“Under God” in the Pledge. No, Not That One.

The words “Under God” were officially inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

The words “Under God” were officially inserted into the Texas Pledge of Allegiance in 2007.

State Rep. Debbie Riddle, who sponsored the bill, said it had always bothered her that God was omitted in the state’s pledge.

“Personally, I felt like the Texas pledge had a big old hole in it, and it occurred to me, ‘You know what? We need to fix that,’ ” said Riddle, R-Tomball. “Our Texas pledge is perfectly OK like it is with the exception of acknowledging that just as we are one nation under God, we are one state under God as well.”

The law states that if you don’t want to say the new Pledge, you need a written note from home.

Not for the first time, Barry Lynn is the voice of reason:

“Most Texans do not need to say this new version of the pledge in order to be either patriotic or religious,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “This is the kind of politicking of religion that disturbs many Americans, including those who are deeply religious.”

One bit of trivia:

Texas isn’t the only state that has its own pledge of allegiance. Other states include Michigan, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky.

Mississippi and Louisiana mention God in their pledges. And Kentucky lays claim to being blessed with “grace from on High.”

(via Fark)


[tags]atheist, atheism, Under God, Pledge of Allegiance, Debbie Riddle, Texas, Barry Lynn, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Michigan, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky[/tags]

  • TXatheist

    Care to guess if my kid won’t have that opt out letter on his first day. I’ll also mail/fax a copy to the Principal. What I really think is going to happen is the US Pledge will be ruled unconstitutional(Newdow) and Texas will stubbornly leave theirs until someone sues and they will not change it anyway. The 10 C monument is there and the attorney general pushed for it to stay there.

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  • Lee

    I’ll be goddamned if anyone is going to force my child to recite a pledge with the words ‘under god’ – note or no note… and I’d be willing to go to court over it. If WV ever passes such a state law, you can be on the lookout for my name in the headlines.

  • http://flowerdust.net Anne Jackson

    Texas IS God’s country. I kid, I kid. But as a girl-grown-up Texan, I didn’t realize most other states DIDNT have POA’s until I moved to Kansas when I was 21, and had a friend move from KS to TX. He refused (passoinately) to make his daughter say the Texas pledge.

    Now back in Tx, I still relish a bit in my Texas Pride (it really is something you are brainwashed with in the school systems but once you drink the koolaid, you can’t stop!)…so, my question as a Texan is when Texas secedes from the USA, will you still care?

    I still kid. :)

  • infideljoe

    Interesting fact:

    The original Pledge was written by a baptist minister and did not contain the “under god” part. The knights of columbus (all male Catholic group) lobbied congress to get “under god” added.

  • http://t3knomanser.livejournal.com t3knomanser

    I oppose the traditional Pledge of Allegiance and “Under God” is the least of my problems.

    I do not have any allegiance to the flag. Nor does my loyalty lie with the republic for which it stands. My loyalty is to my fellow citizens- not the government, republic, confederacy, state, etc. At best, the government is a necessary evil- it earns loyalty insofar as it behaves itself.

    I also do not appreciate the grim irony- a public school mandated loyalty pledge that congratulates us on our liberties.

  • monkeymind

    Well said, t3knomanser!

    Whether or not the pledge is required in schools seems to vary according to local and individual preferences. There is only one public school that I know of in our area where the pledge is said regularly,

  • Jen

    Glad to see they fixed that “highest teen pregnancy and STI rates in the nation” thing and have time to work on what really matters- forcing children to pledge things.

  • Maria

    “Most Texans do not need to say this new version of the pledge in order to be either patriotic or religious,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “This is the kind of politicking of religion that disturbs many Americans, including those who are deeply religious.”

    I agree. this is ridculous.

  • Darryl

    Ah, yes, Texas, she just keeps giving and giving . . .

  • Lee

    Anne Jackson said,

    August 2, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Texas IS God’s country. I kid, I kid. But as a girl-grown-up Texan, I didn’t realize most other states DIDNT have POA’s until I moved to Kansas when I was 21, and had a friend move from KS to TX. He refused (passoinately) to make his daughter say the Texas pledge.

    Now back in Tx, I still relish a bit in my Texas Pride (it really is something you are brainwashed with in the school systems but once you drink the koolaid, you can’t stop!)…so, my question as a Texan is when Texas secedes from the USA, will you still care?

    I still kid.

    I may be in WV now, and I may have lived in Louisiana before then, and in Oklahoma before that, but I am Texas-born, and I have lived from one end of the state to the other.

    I am Houstonian by birth, and I’ve also lived in Marshall and in Pampa. I also grew up saying the Texas pledge… back before I stopped being superstitious.

    My accent still gives me away… I continue to be pegged by traveling or transplanted fellow Texans, in spite of not having lived in Texas since 1980. I visited Gilley’s before the Urban Cowboy movie (and before Gilley’s burned down). I still like boots and hats, though I don’t wear them around here because then I’d really stick out like a sore thumb. At weddings I prefer to dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe over the Chicken Dance. And I still feel like a Texan… I long to be back in the Lone Star State in spite of the flaws of her overabundant religious zealots.

    I know exactly what you mean when you talk about that Texas Pride being so deeply engrained within your being. And I still cannot escape that Texas Pride. I find it totally ironic how my Texas Pride actually clashes with itself when it comes to my views on religion. It is that Texas Pride that causes me to bow up stubbornly with fists clenched and jaw set against doing something I am in disagreement with (Remember the Alamo).
    Reading your post has brought out that homesickness, again…

  • Rik

    Sadly, I went to high school in good ol’ Tomball (where Rep. Riddle hails from), and I was not surprised to read this article. To most Texans, the state is a country unto itself, and a god-fearing one at that. This was one of the main reasons I moved out of state the day after my senior year ended.

    I agree that loyalty oaths are frightening things, especially when coupled with religion. My heart goes out to the children being brainwashed by these fanatics.

  • http://starseyer.blogspot.com Mikel

    That’s odd…I’ve lived in Kentucky all my life and never heard of a KY Pledge of Allegiance. I’ll have to look that one up.

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