James Madison agreed with this context as did the other framers. If Madison was a athiest at this time, it's odd that he would tell Christians we were a Christian nation. Perhaps he was more open minded to the idea of God than Thomas Jefferson was. James Madison never straight out said "I believe in God!", but his words and way of thinking leave many today wondering if deep down he was a religious man. It's more likely he was confused about Christianity, never having studying about it as a boy, and possibly learning about it from his fellow Founders, one of whom was a close friend: Thomas Jefferson. And as for John Adams, he once wrote in his personal journal: "Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God ... What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be." Adams didn't believe that the United States was founded on the Christian religion, but he was indeed supportive of it. And since the United States foundation is based on Judeo Christian philosophy, all three of these men got what they wanted. Adams got his wish of the United States Justice System following the majority of God's Ten Commandments, Jefferson was able to use Judeo-Christian philosophy to prove that no one is forced to believe in God, and Madison showed what could be accomplished if people were willing to open their minds to different ideas and beliefs. So over 200 years later, a child in an American public school can use Thomas Jefferson, and God ironically, to say "I don't want to believe in God!" You can take God out of school, but American kids deserve to know about the men, and ultimately the philosophy that helped shape our country. And to know this information, you have to include all aspects of our founding, including God. Not even Thomas Jefferson would say no to banning parts of history (particularly those that include him). Religious topics today do divide people, but isn't our differences what make us stronger? The Founders 200 years ago thought so, as did Jesus over 1,000 years before them. But ignoring our history and banning different ideas divides us beyond repair
Debate Round No. 3
181 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Child porn should be legal
Posted by TheodoretheMan 2 years ago
TheodoretheMan
*constitution
Posted by TheodoretheMan 2 years ago
TheodoretheMan
I'm sorry to be so ad hominem, but GROW SOME BALLS! If you get offended by 'under God' go to some other country. This country was founded on the bible and without that nugget of fact, yes FACT, where would we be? Ask yourself that! But kasmic nothing against you, just the people who get so offended by under God. You are also SO right about how the consist upsilon is alway being edited. I just posted at you comment and whispered "so true..."
Posted by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
Orcasmic should be pro's el namo.
Posted by GoOrDin 2 years ago
GoOrDin
If you removed "under God" from the allegiance, then you would not be pleading an allegiance, because you would be suggesting you will forfeit that allegiance when it is self benefiting.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
what a waste of his time, and annoying.
Posted by carriead20 2 years ago
carriead20
Stalin is spamming that in every debate, forum, poll, and making a lot of debates with that title.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
What just happened??
Posted by STALIN 2 years ago
STALIN
SEX: GIRL OR BOY AND ALSO MEAN GENDER who tell me this huh?
Posted by STALIN 2 years ago
STALIN
SEX: GIRL OR BOY AND ALSO MEAN GENDER who tell me this huh?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by carriead20 2 years ago
carriead20
kasmicAlec_RhodesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had way better arguments.
Vote Placed by debate_power 2 years ago
debate_power
kasmicAlec_RhodesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The thing that stood out to me the most was the ease of Pro's arguments on the eyes. Not the sole reason I voted for him, however. For instance, Con cited no sources.
Vote Placed by Commondebator 2 years ago
Commondebator
kasmicAlec_RhodesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I am giving spelling and grammar to pro, because con's paragraph was way too hard to read. Con gave no sources towards he's statement that America is found under purely a christian nation. In round three, neither sides gave sources but pro gave he's source in round 2. Con was rude towards atheists, and I believe he was being rude to various parties by stating "(Btw, the "neighbor" part includes homosexuals, women who abort children and atheists people)" I believe he was implying that those groups are inferior to other people, because he had to specifically state that it includes those groups as well. Pro made excellent arguments, and attacked con thoroughly on how the pledge is irrelevant. I believe con went off topic in some areas.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
kasmicAlec_RhodesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both made excellent arguments, but I noticed con had no sources, thus his arguments were too opinionated and couldn't stand against pro's facts supported by sources. Also, con's last round MASSIVE paragraph was insanely hard to read, so I give conduct to pro.
Vote Placed by SNP1 2 years ago
SNP1
kasmicAlec_RhodesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I am giving spelling and grammar to pro because of con's wall of text being hard to read through. Paragraphs. I am giving arguments to Pro because his arguments were more objective while con's were more subjective in nature. Last, sources go to pro for using them, and using pretty good ones.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
kasmicAlec_RhodesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Ameliamk1 2 years ago
Ameliamk1
kasmicAlec_RhodesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Ultimately, Con failed to rebut Pro's constitutional and legal argument, and also failed to provide any evidence or reason to think Judeo-Christianity played a sizable role in the founding of the US, going so far as to claim that secularism was derived from Christianity. Pro wins.