Letters to the Editor: Debating “Under God” Clause

Dear Editor,


I can respect that there are people in this world with different political views then myself, because people have every right to express themselves under “Freedom of Speech.” But what I cannot stomach is an attack on someone else’s religious opinions, which themselves are covered under another important right, ‘Freedom of Religion.’

“One Phrase Under Attack: In Defene of the Pledge of Allegiance Clause ‘Under God’” hit many wrong cords with me, but one of the biggest that I am sure stuck out to many readers was this: “This week, an atheist (inane anti-God bigot) family.” What was the call for that? What was the need for taking an entire religion and labeling them with that kind of hate tag just because they want their equal rights? That sentence is immature; it is the kind of thing a person would say in a real argument when flustered and backed into a corner.  It doesn’t make the argument that is being made any stronger; in fact, it makes it weaker.

That sentence is hate, and it has no place in an article of a college campus that prides itself on being better than that. Similarly, neither does the term: “lunkhead yuppies,” for that matter. The presence of terms like that in the article then distracts readers like myself from the actual argument being made. But behind the snappy and defensive words, an argument that is weak still emerges.

I am also very confused about the argument the writer makes when he says: ‘“I support the continuation of the phrase because I am American” and “this is American versus anti-American, freedom versus no freedom,” I feel like this argument isn’t really an argument, it’s more like a threat. I feel threatened by it. By saying that it is ‘“American” to support the “under God” statement, the article is saying anyone who fails to agree becomes un-American and an enemy to freedom, and that simply isn’t true. That isn’t an argument; that’s an excuse.

We are no longer living in the world of our founding fathers, things have changed and some of them are changing for the worse. It is argued in this article that the separation between church and state exists; this is true. However, the gap is becoming smaller, being strangled by the times. Right now, politicians are arguing whether or not women should have access to contraceptives, and the main arguments against them are religious ones. Religious ones that have no place in politics because there is supposed to be a “separation’.”

That is only one modern example of the loss of separation, but they are all ignored and dismissed in this article. Another is Rick Santorum. Santorum said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos “This Week,” that he opposes the separation between the church and the state. Santorum is a presidential candidate, and a prime example of politicians pushing their own religious agenda.

The gap is closing and if people like this atheist family don’t fight for their rights, (because Freedom of Religion is a big important factor in America) then they run the risk of losing them entirely.  I have no problem with the “under God” statement, despite always finding it contradictory of America’s message of religious freedom. I just have a problem with the way this issue was argued. Mainly, that it didn’t seem to be “argued” at all, only defended via the offensive routes.


Julia Smith, ‘15

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