Pledge of Allegiance Changed...

So recently, the Texas legislation changed the pledge of allegiance and I am still wondering what the point is. Here is something I read up a little while ago from another site

According to The Handbook of Texas Online, "In 1933 the legislature passed a law establishing rules for the proper display of the flag and providing for a pledge to the flag:

“Honor the Texas Flag of 1836; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.”

The pledge erroneously referred to the 1836 national flag, known as David G. Burnet’s flag, instead of the Lone Star Flag. Senator Searcy Bracewell introduced a bill to correct this error in 1951, but the legislature did not delete the words “of 1836” until 1965."

The pledge was again amended by House Bill 1034 during the 80th Legislature with the addition of “one state under God.” The revised wording became effective on June 15, 2007.

Before revision:

“Honor the Texas Flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.”

The revised wording is:

“Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas,** one state under God**, one and indivisible.”

Could somebody please explain to me why it was so necessary to change the pledge? My friends and I are going bonkers trying figure out why it was so necessary.

Thanks,
Pavan.

Obviously…God rocks…didn’t you know that?

Yeah, God is great. Really.

But anyway:
Look up the Federal Pledge of Allegiance, see when God was added to that one… (…one nation, under God, indivisible…).

Don

Cause we, the citizens of the United States of America, hold or history in high regard. History in which puritans from Europe traveled from there to America to avoid religious persecution.

We believe ourselves to be a country with no definite religion of the people, and a country that accepts all kinds of people and faiths. So, what do we do? We revise the Pledge of Allegiance to include the words “under God”. This clearly supports what we hold so dear… right?

Is this as confusing to other people as it is to me?

Not everyone believes in God, though.

Our constitution forbids government from respecting any “establishment of religion”. To me, it is pretty clear that the words “under God” violate those terms. My religious beliefs (and the beliefs of many others) do not include a belief in God. By legislating the words “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, the government is respecting a particular establishment of religion. That is unconstitutional.

If you think this is bad, examine Article 1 Section 4 of the Texas constitution. This section denies atheists the right to hold public office in Texas, and it’s not only the Texan gonvernment that does this, five other states have similar passages in their constitutions. Religious discrimination by the government is alive and well in the United States, it may be unconstitutional, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it.

EDIT: I just went back and double checked my numbers, and it is in fact six states in addition to Texas, plus one that says you can be denied public office for being an atheist, but doesn’t say that you will be.

Can you post a list? I’d like to confirm that.

Yeah, we love and believe in God so much we have to keep reaffirming it over and over again! See, we really love God, a bunch! It’s even on the bumper sicker on my car, all my kid’s lunch boxes, our tshirts we wear everywhere, in all the books we read (I’ve read through the Left Behind series 20 times!), video games, and thank god for christian music, finally I can escape from spontaneous human emotion and feelings to the uniform quality of McDonald’s music!

:rolleyes:

I’m right with you Jaine. Although I was just Baptized Lutheran in March (or April?), I still don’t believe that the people of the United States need to be forced to state that there is a God. Some believe in none, other believe in multiples. Free thinking is what made this country great from the start.

As for Texas, among other states, denying Atheists public office that IS unconstitutional. But then again, look was Texas gave us, our current President.*

*But then again Texas has Jane Young and Pavan… so maybe it’s even. Whereas Tennessee gave the world me… so, therefore, it is the greatest state in the Union. :stuck_out_tongue:

First off, I couldn’t legally vote so I’m [not yet ashamed and] still proud to be a Texan, it’s not my fault…Second, I do believe in god, but I’m not Christian, and although this stuff doesn’t bother me because I could care less about some of these pathetic issues, I’ve been saying this pledge for almost 12 years, so I am wondering if this “change in the wording” is Texas’ way of going against the grain or testing to see if it is above the law or something. But my biggest beef is the evidence for ADDING it in, and how they justify their actions…cough and it sounds weird now, say both versions out loud /cough

To me, this is like FIRST saying no more Anderson Powerpole connectors anymore out of the blue, just because they can.

