Our Pledge of Allegiance and the Myth of “One Nation Under God”

You often hear many on the right claim that our country was founded on Christianity.  They’ll use our Pledge of Allegiance as “proof” that this nation was founded as a Christian nation.  Many of them put bumper stickers on their vehicles that say “One Nation Under GOD!” or emphasize the word “God”  when they recite our nation’s pledge.

It all sounds great, except for the fact that our pledge wasn’t written until until 1892.  Yes, you read that correctly, our Pledge of Allegiance was written a full 116 years after the Revolutionary War and Declaration of Independence.

Not only that, but the phrase “Under God” wasn’t even in the original text of our pledge:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

And it gets better.  The author of our pledge was Francis Bellamy – a Christian socialist.  He stood for workers rights and believed in an equal distribution of economic resources.  He believed in the nationalization of certain industries, because he feared their manipulation and corruption in the hands of a private sector which would put profits before people.

So a Christian, a minister at that, wrote the pledge – yet didn’t include the word “God” or “Christian” – and  he was a socialist.  I’m sure by now most conservatives reading this will have already decided I’m making all of this up.  But oh, there’s more.

In 1923, more text was added to our pledge:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

So, 31 years after its origination, our pledge still didn’t contain the phrase “under God.”

In fact, it wasn’t until 1954 that the phrase “under God” was actually added to our pledge, in a response to the threat of communism.

“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.”

So it wasn’t until 62 years after its creation that “under God” was added to our pledge.

I can already hear some now, “But our currency has “In God We Trust” written on it!  It’s our nation’s motto!”

That’s true, it does and it is.  But “In God We Trust” didn’t appear on any currency until 1864.  In fact, the motto “In God We Trust” wasn’t even adopted into this country officially until 1956 and didn’t appear on our paper currency until 1957.  It was only on our coins up until that point.

Then let’s not forget that the only reference to religion in our Bill of Rights is in our First Amendment, which states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The word Christianity doesn’t appear even once in our Constitution.

So when these people proudly boast about our nation being a “Christian nation” or that we were a nation founded “under God,” remind them of these facts.

Because the more they press the issue, the more they think you’re simply making all of this up, the more they continue to insist this country was founded on Christianity and use our currency or pledge as proof…

The more they display their ignorance of our history and prove that they would rather believe a lie than know the truth.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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