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Should we have "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? Show more Show less
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In a nation built on freedom, debate has surrounded the phrase "under God" in The Pledge of Allegiance for decades. Does the phrase alienate all those who are not of Christian faith? Or is it simply the continuance of a long-standing tradition?

We should have "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance Show more Show less

Allowing the phrase to stay in the Pledge of Allegiance is more of a superficial choice rather than an attack on religious freedom.
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It violates religious freedom to remove 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance

Removing the phrase would discriminate against Christians.

Context

In the Bill of Rights (adopted in 1791), the First Amendment grants freedom of religion.[1]

The Argument

If the phrase "under God" was to be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, then that would result in a violation of religious freedom. Since the addition of "under God" was in reference to Christianity, removing the phrase would be discrimination against Christians, thus a violation of the First Amendment. In addition, "under God" could be in reference to many different religions. As there is a God figure in every religion. A God is "the being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped (as in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism) as creator and ruler of the universe."[2] Therefore it is discriminating against any religion that has a god or deity figure.

Counter arguments

The phrase "under God" shouldn't have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance in the first place. It favors Christianity over other religions. For an individual who is an atheist, it is insulting to ask them to say the words "Under God" as they do not believe in the existence of a God-like figure. In addition, Jehovah's Witnesses though they do believe in a God do not believe in pledging to any symbol or object. Therefore, it is a violation of their religious freedom to force them to say those words. It is not a violation of religious freedom to leave out "under God", because people can still choose to say the phrase if they prefer. As much as people have the right to express their religion by saying "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, they also have the right not to say it as well.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The First Amendment ensures freedom of religion. [P2] The phrase "under God" is a referral to Christianity. [P3] Removing the phrase would discriminate against Christianity. [P4] Discriminating against a religion violates the First Amendment.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] Allowing the phrase to stay discriminates against other religions.

References

  1. https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god
This page was last edited on Saturday, 1 Aug 2020 at 01:53 UTC

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