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

The United States should remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/1/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 895 times Debate No: 109964
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
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Resolved: The United States should remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

This debate is the first round of Bsh1's DDOlympics Tournament. If Supa would like to add any definitions or change rules or structure, he can PM/comment on the debate and I will update it to reflect his requests.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Constructive (No rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Case Defense/Closing Arguments

Useful documents:

Pledge of Allegiance
"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."

First Amendment
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


1. No new arguments in the final round.

2. No kritiks of the resolution.

3. No counterplans.

4. No trolling.

5. No semantics.

6. No forfeits.

7. BoP is shared, resolution must be looked at on balance.

If any of these rules are violated the offender loses the debate.

Thank you and good luck, may the best debater win!


I agree to the conditions provided
Debate Round No. 1


I’d like to thank Supa for this debate. Conveniently enough, both of us had interest in this topic, and preferred opposite sides.

I. Intro

This debate will likely center around proving whether the clause “under God” conflicts with the First Amendment and the impact of such conflicts. In order to win the debate, Con prove one of two things: 1. There is no conflict with the First Amendment OR 2. There is a conflict, but the inclusion of the phrase “under God” is harmless, AND that there are actual benefits from its inclusion. Pro must prove the opposite: 1. There is a conflict OR 2. There is no conflict, but there are benefits from discluding it.There are alternate paths to victory, but the debate should likely follow one of those four.

II. “Under God” violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

The First Amendment begins

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

The “under god” clause in The Pledge of Allegiance creates three major conflicts with this.

A. There is a clear bias toward religion over non-religion.The First Amendment does not specify establishment of any single religion, but rather the establishment of religion as a whole. This allows the protection of atheism by barring preference to theism. By asserting that we are a nation “under God” the Pledge clearly establishes a connection between religion and the United States government.

B. The clause prefers monotheistic religions to polytheistic religions.The specifics of “under God” are really important here. By using the singular and capitalized “God” instead of a more inclusive term, the Pledge clearly discriminates against religions such as Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism, and various Native American religions, among many others. The clause implies that there is one and only one god.

C. “Under God” was included due to Eisenhower’s Presbyterian beliefs.At the time the addition was proposed, Eisenhower had recently attended a religious service, in which the pastor referenced Lincoln’s use of “under God” in a speech as the differentiator between the United States and other nations. The next day, he encouraged a congressman to re-introduce the bill that added “under God” to the Pledge. [1] Clearly, the Presbyterian influences indicate a specific religious objective for this particular clause.

The issue at hand in all three premises is an explicit violation of the establishment clause in the First Amendment. By making the assertion that God exists, only one god exists, and deriving this assertion from a specific sect of Christianity, the clause “under God” is incredibly exclusive. But the issue isn’t just this one phrase. The use of “under God” is a symptom of a larger illness where religion is intertwined with American government. Countless statehouses display the Ten Commandments. Our national motto is “In God We Trust.” Recently, our president reinforced belief in God as important to American ideals, saying: “As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will never fail.” [2] Our government’s obsession with Christianity stands in stark contrast to the establishment clause.

The impact here is the hindrance of religious freedom, and in turn, democracy. According to The J. Reuben Clark Law Society, religious freedom and democracy go hand in hand. [3] Removing “under God” from the Pledge will serve as a catalyst to removing other religious symbolism from our government, and in turn, strengthening our democracy. This gives individuals more power over their everyday lives.

III. The “under God” clause obstructs free political speech.

When the “under God” clause was conceived, we were in the midst of the Cold War. Eisenhower was looking for a way to promote American exceptionalism, and the “under God” clause was one vessel he used to reach this goal. [1] The clause equivocated atheism to communism, and is a thinly veiled attempt to disparage each. We’ve already examined why freedom of religion is important, so now we’re going to focus on political speech.

Freedom of speech is a catalyst for economic development, according to US News. This is because free exchange and critiques of ideas facilitates improvement of those same ideas. [4] This is proven by the high centralization of knowledge spillovers. The Oxford Quarterly Journal of Economics found that patents were largely centralized around the area issuing the patent. [5] From this, we can conclude that free speech is invaluable to creation of new ideas and inventions.

To the same effect, free speech is imperative for a healthy democracy. In the same way free speech spreads innovation, permeation of political ideologies are expedited by free thought. The same principles apply; by allowing people to freely discuss issues, we become more informed and educated. According to the National Communication Association, open expression via spoken word in the classroom is being utilized to encourage civic activism in young people. [6] Following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, students banded together to promote gun reform. They were able to push even Marco Rubio to support moderate gun control legislation. [7] These, among many other examples, show how freedom of speech allows us to disseminate ideas and affect government policies.

As a constraint on free political speech, the clause “under God” doubles as a constraint on our economy and our political process. By taking action and removing this unnecessary and harmful clause, we will be taking a step toward a stronger economy and democracy.

IV. Conclusion

Clearly, “under God” is harmful to modern American society. In order to make progress with regard to religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and economic improvement, we must affirm the resolution. Thank you.

V. Sources

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by anc2006 1 year ago
I think no. This is like removing the biggest religion in the world and how is that?
Posted by bsh7000 3 years ago
Supa's forfeit means Warren is advanced.
Posted by bsh7000 3 years ago
Cool beans. Lemme know when this finishes.
Posted by warren42 3 years ago
Yeah first round is acceptance. Let me know if you have any other things you'd like to add to the rules, definitions you wanna add, etc. Accept whenever you're ready.
Posted by SupaDudz 3 years ago
Hello Hello

Are we starting with acceptance first? If so, cool

I am looking to be free on March 5th, Monday. I'll let you know if schedule opens.
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