Under whatever

Students at a Colorado middle school were startled when a guidance counselor led a slightly altered version of the Pledge of Allegiance over the intercom.

“One nation, under ‘your belief system.’ ”

It turns out that students and parents at Everitt Middle School in Jefferson County believe the pledge should be recited without modification.

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Comments

  1. “Lucero said she didn’t intend to be offensive but rather wanted to mark the sixth anniversary of the Columbine High School slayings by evoking a sense of tolerance.”

    Am I missing something here? A guidance counselor spontaneously omits “under God” and inserts “under your belief system” and it’s supposed to have something to do with preventing future Combines. Maybe Michael Moore could explain it.

  2. cowboylogic says:

    Wouldn’t this be offensive to the nihlist

  3. Steve LaBonne says:

    “Under God” is a 1950s McCarthyite interpolation in the original text, therefore reciting the Pledge “without modifications” would mean omitting any version of that clause.

  4. Why not just “one nation”, with no mention of gods, belief systems, or divisive superstitions? That seems sufficient. Believe what you want on your own time.

  5. Beeman, what you describe IS the original pledge. “Under God” was inserted in the 1950s as a reaction to so-called “godless Communism.”

    Personally, I support going back to the original pledge.

  6. Richard Nieporent says:

    Actually, this was the 4th change to the
    pledge. The original pledge was written by a Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy, who was a Christian Socialist. The pledge was written for the 1892 Columbia Day celebration, the 400 anniversary of the discovery of America. The last change (which added under God) occurred in 1954 during the administration of Dwight Eisenhower after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus. President Eisenhower stated the following after signing the change into law: “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

    While I understand why some people disagree with the addition of under God to the Pledge, I wonder why they react so strongly to it. The use of the term God is about as generic a reference to religion as you can get. It is not as if they are being forced to believe in a religion. Unfortunately, for some people there is no tolerance of a point of view that differs from their own.

  7. Richard –

    Didn’t know that. (You learn something new every day.)

    The reason I support taking under God out of the Pledge is mainly that we won the Cold War. If people remembered that victory when they said it, that would be one things, but since it’s become a point of (rather trivial) contention, I think it ought to be removed.

    There’s also the fact that the Pledge just flows better to my ear without it. (A completely subjective judgement, I know, but still part of my reasoning.)

  8. “The use of the term God is about as generic a reference to religion as you can get.”

    Richard, “under God” implies that there is exactly one god. It’s only “generic” for monotheist religions, which excludes most religions outside the Judeo-Christian-Moslem tradition. Comments like yours make me wonder whether you are ignorant or just think your religion is so much better than Hinduism, Wicca, various native American religions, etc., as to deserve government recognition.

    And as an atheist, I don’t see the need for any reference to religion at all.

  9. Richard Nieporent says:

    markm,

    I will explain it to you again since you seem to have a problem understanding what I said or more likely you are being deliberately obtuse. The word God does not refer to a particular religion; however, religions do refer to God (or as you would have it Gods). So anybody that worships a religion that refers to a deity should not be offended by the use of the term God. After all, it is what they believe in. For example don’t you think that Native Americans would be able to equate the word God to the Great Spirit in the Sky? Thus, if people choose to be offended that is their problem, because it is they who are being intolerant.

    But let us get to the heart of the matter. You profess to be the great defender of pagan and non-Judeo-Christian-Moslem religions. But the truth of the matter is as an atheist you are against all religions. So you are being a hypocrite when you show concern for something that you do not recognize as valid. Why do you think that everyone else must conform to your beliefs, or more accurately, non-beliefs? I have always wondered why atheists get so worked up at the mere mention of religion. After all if you are so certain that there is no God then how can anyone’s foolish belief in a deity harm you? Nobody is making you join a religious institution. If other people choose to be deluded shouldn’t that be their problem, not yours? However, that is not the case. It really does upset you that other people choose to be religious. You can’t have that can you? In other words, to you atheism is as much a religion as is Catholicism. Atheism is your non-religion, with its set of non-beliefs in which you worship a non-God. And like all religious fanatics you cannot allow anyone to disagree with your (non)beliefs. I would suggest that you try being a little more tolerant of others who are not as enlightened as you are.

  10. Steve LaBonne says:

    Why do religionists get so worked up at the mention of atheism? Apparently many people have a “faith” so fragile that it requires constant validation and reinforcment, especially by the state, to survive. Perhaps instead of spewing vituperation you should examine your own spiritual health.

  11. Cousin Dave says:

    Why does this whole thing remind me of something from Animal House? “I, state your belief system,…”

  12. Richard Nieporent says:

    I have always wondered why atheists get so worked up at the mere mention of religion.

    Why do religionists get so worked up at the mention of atheism?

    I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 🙂

    Steve, please read what I said. All I asked is for people to be tolerant of other people’s views.

    While I understand why some people disagree with the addition of under God to the Pledge, I wonder why they react so strongly to it. The use of the term God is about as generic a reference to religion as you can get. It is not as if they are being forced to believe in a religion. Unfortunately, for some people there is no tolerance of a point of view that differs from their own.

    For that benign comment I was attacked as being insensitive to non-Judeo Christian religions and atheists. However, at least with respect to me, your comment is incorrect. It doesn’t bother me if someone publicly professes their atheism (or any other belief). Why should I care what you believe or don’t believe? How in the world will it affect me in any way? The answer is it doesn’t. What does bother me is the lack of toleration on the part of some people.

  13. Steve LaBonne says:

    I’m not offended in the least by “Under God” in the Pledge, and I wouldn’t be motivated to so much as get up off the couch in order to secure its removal. At the same time I see no good reason why it needs to be there, and I think it’s very strange that many people seem so desperate to keep it there. If you think that position is “intolerant” perhaps you need to consult a dictionary.