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Removing "Under God" From The Pledge Of Allegiance

Over at OTB, Alex Knapp responds to the story about NBC editing out the Pledge Of Allegiance from a televised broadcast of the U.S. Open:
A couple of things that I think are worth noting here:

1.) The original Pledge didn’t contain the phrase “under God.”
The Pledge was first written by Francis Bellamy in 1892. The phrase “under God” wasn’t added until 1954 – and even then, it was added by Congress to part of the Flag Code, which isn’t binding or enforceable law. So there’s really no “right way” to say the Pledge, and it seems to be it’s perfectly valid to keep it old school and say it as originally spoken.

2.) Loyalty rituals made in front of sporting events are creepy.
One historical question I need to research and answer sometime is why on Earth Americans feel obligated to mutter through meaningless patriotic rituals before playing sports. It not only doesn’t make sense, it’s creepy. Repeatedly re-affirming one’s loyalty is the hallmark of an authoritarian society and doesn’t have much place in a free one. It may subtly re-inforce a type of “America, F– yeah!” nationalism, but it doesn’t really reinforce patriotism in the sense of being a free citizen, nor does it reaffirm our shared values. It’s ultimately meaningless.

I love this country, and I express that by making arguments and performing activities geared towards making it a better one. I don’t need to “prove” my loyalty with a glazed-eye repetition of pointless rituals.
Also responding to the story, Doug links to an article at The Liberty Papers from 2008:
Every few years, some organization sues a school district because it compels children to state the pledge with the clause “under God”. These suits invariably claim that it violates the clause in the U.S. Constitution forbidding the establishment of a state religion. Unfortunately, these lawsuits miss the main point. The human rights violation is not that children are forced to pledge their loyalty to God – t is the fact that the children are forced to make any loyalty oath at all!

The pledge of allegiance is not compatible with a free country. Written by a socialist who sought to indoctrinate children with the idea that they should be servants of the state, it opposes the very principles underlying the Declaration of Independence. It is the duty of every patriotic American, whose loyalties are to those principles rather than some flag or body of men, to oppose it. Let the enemies of freedom distinguish themselves by compelling people to take oaths against their will. Let us once again embrace freedom and expel the rotten pledge of allegiance from our schools.
Interesting arguments all around.

Personally, I've always been uncomfortable with reciting anything in unison with other people around me.

I feel this way (as Knapp pointed out) at sporting events, but even moreso at religious gatherings. To me, nothing screams "CULT!" more than 100 people (or more) all chanting the same words together.