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Why The Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Revised Gwen Wilde.

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Presentation on theme: "Why The Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Revised Gwen Wilde."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why The Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Revised Gwen Wilde

2 The Exigencies (data) The author is a college student. She goes to Tufts University. She wrote the essay for a course in college composition. Her sources for research are –Religion Newswriters Foundation –CNN –Encyclopedia of Religion (FOF) –Doug Sterner (blogger)

3 Background Assumptions Given: all Americans are familiar with the pledge. Reasonable assertion: most Americans do not know that “under God” is not in the original language.

4 Her claim “In my view, the addition of the words, “under God” is an inappropriate, and they are needlessly divisive—an odd addition indeed to a Nation that is said to be indivisible.” –What are her discourse markers? –What are her assumptions? –What does her diction imply?

5 A second claim: this, therefore that… “Very simply put, the Pledge in its latest form requires all Americans to say something that some Americans do not believe.” –Peer pressure compels “all but the bravest to join in the recitation.” Is she implying that the minority of nonbelievers justify restricting the privileges of the majority?

6 On Eisenhower’s language… “I am not sure what ‘the transcendence of faith in America’s heritage means.’ –Premise: Many Americans have not been devout. –Premise: Many non-devout Americans have been patriotic. –Conclusion: you don’t need to be devout to be a patriotic American. Is this a reasonable conclusion?

7 The line of thought… “…something like 70% or even 80% of Americans say they are affiliated with some form of Christianity….” “Nevertheless, several million Americans do not believe in God.” Is this argument sufficient without a reasonable definition of the word, God?

8 Assertions If one does not recite the words, “under God,” “…one is open to the charge of being unpatriotic.” “Patriotism is connected to religious belief…” One is open to the charge of being “un-American” if one does not express belief in a “divine power.”

9 She is not arguing that… (qualifiers) The Pledge is unconstitutional The words “under God” add up to the ‘establishment of religion.’ –“…but they do assert a religious doctrine.”

10 Counterarguments “…under God” is not to be taken seriously. –It is merely a “descriptive phrase.” The Pledge is a “commendable patriotic observance.” “In God we trust” appears on our money. Saying the Pledge is not compulsory.

11 Rebuttals Millions of Americans do not believe in God. The Pledge is an affirmation that many are not prepared to make. The pledge is a patriotic (not religious) observance.

12 Truth-Seeking Principle Applied “I am willing to put aside the issue of constitutionality. “I am willing to grant that this phrase does not in any significant sense signify the ‘establishment of religion’”

13 Be it Resolved That… “I nevertheless insist that the phrase is neither ‘tepid’ or ‘diluted.’” “The Pledge is divisive; it includes a phrase that many patriotic Americans cannot bring themselves to utter” “The Pledge of Allegiance should be something that everyone can say, say out loud, and say with pride.”


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