This is about the NATIONAL pledge a few years ago:

This is one of those issues that hangs on the fuzzy area of legality. On one hand, the way it is written in both Pledges as “God” does not necessarily imply the Christian God, as Judiasm and Islam also worship a single “God”. However, the inclusion of the term “God” implies a connection (and possible support) to religion, a connection that can be argued as being un-Constitutional. (Federally, which takes precedence over state constitutions.)

So in the end, I often tend to believe that either the government totally keeps out of religion, or it allows any and every religion to equally speak its voice. The latter of which is preferable choice, as it does not restrict one’s rights to freedom of speech and expression, yet does not imply government support of any single religion or ideology. (Rather, it shows government support to the freedom of expression.)

I don’t care there’s a Christmas Tree (it’s not a holiday tree!) in front of a Town Hall or other government building, as long as they give equal support to Judaism for a Menorah next to the Christmas Tree, or Islam during Ramadan, or Buddhism, or any religion during their holy times of the year. (Now there is an extent to this, as there’s a fine line between being respectful and going to extremes to stay politically correct…)

For in the end, this is a country of immigrants, by immigrants. Everyone, even the “Native” Americans emigrated to North America from elsewhere, all for their own reasons. Yet all sought the same thing: a better life. The least we can do is respectfully let everyone live their own lives (and that includes letting them share their opinions and beliefs).

Regarding the constitutionality of this action, I wonder what would occur if someone were to propose a law in Texas in clear contravention of the text and case law surrounding the 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Probably an outcry, perhaps even a riot. So why aren’t the defenders of liberty who support the constitutional right to bear arms equally vexed with the flouting of the constitutional mandate that prohibits the state from promoting religious observances?

It seems to me that the legislators of Texas (those who favoured this resolution, all 266 of them) are rather unmindful of their obligations as agents of the state. Maybe they’ve been led to believe that democracy is the ne plus ultra of all forms of government, and that they should therefore represent their constituency’s opinions without regard for any other considerations. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they themselves hold those same opinions. Or maybe they lust for re-election, and will prostitute their legislative powers to anyone who’ll grant them a favour or secure a block of voters. Whatever the faults of the legislative clowns who brought this to fruition, the fact that Texas stands for this kind of foolishness can’t help but cast its populace in a negative light.*

Particularly bad is the manner in which most Texan FIRST participants will see the results of this change—repeated every morning for the rest of their participation in school. Under the old pledge, the recitations were patriotic (in a saccharine way), but mostly harmless. (America is rife with saccharine patriotism as well, but that’s a different beast.) By contrast, the recent modifications render it a form of mandatory prayer—this is unconscionable by any rational standard. How convenient, then, that when people are at their most impressionable—as children—it is suggested daily that their responsibilities as citizens are subordinate to their devotion to the Abrahamic god. This is not a recipe for sound public policy, and at worst, subliminally reminds everyone that it’s alright to believe that the source of Texan greatness is a deity with a poor track record.

In any event, there’s a well-supported stance propounded by some American linguists that the phrase “under God” was used in the 1800s to mean “God willing”, and not “subject to God”, as it is contemporarily understood. The 1951 modifications to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance recall the Gettysburg Address of 1863, in which Lincoln apparently used that phrase in this context. What if the Texas Pledge said instead: “…I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state inshallah…”? After all, that’s the same thing, said a little differently. What do we suppose would transpire, if that were proclaimed to open a session of the Texas Legislature? Ask, then, whether this is really about the god of Abraham (who Muslims also worship), or just promoting Christianity in general.

More broadly, this is a reckless attempt by religous bigots to inflict their own insubstantiatable beliefs upon everyone. The fact that they choose to practice their religion among themselves is tolerable; the fact that they use the state’s slogan to proselytize in a manner inconsistent with the role of the state is not. Slogans of these nature are the stuff of holy books and bumper stickers, and cannot be the official positions of tolerant, equitable societies. You can pray when you feel compelled to do so, and you can declare your fealty to your pantheon of choice any time, but you shouldn’t waste everyone else’s time while you indulge your religious fervour.

