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NEW HEADING 1
The phrase "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance is a highly debated topic
May 12, 2014James F Byrnes Freshman Academy
In 1892 the Pledge of Allegiance was written for a magazine contest. It read, “I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
In 1942 the Pledge became part of the U.S. Flag Code and in 1954, President Eisenhower and Congress added the phrase “under God” into the Pledge.
Supporters of the line “under God” being in the Pledge argue that the United States was founded on Christian beliefs. At least 80% of Americans support the phrase and say the phrase reflects America’s history. They also argue that U.S. currency, state constitutions, and federal laws already show references to God.
“I think the phrase ‘under God’ should stay in the Pledge of Allegiance because it would confuse people to suddenly change I,t especially since they have been saying it that way since preschool,” said Kinsley Burke, student at Byrnes Freshman Academy (BFA).
Challengers of the line argue back by saying that the Founding Fathers intended for church and state to be kept strictly separate, and that boundary should be followed by contemporary citizens. They contend that by using the religious phrase “under God,” the Pledge is violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment forbids the government from founding any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This passage states that the government may not institute an official religion for the nation or favor one religion over another.
“I think it should be removed because what if some people do not believe in Him? If some people have to say it but they don’t believe in Him, its borderline disrespectful to force them to say it. Even if they just sit down and don’t say it, like they are permitted to do, they still get shamed by other classmates,” said Noel Wylie, student at BFA.
Jennie Scott, English teacher at BFA, offered her opinion on the matter, “I absolutely do not think it should be removed because of the history for this nation. The Founding Fathers came to this nation so anyone of any religious practice would not be discriminated against.
“Whether you are a Christian or not there should not be any kind of state prosecution against your religion. If it were any other religion, it would be considered discriminating and there would be an outcry,” she finished.