Tim Oey‎ > ‎Articles‎ > ‎

Why "Under God" should be removed from the US Pledge of Allegiance

The original Pledge did not have the phrase "Under God". It should be removed from the current Pledge because the Pledge is written into US law and the phrase "Under God" clearly violates the US Constitution.

The US Pledge of Allegiance was originally written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, in August 1892. He was careful to exclude any mention of God in the pledge at that time.

The Pledge was added to US law by Congress on June 22, 1942, when the Pledge was formally included in the U.S. Flag Code.

The phrase "Under God" was added to the pledge by Congress in 1954 (at the height of McCarthyism and the Cold War). This is where the pledge ran astray. In those tense and stressful times, some forgot what our constitution said. The current time following Sept 11th is a likewise stressful time, but that is even more reason for us to be careful to follow the Constitution.

The First Amendment, which guarantees free speech as well as freedom of religion, clearly states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

Recognizing God in the Pledge is making a law respecting an establishment of religion. Therefore the phrase "Under God" should be removed. QED.

Although it may seem small (or big), it is in everyone's best interests, both Christian and non-Christian, that all US laws rigorously abide by the US Constitution. Our future depends on it.

This also means that the phrasing should not be changed to "under no God" as some have suggested. The US government should remain strictly neutral with regard to God and religion. God should just be omitted -- keeping Government and Religion separate. They both can be very emotional, highly charged, and extremely important areas of our lives. It makes sense to keep them separate so that people of all faiths or no faiths can successfully work together to support the great nation known as the United States of America. We must hold ourselves to the highest standards and be a stellar role model for others in the world.

For the exact text of the law that codifies the Pledge please see:
United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 4
Available at: http://uscode.house.gov/title_04.htm

If you don't have the text of the US Constitution handy, you can read it and its Amendments at:

Every time I read the Constitution and its Amendments I'm astounded at how short yet clear and complete it is.

For two concise histories of the pledge, please see:

If you would like to express your support for removing "under God" from the Pledge, please see:
If you would like to retain "under God" in the Pledge, please see:

One final note, while I am opposed to chain letters, anyone reading my words here has permission to forward them to anyone else as long as credit is given by referencing:


Timothy S. Oey

Originally written: October 2, 2002
Updated: March 2, 2003
Updated link: Oct 6, 2009