If you don’t believe in god, regardless of whether that be a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Shinto, Hindu or any other form of it, can you still be an American? If you believe that any individual can be an American regardless of religious affiliation, including being an atheist or agnostic, then you cannot support the pledge of allegiance as it is written. More to the point, if you truly believe in the American ideal then you must disavow all reference to any god in legislation, rules, laws, pledges, oaths, etc. Here’s why.
First, to remind all, the pledge of allegiance is as follows: 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. So, this means that anyone reciting the pledge is pledging to a country that is UNDER GOD. Therefore, you are saying that you believe in god, any god. But what if you don’t believe in any god? How can you take the pledge? And, if you do, what does that say about you as a person? Aren’t you betraying your beliefs? This is a very critical point, because the pledge as written violates our 1st Amendment rights to religious belief of our choice, including the right to not believe in any god. Therefore, anyone who doesn’t believe in any god taking the pledge is lying. And, by definition, this person is not pledging allegiance to America — more accurately, cannot pledge allegiance to America — and, therefore, cannot be an American. However, the Constitution says that not only are we entitled to our own religious beliefs, we are entitled to not believe in any religion at all. So, which is correct, the pledge of allegiance or the Constitution?
To me, it is hands down, the Constitution. Therefore, we must change our pledge of allegiance to make sure that every American that believes in American ideals can truly show their patriotism without reservation. Thus, without any humility, I propose that we change our pledge of allegiance to the following:
I pledge allegiance to the United States of America for which it stands, one nation, under the Constitution with liberty and justice for all.
Here are some clarifications about the pledge of allegiance as I’ve re-written it.
- Why not the reference to the flag? Because the flag is a representation of the USA, not the USA itself, and, therefore, by pledging allegiance to the country it automatically means the flag.
- Why no reference to the Republic? Pretty much the same reason as the reference to the flag, it’s redundant and unnecessary. If we were to change our governance to a direct vote versus keeping our country a Republic, would this change what America stands for? Of course not! So, the form of the governance is actually irrelevant. American ideals stand on their own merit, regardless of the form of governance, with one caveat: As long as the form of governance is some form of democracy.
- Why remove the reference to divisibility? If I’m not mistaken it was an addition to the pledge after the US civil war; however, issues of divisibility is no longer a problem. I don’t think any state or states would be thrilled about seceding from the Union. On the other hand, if socialism continues to expand may be some states would want to secede. Regardless, at this stage, there is no serious threat to the unity of the country.
- Why under the Constitution? Because, what makes America, America, is enshrined in the Constitution, regardless of whether you believe that a god gave us these rights, privileges and protections or the founding fathers set it up for us; regardless of whether it is a natural right and the Constitution protects those rights or whether the Constitution gives us those rights, privileges and protections; regardless, the Constitution is what makes America, America. Therefore, we have to ALL, without discrimination, prejudice, exceptions, segregation, separation, distance or any other differences, believe in, abide by, respect and live by (or die for) the Constitution in order to be Americans. This is why we have to change the UNDER GOD phrase to UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, because it is inclusive of ALL Americans, while UNDER GOD is not. And, we are a country that is inclusive and not exclusive and a country that will die to keep this truth.
By the way, this is not a persecution of religious faith because pledging allegiance to the USA and pledging to live by the Constitution is inclusive of the 1st Amendment rights, which guarantees the freedom of religion, including the choice not to believe in any. So, if we are to take our pledge of allegiance seriously, live a non-contradictory life and be rational, we must change the pledge of allegiance to the way I’ve re-written it. Also, this is one of many reasons for the title of my book. Anyone who believes in the 1st Amendment should have absolutely no problems or issues with changing the pledge of allegiance to the way I’ve changed it. Anyone who does is probably a religious fanatic, very myopic, unreasonable, insane, or quite possible a combination of some or all of the above.
Also, for the same arguments I’ve given above, oaths in courts of law, and swearing in ceremonies should all be changed to remove references to god. For example, in court, before taking the stand to bear witness, all witnesses should swear the following oath: I will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth without omissions and misrepresentations and to the best of my knowledge, experience or memory or face criminal prosecution for perjury under [the laws of the state of ________________ or federal laws.]
One last point. Note, if the Pledge of Allegiance is changed to the way I’ve proposed then they’d be no issues with reciting it in public schools. This would have a very positive effect on our children’s education, in my opinion.
For more, please read my books, “… Under the Constitution with Liberty and Justice for ALL,” available at http://www.CreateSpace.com/3978962 and also available on Kindle, and “The New Constitution for Modern America,” available at http://www.CreateSpace.com/4281897 and also available on Kindle. Please don’t forget to rate this post. Any comments or questions are welcome and can be left for me on this blog, @Ahmedinejahd on Twitter, on Facebook or via email at AlexAhmedinejahd@Yahoo.com. Thank you in advance for buying my books, and rating this post. And, thanks for visiting my blog; I hope you get an opportunity to read my other posts. Have a great day!