In his response to my letter of Sept. 26, Thomas Prindiville claims in his letter (“God in pledge should offend no one”) that the U.S. government does not “support, sanction or approve monotheistic religions.” Because the Pledge of Allegiance states that the U.S. is “under God,” the Pledge is affirming that our nation believes that God exists. How can it be “under God” if God isn’t real? The major religions that identify their god as the one having a capital “G” are the monotheistic ones — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Therefore, by including “under God,“ the government is showing preference to them. This is a violation of the 1st Amendment.
Mr. Prindiville asks “why an atheist would care what someone else believes as long as their rights are not diminished or hurt.” Why should anyone have to acknowledge that our “one nation” is “under God”? Demonstrating loyalty to the U.S. via the Pledge has nothing to do with whether God exists or not. God has little or no meaning for Pagans, Buddhists, nonbelievers, and many other groups in this country. The Pledge should be inclusive for everyone. This is not the case currently because it does not recognize the beliefs of those people. This exclusion results in their citizenship being diminished in value. I wonder how Mr. Prindiville would feel or react if the monotheistic religions were not the dominant ones in this country and if the Pledge did not contain “God,” but rather some other divinity. I suspect that he would feel offended and biased against. The most sensible solution is to leave “under God” out of the Pledge.
Mr. Prindiville comments that an atheist in a committee of which he was a part said: “Some say there are no atheists, only those who rebel against God.” The “some” to whom the atheist was alluding were most likely believers who apparently cannot conceive of the fact that some people don’t believe that God is real. This viewpoint has evidently convinced them that, deep down, atheists really do believe in God, but hate him so much that they rebel against him. Atheists are convinced that no god(s) exists. How can anybody possibly hate or rebel against something that doesn’t exist for her/him?
John Klimenok Jr.
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