"Under God" is Unconstitutional and Divisive

President, Atheists of Silicon Valley

In regards to the Pledge of Allegiance, I am very concerned with the actions of our president, governor, and almost all of the national senators and representatives.  When they took office, they swore to uphold the Constitution of our country.  Despite this, they recently jumped on a McCarthy-esque bandwagon and openly flouted the First Amendment to the Constitution.

What part of the First Amendment is confusing?  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...”

Referring to “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, our national motto, or on our money is respecting an establishment of religion.  It also implies that the 14% of Americans who don't believe in any god are lesser citizens.  This is similar to when white men once made blacks and women lesser citizens, often using the Bible as an endorsement.  It wasn't right then.  It isn't right now.

It's not just about being right or fair; it's also about being constitutional.  Our Constitution was designed to protect the rights of the minorities from the tyranny of the majority.  All Americans have a constitutional right to freedom of religion.  This includes freedom from religion, because we can’t have true freedom unless we have the right to choose “none of the above.”  References to “God” by our government impose the tyranny of a state religion, and are thus unconstitutional.

Our nation was founded as the first country that derived its power from a purely secular, nonreligious basis.  All nations before then had kings and queens who used their supposed “god-given divine right” to rule.  Instead of this top-down power structure, our founders wisely created a government which derived its powers from the consent of the governed.  They also realized the inherent divisiveness of religion, and kept it specifically out of our Constitution and government.   The Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams and unanimously approved by the Senate in 1797, stated  “The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

As shown by the national uproar and debate, religion is still divisive.  The Pledge of Allegiance is supposed to help unite Americans.  Having “God” in it divides us.  Let's return the Pledge to its previous form, so we can all once again say “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice of all.”