The Instigator
The_Immortal_Emris
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
labarum
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

"Under God" should remain in the pledge, for the sake of tradition

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
The_Immortal_Emris
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 721 times Debate No: 59440
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

The_Immortal_Emris

Con

Labarum suggests the phrase "Under God" should be left in the pledge of allegiance, for the sake of tradition.

I will argue con.

First round is for acceptance only, please.
labarum

Pro

Truly, I do not see any benefit in removing it. But if you would like to debate sure.
Debate Round No. 1
The_Immortal_Emris

Con

Introduction:

First and foremost, thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate. I look forward to hearing their positions and arguments.

Pro has asserted the term "Under God" should remain in the US Pledge of Allegiance for the sake of tradition.

First we must establish a definition for tradition -

tra"di"tion noun \trə-G2;di-shən: a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time

I argue that less than a century is not nearly enough time to declare something a "tradition"

1. The Roots of the "tradition":

The pledge was authored in 1859 by an ordained minister, Francis Julius Bellamy. The original text in question read:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The traditional pledge never contained the term "Under God", therefore the phrase cannot be considered traditional.

Francis Julius Bellamy was a noted socialist thinker, a proponent of secular public education, and a tremendous theologian who understood that a government endorsement is not needed for those who are secure in their faith.

'Francis Bellamy protested even the addition of "the United States of America" on Flag Day in 1924, believing the pledge as he wrote it did not need changing. "If he didn't want 'the United States of America' in the pledge, he wouldn't have wanted 'under God,"' his grandson Scott Bellamy told The Commercial Appeal of Memphis.'

SOURCE: http://www.sullivan-county.com...

SOURCE on Bellamy's socialist leanings: http://www.oldtimeislands.org...

2. The motivation behind the addition of "Under God" was entirely based on fear, not faith.

In 1942 - The pledge is recognized by the U.S. government as it was originally written (save for a change from Republic to The United States of America, a change the Bellamy estate resisted).

The red scare is the only reason "Under God" exists in the pledge. Communism was falsely perceived to be a secular threat, which caused Eisenhower to encourage the addition of "Under God" to the pledge in 1954. In part due to pressures from radical social groups such as the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Catholic group Knights of Columbus.

Rev. George Docherty (1911 - 2008) preached a sermon that was attended by President Eisenhower and the national press corps on 1954-FEB-7. His sermon said in part:

"Apart from the mention of the phrase 'the United States of America,' it could be the pledge of any republic. In fact, I could hear little Muscovites repeat a similar pledge to their hammer-and-sickle flag in Moscow."

This sermon had the desired effect of imparting fear upon Eisenhower. Three days later, Senator Homer Ferguson, (R-MI), sponsored a bill to add God to the Pledge. It was approved as a joint resolution 1954-JUN-8. It was signed into law on Flag Day, JUN-14.

President Eisenhower said at the time:

"From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."

A clear violation of the Separation clause.

The true tradition would be to say the pledge without the phrase or the additions added after it's adoption.

SOURCE: http://www.ushistory.org...
SOURCE: http://www.smithsonianmag.com...
SOURCE: http://www.religioustolerance.org...

3. The Separation Clause:

The pledge is a clear violation of the separation clause. The phrase "Under God" has been the ongoing subject of much controversy and legal bickering, however a constitutional purist must acknowledge it is in violation.

"As for purpose, the government conceded what the 1954 act's legislative history makes plain: Congress added the words "under God," at the height of the Cold War and McCarthyism, to reaffirm the core difference between American society and "atheistic communism." As President Eisenhower explained during the act's signing ceremony, daily recitation of the Pledge was intended to proclaim "the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty."

The government nevertheless argued in Newdow that the Pledge as a whole had a secular purpose because it was primarily a patriotic observance, not a religious one. The 9th Circuit's rejection of this argument is strongly supported by the Supreme Court's reasoning in Wallace v. Jaffree (1985). Wallace involved an Alabama statute that originally mandated a daily minute of silence in schools for "meditation." The Alabama legislature then amended the law to read, for "meditation or voluntary prayer." The Supreme Court found that the amended statute violated the Establishment Clause, emphasizing that the legislature's sole motive in changing the statute was to add a reference to prayer. Similarly the 9th Circuit stressed that, although the Pledge was not unconstitutional across the board, inclusion of the words "under God" had been added to advance religion and thus made it unconstitutional."

SOURCE: http://www.berkeley.edu...
SOURCE: http://undergod.procon.org...
labarum

Pro

labarum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
The_Immortal_Emris

Con

Since my opponent has forfeited the round, I feel there is nothing more for me to add.

Please vote Con!
labarum

Pro

labarum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
The_Immortal_Emris

Con

Pro has again forfeited their round.

With no counter argument provided, please vote Con!
labarum

Pro

labarum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by The_Immortal_Emris 2 years ago
The_Immortal_Emris
word, my friend.
Posted by Sfaulkner 2 years ago
Sfaulkner
I pledge my allegiance to my country, not someone else's god. We are a free nation, not a Christian one.
Posted by The_Immortal_Emris 2 years ago
The_Immortal_Emris
We will argue these points in the debate. No need to hash it out in the comments section.
Posted by labarum 2 years ago
labarum
it's sixty years old and known by heart to all Americans... yeah its tradition.
Posted by Free_Th1nker 2 years ago
Free_Th1nker
It's not tradition. That part of the pledge was added in 1954.
Posted by labarum 2 years ago
labarum
granted I am a religious nut, but I recognize that not all of the country is Christian ( although quite a bit) So I try and argue in a secular manner.
Posted by The_Immortal_Emris 2 years ago
The_Immortal_Emris
I disagree, as it is a very big deal to me.

But I'm glad you were willing to take the debate, even if it's not overly important to you.

You, at least, had an actual reason for your position rather than blind religious fervor, and I appreciated that.

I wanted to explore your rationalization further, without getting called a heathen and a hellspawn by the more vehement religious folks on DBO.

You seemed like the kind of person who wouldn't drag useless theological or morally subjective religious positions into the debate, since you based your objection on logical grounds. :)
Posted by labarum 2 years ago
labarum
I don't mind, to be honest I only begrudgingly accepted. I really don't think its as big a deal as every one makes it out to be.
Posted by The_Immortal_Emris 2 years ago
The_Immortal_Emris
Thank you for accepting this debate, Labarum.

I hope you don't mind if I am unable to offer my second round until later in the afternoon.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
The_Immortal_EmrislabarumTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
The_Immortal_EmrislabarumTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't even present a real case, they thus don't fulfill BOP. they lose arguments and conduct due to it.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
The_Immortal_EmrislabarumTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Welp, that was easy to judge. Con actually presented a case. Pro did not. Conduct for the forfeits. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.