Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why America Should Be Revised, Not the Pledge

"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.”  These words, also known as the United States Pledge of Allegiance, are often recited by schoolchildren and at important events, such as Presidential debates and sporting events.  And since these those words are spoken during important times and are seen as a statement which describes what it means to be an American, many citizens are challenging the pledge because it contains two words that some, like Gwen Wilde, do not believe in.  Gwen Wilde, the author of Why the Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Revised, is one of the few Americans protesting the Pledge because it contains the two words “under God”.  In her essay, Wilde states, “In my view, the addition of the words “under God” is inappropriate, and they are needlessly divisive- an odd addition indeed to a Nation that is said to be indivisible.”  (Wilde, 2008); but are these words “inappropriate” or “needlessly divisive?” On September 11, 2001, America was in state of panic and fear after four commercial planes were hijacked and three of them crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but the Pledge of Allegiance and prayers to God brought the nation together and was used as acts of patriotism.  Often, during times of fear, the thought of God is used to instill peace and the thought of safely.  The thought of removing the words that create peace and togetherness during times of fear for the argument of patriotism, just may be seen as unpatriotic by many Americans.
Wilde goes further on  to say that reciting the pledge should be something done from the heart, with full awareness and belief in the words (2008), but this cannot be done by the 20 or 30% of American citizens whom do not have any belief in God.  I agree with this argument, but on the other hand, I do disagree that the words “under God” should be removed in order to succumb to the small group that does not have any affiliation to Christianity.  This group of citizens, which are a part of the Land of the Free, has the freedom to refuse to recite “under God” and is not obligated to have a religious belief.  Wilde, on the other hand, does not agree with this.  She states that one who refuses to recite the Pledge, or even just the words “under God”, are looked upon as un-American and “under God” inserts a religious believe into being American (2008).  What the author has failed to understand, or just failed to show, is that America was built on the idea of God.

Gwen Wilde presented a good argument by saying Americans should say “under God” if they do not believe in that idea, but if the government changes the Pledge to satisfy that 20-30% of Americans who do not believe in God, then more Americans will begin to complain about laws they do not believe in.  Keeping God in the Pledge of Allegiance reminds everyone who hears and/or says it, that although some do not want to believe it, this was and still is a nation built and controlled by God.


Wilde, G. (2008).  Why the Pledge of Allegiance should be revised.In S. Barnet and H. Bedau. (Eds.) Current Issues and Enduring Questions. (pp. 15-17). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

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