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Pledge of Allegiance Debate: 5 Newsmakers Who Have Opposed 'Under God'

By    |   Friday, 21 Nov 2014 03:45 PM

Americans have recognized themselves as a nation “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance for more than 60 years, but the debate rages on about whether or not the phrase should continue to be included.

The Supreme Court has had much to say about the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance in its 120 year history, but it stopped short of deciding the “under God” issue in 2004. The justices said a case that made big news for a lower court’s decision to remove the words should be thrown out on technical grounds.

ALERT: Should 'One Nation Under God' Stay in the Pledge of Allegiance? Vote Now

Removing “under God” from the pledge remains wildly unpopular, as was evidenced in 2011 when NBC removed the phrase from a broadcast and swiftly issued an apology.

But there are still some newsmakers pushing for the removal of the words. Here are some of the big names who have come out against the phrase.

1. Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, which promotes a program called Kids Without God, is leading efforts to take “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance by encouraging a “sit down” boycott of the pledge until the phrase is removed.

2. Former Minnesota Gov. Jessie Ventura, in his 2008 book "Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me," wrote about why he didn’t support the requirement for public school children in Minnesota to have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. "If there is a child in school whose parents are atheists, why should there be a reference to God that they are forced to say? Yet what kid won't do so, rather than face that pressure from their peers if they refuse?"

VOTE NOW: Should the Pledge of Allegiance Be Changed?

3. Michael A. Newdow is a father who is part of the most recent Supreme Court case questioning the Pledge of Allegiance. He argued that the words “under God” in the pledge his daughter was asked to voluntarily say at the beginning of her school day infringed on his right to raise his daughter with atheist views. The court ruled he did not have the legal standing to present the case because of custody issues in the family.

4. Grace Ross, former gubernatorial candidate for the state of Massachusetts, told MassScorecard.org in 2006, “I oppose the imposition of one religious doctrine on all people (a guarantee in our constitution which many activists fought so hard for in Massachusetts, resulting in its inclusion in our national constitution). The 'Under God' was actually added as a litmus test during the anti-communist, McCarthy era,” OnTheIssues.org reported.

5. George Takei, the actor famous for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in "Star Trek," told MSNBC in 2013 that he omits “under God” when he says the Pledge of Allegiance.

URGENT: Do You Think 'One Nation Under God' Should Be Removed From the Pledge of Allegiance? Vote Here Now!

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Americans have recognized themselves as a nation "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance for more than 60 years, but the debate rages on about whether or not the phrase should continue to be included.
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Friday, 21 Nov 2014 03:45 PM
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