“Under God” Should Be Removed From The Pledge

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.” This sentence is very recognizable, as it is said every morning in most schools across the country. The pledge of allegiance, first known as “My pledge of allegiance,” is a statement of allegiance and loyalty to the US. However, one of its few lines has gotten a lot of controversy over the years. This line is nothing but two words… “Under God.”

The pledge of allegiance was written in 1892, however it was officially recognized in 1942 by president Eisenhower. The saying “Under God” was added on Flag Day of 1954, making it the most recent change of words in the pledge. “Under God’ has caused a lot of controversy, many people saying that it is unconstitutional. An example of this is the New Jersey case of 2014. During this case, the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit against the Matawan- Aberdeen Regional School District concerning those two words. This organization and a family living in the school district were not successful as the lawsuit was rejected by the judge, taking the school district’s side. The school district stated that it was just following the state laws, and not forcing anyone to say the pledge. Another important case filed about this issue is the Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow case of 2004. In this case, a man filed a lawsuit against his daughter’s school district saying the pledge of allegiance went against the first amendment. The charge was once again dropped, due to the fact that Mr. Newdow did not have sufficient custody of his daughter. Throughout all of the legal challenges targeting Under God, it has still managed to stay in the pledge. 

Charley Paratore, a sophomore at Robinson, has some strong thoughts about this topic. Paratore said she  “almost never,” stands for the pledge because she doesn’t agree with religion being a part of the pledge. She agrees that these words go against the first amendment, and that “no one should be forced to stand for the Pledge.” Paratore also said that the US is doing things, such as this, that many strict countries do. She is saying that countries that have dictatorships and things other than democracies tend to do things such as forcing and taking a bias towards a religion or way of life. The United States government identifies as a democracy, and Paratore and many other people believe it should stay that way. 

The phrase “Under God,” should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. The first amendment of the Bill of Rights states that every American citizen has the right to practice their religion and independently have their own religious beliefs. Based on the idea of the separation of the church and state, the government should not enforce or be biased to any religion. Schools should be a safe space for people of all religions and cultures, not depending on what they believe in or how many Gods, if any Gods at all, think exist. Continuing to enforce the Pledge as it contains these two words violates the idea of religious freedom and acceptance of all religions. No matter if students stand or sit for the Pledge, one should be able to feel comfortable in a country that accepts all religions and doesn’t enforce them.