I’ve got to take issue with the notion that respectful treatment means equal treatment. I can contrive any combination of frankly stupid notions, and call them my heartfelt religion. Worse, it’s not out of the question that I might trick others into taking up my ridiculous cause. Why must society suffer the burden of accomodating these fantasies, when I declare it to be Holy Time? There’s nothing wrong with prominently displaying the uncontroversially positive (or neutral) aspects of a culture, such as that tree with presents underneath, or the big shiny candelabra. The trouble arises when you do so in a manner that implies that the insubstantiatable beliefs that spawned the tree and menorah are themselves as real and venerable as the icons themselves. That’s promoting religion, and that’s the crux of the problem.

Can you post a list? I’d like to confirm that.[/quote]

Here is a list of some of the offending statutes.

*Present company excepted, because here we seem willing to argue these things civilly, rather than force them upon our neigbours.

Keep in mind that I am a christian and I do believe in God and that I do respect other’s belief’s (I have athiest friends and Jewish friends, and then a multitude of others).

But also know this, you should have learned it by now. Our Forefathers built this country under the Bill of Rights, which give the right ot choose your own religion, but our country was declared by the Declaration of Independence.
In the first paragraph,

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

When they wrote the Declaration of Independence, they wrote in there the belief in God, and that they built this country on the freedoms that He has given us. They built this country Under God. We don’t necissarily need the Under God in our pledges because of everyone’s beliefs, but because that is how our country was built. We are on nation, built under God.

Before everyone goes too far, realize that in the course of human events, those people through the ages who have acted with justice and a will to treat others with respect have overwhelmingly believed in a supreme being. Our founding fathers recognized this fact. Multitudes of other organizations including the Boy Scouts, Masons, and nearly every religion on earth also recognize that men and women who profess a belief in a being higher than themselves, act in a manner befitting someone of respect. This fact does not make ours a religious based government nor does it promote religion. It was the hope of our founding fathers, that those chosen to govern would not only be recognized for their beliefs but would also recognize that certain things are answerable to a higher authority. Now, that being said, not all politicians act in a manner befitting a person who believes in a supreme being, a sad thing for all of us. Although God doesn’t take an visibly active role in government, we as citizens hope that someone is watching over those who govern. We profess that belief with the words “one nation, under God”. It doesn’t read “My God”, “Jacks’ God” or “Earth Mother”, simply “God”. By so recognizing a supreme being in this way, it diminishes our ability to do whatever we want with respect to our family, our land, our neighbors or supposed enemies. Some of the states listed in Tristan’s link recognize this in the wording of their precepts. However, one should read very carefully each of the paragraphs. Not all of them prevent someone from holding office if they do not believe. And before anyone starts pointing fingers, we should remember that state’s rights allow the people of each state to make some self determination. If the people of the great state of Texas choose, through their representatives, to add certain words to their pledge, then it is not our place to chastise them for their decision.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Most times these days when I read discussions about “establishment of religion,” the arguments seem to ignore the historical background which led to the inclusion of this wording in the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

England, from which the colonies had just made themselves independent, had (and still has, last I heard), one “established” church. It was a government-sanctioned denomination–a specific organization, with specific creeds, practices, etc. I don’t know if this is still true in England, but in some countries, taxpayers are forced to support the one established church and its clergy.

In colonial times, people who held beliefs differing from those of the colonial government-sanctioned church were often persecuted, to the point of having to flee their colony.

The founders of our country wanted to avoid this sort of evil; in fact, they wanted to maximize religious freedom. Hence, the 2-part statement: no government-run churches, and no government restrictions on religion.

But today there are many people who whine any time anyone in government says or does anything the tiniest bit “religious.” All Americans–whether government officials or not–have the freedom to express religious beliefs. So if Congress wants to open with a prayer, the Constitution guarantees their right to do so. If a public school child is asked to write a book report on his favorite book, and he writes about the Bible, his teacher has no business telling him to choose another book.

