The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
The Contender
mrdutch
Con (against)

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

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/21/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 393 times Debate No: 106056
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

kasmic

Pro

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

Please comment if you are interested in debating this topic.

72hrs/6,000 Characters/Select Winner/4 rounds

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Present case
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Overiew of debate/closing statement (No new arguements)

mrdutch

Con

I accept your debate and I would like to say in advance that you don't have to convince me of the odds of God actually existing are slim. You can obviously name it as an argument, you just don't have to focus on convincing me of the existence part.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

The phrase “under God” should be removed from the pledge of allegiance as it is a violation of the separation of church and state. Below I will present; a history of the pledge, a primer on the separation of church and state, and highlight how the phrases inclusion in the pledge constitutes a violation of this separation.

The Pledge

In its original form the pledge 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. 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. 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)

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."(2)

James Madison the 4th President of the United States said that "The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the church from the state." (3)

Jefferson and Madison 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.(4) The establishment clause found in the first amendment of the Constitution makes clear that the government is prohibited from making laws that directly infringe upon people’s freedom of religion. This includes forcefully imposing certain religious beliefs or practices upon people.

“Under God” Violates this Separation

When the President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law that added the phrase “under God” to the pledge he released a short statement. In which he states “
From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty.” (5) From this it is clear beyond contention that the addition of “under God” to the pledge is to be a practice explicitly intended to highlight and promote theism. It seems obvious that to “daily proclaim” dedication “to the Almighty” is to encourage performing a practice that demonstrates a belief in God.

Perhaps it will be said that no-one is forced to say the pledge and thus despite the religious meaning of the phrase it is permissible in the pledge as it is not forcefully imposed. Consider then that
“43 states have laws regarding requirements for student recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.” (6)

Conclusion

Clearly it is the case that many of these children are forcefully made to participate in a daily religious practice to demonstrate dedication to a God. This is direct infringement on the people’s freedom of religion and a violation of the separation of church and state.
To rectify the harm done, the phrase “Under God” should be removed from the pledge.

(1)
http://www.ushistory.org...
(2) http://www.loc.gov...
(3) http://www.azquotes.com...
(4) https://www.au.org...
(5) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu...
(6)
https://undergod.procon.org...
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by kasmic 9 months ago
kasmic
Only if he wants to commit the fallacy of relative privation.
Posted by Unitomic 9 months ago
Unitomic
I think Con's best argument is, "Oh my God, who the hell cares".
Posted by mrdutch 9 months ago
mrdutch
I would have loved to take you up on this. I think it's a terrible idea.
Posted by squonk 9 months ago
squonk
Well I agree with Pro.
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