The Pledge of Allegiance Petition

There’s a petition making the rounds on the White House website to remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s getting a lot of support… which, as you know, means absolutely nothing. The Pledge won’t change anytime soon. (If it ever does change back to it original form, you can bet it’ll be via the judicial system, not Congress or the President.)

But there’s no reason you can’t lend your symbolic support:

Odds are this won’t get an “official” response, and it’s pathetic that we need to petition our government to remove a phrase that never should have been in the Pledge in the first place, but maybe we can get this issue on somebody’s radar. There’s more discussion about this petition on Reddit.

***Edit***: Apparently, there’s also an active petition to get “In God We Trust” off the currency.

(Thanks to Sinfanti for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Alexis

    Even when I was a christian, I cringed during the recitation because I viewed it as an act of idolatry.

  • Rich Wilson

    Are we sure this isn’t just the first step in that “Atheist List” thing?

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      Perhaps if Perry wins in 2012, he might consult the list of people who signed that petition in a national atheist round-up kind of like the rattlesnake round-ups they have in Texas.  But I think I will take my chances and create an account and sign it anyway.

      • MisterJohnGalt

        Maybe Obama will round up the atheists first. He’s a devout Christian with a literal belief in the Resurrection. And he keeps and extensive enemies list already.

        • http://twitter.com/rgaltizer R G Altizer

          you think someone might report us to attackwatch?

        • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

          I thought he was Muslim…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505622038 Anonymous

    I signed it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kellychameleon Kelly Murray

    There’s also a petition to remove “In god we trust” from our currency: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/remove-god-we-trust-currency/bNhKRxQn

    • Bruce the Moose

      This is how I remove “IGWT” from my currency. Pointless and juvenile, yes, but I get an odd little thrill every time I do it.

  • Lorenzo Benito

    How about getting rid of the Pledge completely?

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      That’s what I’d love to see. Pledges of allegiance are a relic of the feudal system, wherein everyone’s standing was predicated on some sort of loyalty or fealty to one’s superior in the system. In fact the very word “allegiance” itself comes from the same root as “liege,” a term for one’s feudal superior.
      But the US is not a feudal state. It’s a constitutional republic. Our status as citizens is defined in the federal and state constitutions, not in our oaths of fealty to a liege. It’s patently absurd for citizens of the US to be required to swear allegiance to a flag.
      As someone who studied the Middle Ages, I more than appreciate our medieval feudal heritage. I get that it’s part of occidental history. I simply think that it’s no longer appropriate for Americans to have to make oaths of fealty to flags. This remains true, regardless of whether the phrase “under God” is part of that oath of fealty. We’ve outgrown such things, as a nation, and we need to act as though we have.

  • MisterJohnGalt

    The word “indivisible” also promotes a false supernatural belief. Anything can be divided. Let’s get rid of that too. And pledging to a flag suggests the flag can hear. Also false. Why just pick on the “God” part?

    • Rich Wilson

      We’re also not ‘One Nation’.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    As a veteran, I get tired of explaining to people why the allegiance of minors has absolutely no meaning.  They’re not gonna take up arms for some other nation, sell state secrets, or interfere with military logistics.   What the pledge amounts to is kids wasting time by saying that they like the country they live in, even though they don’t know anything about any other countries.  Reminds me of that prayer from Monty Python, “we are most incredibly impressed

    ‘cos you are so strong and well, just

    so super….”

    Some years ago, I saw former presidents Ford and Carter on TV reciting the pledge at some official function, and they left out the “under God.”  It would be cool (though horrifically tedious) if somebody could go through old footage and demonstrate that the bogus phrase is a fairly recent addition.

    • Rich Wilson

      Immigrants seeking naturalization have to declare whether they’ve ever been a member of the Communist party “or any other totalitarian form of government”.  Activity before the age of 16 (e.g. Komsomol) doesn’t count.

    • JSug

      Here ya go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33-5MbIE7eQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=23s

  • Nicole S

    I’m with Lorenzo. Let’s ditch the pledge altogether. I fail to see the point of it, and the rationale most people offer is pretty offensive and scary to me. I do NOT agree to support my country no matter what. I agree to support it when I agree with what it’s doing. 

  • Anonymous

    They should have titled it “restore the Pledge of Allegiance to its original version”

    • Rich Wilson

      Yes, and “make the motto ‘E pluribus unum’” for the IGWT one.

  • Anti_supernaturalist

    You’re wasting your time.