If you don’t like someone else saying “Under God,” or talking or writing about their religious beliefs, you are entitled to your opinion. But you have no right, under the U.S. constitution, to try to force them to shut up. If you can’t stand the religious freedom available in this country, then move to China or Vietnam, where the governments are busy arresting, jailing, and otherwise persecuting religious people.

And if you are a student in Texas, and have to say a pledge to the Texas flag (that sounds ludicrous to a Californian!), no one may force you to say “under God” if you don’t want to. But if other people want to say those words, let them. Hearing them say it isn’t going to harm you.

Texas has quite an exciting history filled with wonderful adventurers, pioneers, and history makers.
Here is a link to some of the early time line -
http://www.lsjunction.com/events/events.htm

Here is a link to information in Wikipedia regarding Texas history -

The history helps me understand that Texas is rich in cultural and political diversity. The richness is a large part of why Texas is the way it is and does what it does, sometimes creating controversy along the way.

Are students forced to recite the Texas pledge, or do some just stand quietly? While at our school I do expect the students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, I do not force them to repeat it. I would think if one’s convictions are such that one is uncomfortable saying “under God” out loud, one can simply pause for breath at that time.
The idea of incorporating “God” into patriotism is not a novel thing in America - simply look north and listen to “O Canada” sometime.

But what about atheists and agnostics? I would argue that atheism and agnosticism are a form of religious belief - just as mainstream Christianity/Judaism/Islam are. The words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance do not represent all religious beliefs equally. It respects only one form of religious belief - the ones which profess a belief in God - and no others.

With regards to how laws are made, the Declaration of Independence has no influence. It is not a legislative document - it’s more like a mission statement. We must answer to the Constitution (the supreme authority on legislative matters) with regards to this issue.

What does it mean to “build a country under God”? Does it mean that religion should be legislated upon the people? The Constitution says “No”. Does it mean that every citizen is entitled to practice the religion of their choice freely? The Constitution says “Yes”!

The belief in a higher power is absolutely NOT a prerequisite to acting “in a manner befitting of respect”. I have seen both Atheists and Believers commit reprehensible and inappropriate acts; conversely, I have seen both Atheists and Believers act with dignity and leadership. The qualities which make someone a model citizen have nothing to do with religious belief - they have to do with one’s ability to lead, think, empathize, and act responsibly.

I am not a member of the so-called “over-politically correct” crowd. I could care less if a person chooses to express their religious views publicly or otherwise. I have a problem only when such expressions are sanctioned by LEGISLATIVE actions. There is nothing wrong with a child writing a book report about The Bible in class. There is nothing wrong with Christmas trees in the mall, or a Menorah in a shop window. **There is nothing wrong with letting people embrace their various religious beliefs in public, as long as it is not being mandated or funded by the Government. **

As I have said before, by legislating that the words “under God” be included in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Government is recognizing an establishment of a particular religion (and is excluding other religious beliefs). Leaving the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance is not suppressing anyone’s right to free speech. There are plenty of other ways people can express their belief in God that are not written in legislation. It seems pretty silly to think that saying “under God” during the Pledge of Allegiance is the only way for a person to express that belief.

–Jaine

If students object to reciting the pledge, they can bring a written note from home, excusing them from participating. That is my understanding.

I had 2 children in 3 different high school environments. It varied depending on the school and within that, it varied depending on the teachers. My daughter had one teacher that would ask the students to stand and for the boys to remove their hats while saying the pledges. My son recited them every day.

I have no issue with this personally, and I don’t tend to get involved in religious or political discussions. The reason is simple - I love living in the United States. It is not perfect by any means, but there is always the opportunity for change, for voters to make a difference, for future generations to make an impact - and there is always the opportunity to express an opinion appropriately or keep it to oneself. I respect that and I appreciate that freedom. :slight_smile:

Honestly, my teachers aren’t “uptight” about it and you are free to recite if you wish, but you MUST still stand up and observe silence if you choose not to recite. But I do not know the official ruling of our district, this is just my experience so far.