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"Under God" Added to Pledge of Allegiance

The phrase "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, during the height of the Cold War, as a response to the perceived threat of atheistic communism and to emphasize the United States' religious values and opposition to godless ideologies. The campaign, to add "Under God", was led by a group called the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization. The addition was strongly supported by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The phrase was seen as a way to distinguish the United States from the officially atheist stance of the Soviet Union and to reinforce the nation's identity as a bastion of religious freedom and Judeo-Christian values.

President Eisenhower's support for adding "Under God" was evident in his speeches and statements during that time. He believed that acknowledging a higher power in the Pledge would strengthen the country's moral foundation and reaffirm its commitment to the principles of liberty and justice. The movement gained momentum as religious leaders, politicians, and patriotic organizations rallied behind the cause, viewing the addition of "Under God" as a way to unite Americans under a shared spiritual belief in the face of external ideological challenges.

The phrase "Under God" was officially added to the Pledge of Allegiance on June 14, 1954, when President Eisenhower signed the legislation into law. This change highlighted the complex intersection of religion, patriotism, and political ideology during the Cold War era. While the addition of "Under God" aimed to underscore the nation's religious heritage and set it apart from communist ideologies, it also raised questions about the separation of church and state and the inclusion of religious language in a secular oath. The inclusion of "Under God" remains a topic of ongoing debate, reflecting the intricate relationship between faith and national identity in the United States.

 

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

“Under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance

 

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag;  Manner of Delivery

 

The History of Legal Challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance

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