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God, Atheism and Pledge of Allegiance

March 31, 2004

When Francis Bellamy, the socialist Baptist minister, wrote the first version of the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892, he probably didn't envision it ever becoming a political issue. As a socialist, he was trying to encourage the nation's youth to embrace nationalism, most likely as a preliminary step to getting them to accept his socialist ideals. It is somewhat ironic to note the support that the pledge is often given by modern conservatives.

I firmly agree with Pauli Peter (letter, March 29) that it's time to dump the pledge, especially when little children are involved. We shouldn't be employing brainwashing techniques to encourage love of country and loyalty to America. Children should learn to love their country and be loyal to it through a process of understanding what a wonderful place they have been lucky enough to be born in. If America is good enough to deserve our children's love and loyalty, then it ought to be self-evident.

Lou Einung

Palm Desert

Letter writer Carleton Ralston (March 29) stated that Michael Newdow is trying to force atheism on us all by having God removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. He goes on to say that "his is only one of a dozen sects that enjoy freedom in the U.S."

Why should patriotic Americans of these sects be forced to pledge allegiance under God? Why not under Buddha, Allah or the Big Kahuna? Why not just one nation, undivided, with liberty and justice for all?

Jo-Anne Collins

Fountain Valley

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