As the fabric of the United States gets markedly less Christian and more secular, evidences of the intersection of Church and State throughout America's history will be called into question.
The United States, in addition to "The Star Spangled Banner," the National Anthem adopted in 1931, adopted the Pledge of Allegiance which was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. When it was originally written in 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance read:
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
If you grew up in the United States, you know that the Pledge of Allegiance has undergone a number of additions since its original version in 1892. Only 13 years after its formal adoption by the United States Congress in 1942, the final words were added to the Pledge, "under God" right after the words "one Nation." Today, the Pledge of Allegiance reads:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Since its addition in 1954, a number of organizations of varying atheistic backgrounds have spent enormous amounts of energy, time, and money to have the deistic phrase expelled from the Pledge.
Most recently, an atheist family in New Jersey is suing its school district in an effort to have "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance on the grounds that it discriminates against atheists.
Here are some of the key findings:
- 85% of Americans want to keep "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- 25% of Americans think forcing students to say "under God" violates their rights.
- 8% of Americans want to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
- 14% of Americans ages 18-29 want to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
- 5% of Americans aged 64 or older want to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
- 13% of college-educated Americans want to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
- 94% of self-identified born again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christian Americans want to keep "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
So, if "under God" is taken out of the pledge, it will be by judicial fiat and not by popular vote.