    Federal courts have consistently upheld that the word ‘God’ does not refer to the xian divinity or any other specific religious divinity. It refers to a one-size-fits-all “God” concept roughly equivalent to the god of deism.

    Basically, this god is the cover-your-ass “god” used by Tom Jefferson (and other 18th century atheists) to save themselves from public anger. Jefferson, and Lincoln, were openly attacked as atheists in attempts to discredit them.

    Hyposcrisy is nothing new in politics. So, “Nature and Nature’s God” were often invoked as a sop to the mob. The gentle art of hypocrisy has fewer adherents today. But, state laws still exist on the books at least provide for the “secular arm” to punish atheism.

    Ameristan is a dangerous country. It is a state of mind. But, it is also a wide swath of the U.S. land mass extending from North Dakota to Texas and across the unreconstructed South. Its citizens are moral monsters. Their influence vastly outweighs their numbers. They are supported by funds from the vast holdings of international corporations whose power surpasses that of any nation state, including the U.S.

    the anti_supernaturalist

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      Yes, members of the US supreme court have declared that the Christian Cross is not a Christian symbol. Now you are pointing out that “God” is not a word that stands for some kind of super-natural entity. When the mob knocks down my door with the intention to drag me into the street to burn me at the stake, I’ll just say “yes, I accept Jesus as my Lord and savior” because of course I can define “Lord” and “savior” anyway I want.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ericehaas Eric Haas

    I’m getting an error message for both petitions.
    “Our ApologiesThis Section of our site is currently undergoing maintenance
    We appreciate your patience while we make some improvements
    Please check back shortly”

    • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Emily Joyce

      I got the same thing, Eric.  I refreshed the page a couple of times and got through. :)

  • Mihangel apYrs

    to those of us in the “old world” the repetition of the pledge has unpleasant resonance of the activities in the old totalitarian regimes.

    In true democracies it isn’t “my country, right or wrong” we judge its actions and reject those we find unacceptable, or “not in my name”

    Patriotism can be the last refuge of scoundrels, and even the oaths of allegiance in the armed forces are governed by that which is legal.

  • Doc

    In court, we can ‘affirm’ instead of ‘swear.’  It occurs to me that one could smoothly substitute, “I affirm” for “under god” and solve/avoid the problem.

  • Ol’Froth

    I was under the impression that loyalty oaths are not required for citizens?  Why say the thing at all?

  • http://www.frommormontoatheist.blogspot.com Leia

    The link now says that the page is currently undergoing maintenance. :(

    I wrote a letter to my child’s Kindergarten teacher explaining how my 5 year old is too young to pledge allegiance to something she doesn’t understand and should never be forced to participate.  Never heard back from her teacher, but it’s only been a few weeks. 

    Last week I noticed that there isn’t even an American flag in her classroom… it made me wonder if it’s even said at all.

  • John
  • John the Drunkard

    As steve84 pointed out, the movement is to RESTORE the pledge to its original form:

    ” I pledge allegiance to MY flag, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty [equality] and justice for all.”

    I believe ‘equality’ was deep sixed before the original publication. Which flag was specified  after the US entered WWI, and of course, the Knights of Columbus campaigned to include the god reference in 1954.

    How this pice of doggerel is to be used, on what occasions it might be appropriate, is another matter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523906651 Chas Swedberg

    If you are pledging to a republic “with liberty and justice for all,” doesn’t that imply that you withhold the right to disagree with it when it is in the wrong? I always thought by pledging we were agreeing that everyone had those rights.

  • Nude0007

    I had no problem with the site.  I signed all three of these petitions and more.  Even if the petitions do not get the desired actions of removing the words and  the tax privileges of the churches, if enough sign it it will give a good indication of what the people really want.  It is nice to be heard at the top like it is supposed to have been all along.  Spread the links.  Let’s have a HUGE showing!

  • Gerry

    I got a “page unavailable” like Eric did.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like it’s past 7000 at this point. ^_^ 

  • Timothy

    Here’s one of my favorite video clips about the pledge of allegience:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2BfqDUPL1I

  • Anonymous

    I signed both petitions but I did have trouble with Windows (with Google Chrome, Internet Explore, Safari, and Firefox), however I had no problem with Apple Mac Safari, and just because I was curious I tried Linux Firefox.

    So what if I get put on a national registry.  People, how ever uncomfortable, had to endure events before us to pass this knowledge on to the next generations.  


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