Letter by Lydia Rice 

To the San Jose Mercury.


Editor -

I strongly support the ruling that the words "under God" are unconstitutional and should be removed from the pledge.  Those words have troubled me for many years.


I am a patriotic American Atheist.  I cannot honestly say the pledge as it stands now, nor can any other truthful American who understands that there are Atheist citizens.  We are NOT an indivisible nation while the pledge says that we are under God.  I am not "under God".  This separates me and 14% of our US citizens who are not religious from the 86% who are.  This phrase in the pledge divides our nation.


The pledge - as it is now written - makes me less of an American than God-believing citizens.  How can this be right?  To me, it is equivalent to saying: "one nation, under Republicanism".  It is just as exclusionary, completely unnecessary, and absolutely discordant.


Let's return to our pre-1954 pledge: "one nation, indivisible".  We can all agree to those three words.


Lydia Rice

Programs Director

Atheists of Silicon Valley


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