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Under God


    All my life I have loved my country and even have gone to jail on behalf of defending its principles. 
Until 1954, I proudly saluted allegiance to my flag.  It was that year, during Eisenhower's tenure, 
the Knights of Columbus persuaded Congress to change the Pledge of Allegiance. It was this 
beginning of the Cold War, with the Godless Russians, and during the McCarthy "find a red under 
every bed" witch hunt era, that I found reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, in its newly amended form, 
to be divisive and counter to the author's intent. "One nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," 
as originally written by Francis Bellamy in 1892, was changed with two words "under God" that made 
our nation now divisible, to exclude the 14% of the Americans, who are Atheists.   

I remember how good the words "one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" felt in my mind 
and mouth, as I gave that promise to my country.  I was excluded because of my belief.

Why did something that had served our country so well, for sixty-two years, as Bellamy's Pledge of 
Allegiance had done, need to be changed from a patriotic pledge, to include a public prayer?  
Something Bellamy carefully sought to avoid in crafting the Pledge. One nation indivisible wasn't 
as such anymore!   "Under God" ended that wonderful feeling for at least 14% of us.  It wasn't needed,
we were tight-together without it.  If the Theists felt a need for their country to be "under God" 
then let them think and say it underbreath.   They had no right to change Bellamy's intent 
and cause me to echo their belief, in pledging allegiance to my country..

Earl Rowley
July 19, 2007

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