Why we should keep 'under God' in the pledge

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Note: Holly Hoernig is an eighth-grader at Kelly Middle School. This essay was part of an assignment in the school's social studies class.

The amendments being debated here are Amendments I and II.

Amendment I says that people have freedom of speech and can say whatever they please without ruining someone's reputation. Amendment II says that we all can have freedom of religion. So we can go to any church we want, or no church at all.

I think that this relates to one issue in particular. This issue would be taking "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

In August of 1892, a Baptist minister named Francis Bellamy wrote the original Pledge of Allegiance. His original pledge was worded: "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic, for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Notice that the pledge did not have the words "under God." Actually the words "under God" were added by the U.S. Congress after the Knights of Columbus held a campaign to add those words to the pledge.

Even if "under God" were added later, I still think it should stay.

This nation has a very strong Christian heritage in its formation and growth. Even early Christians believed in God and his providences. Also, almost all of the delegates to the Declaration of Independence had a strong belief in God. One of the main reasons early settlers came to this country was to escape religious persecution. Religious freedom is being able to acknowledge God and what he has done in our lives.

Our religious heritage continues into the present time. Recent polls show that the majority of Americans believe in God. Most of these polls show that 80 to 90 percent or more of Americans believe in God in one form or another. The pledge does not say "under the Christian God" or "under the Hindu God" or even "under the Muslim God."

The simple statement recognizes the importance of God to most Americans. The fact that it just refers to God in general terms is offensive to few.

This country was founded on the principles of self-determination and majority rule. Since most Americans believe in keeping "under God" in the pledge, I think it should stay that way.

The latest version of the Pledge of Allegiance goes like this:

"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."

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