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I get mail from The White House October 30, 2011

Posted by Ezra Resnick in Politics, Religion.

The Pledge of Allegiance is recited at the opening of U.S. Congressional and government meetings, and in schools across America. In 1954, the wording of the Pledge was changed: “one nation indivisible” became “one nation under God, indivisible”. As one of twenty thousand people who signed a recent petition calling on the Obama Administration to remove the phrase “under God” from the Pledge, I have received an email from Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

… Throughout our history, people of all faiths — as well as secular Americans — have played an important role in public life…

While the President strongly supports every American’s right to religious freedom and the separation of church and state, that does not mean there’s no role for religion in the public square…

… President Obama supports the use of the words “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance and “In God we Trust” on our currency. These phrases represent the important role religion plays in American public life…

This piece of doublespeak completely fails to address the petitioners’ concerns. Of course religious people play important roles in public life, but the government isn’t supposed to officially endorse any particular religion, or religion over nonreligion. Declaring the U.S. a “nation under God” sends an exclusionary message to nontheistic citizens (and to nonmonotheistic citizens as well). How would Christians and Jews feel if the Pledge read “one nation under the gods”, or “one nation under no god”?

“Faith-Based” Partnerships, my ass.


1. Ezra Resnick - October 30, 2011

DuBois’s argument is equivalent to this one: Christian people play an important role in public life, and so Christianity plays an important role in public life, and so it’s okay for the Pledge to say “one nation under Jesus”. See the problem now, Mr DuBois?

2. JoeBuddha - November 12, 2011

Hey! I’m a patriotic American and a Buddhist. There is no god, however defined, in my religion. How exactly is this representitive of MY religion in my American public life?

Ezra Resnick - November 12, 2011


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