All who favor democracy over theocracy should condemn any government meeting’s ceremonial recitation of a phrase that conflates patriotism with religious faith.

Even when participation in the Pledge of Allegiance is nominally voluntary, being present for public utterance of “one nation under God” will grate on those who don’t abide monotheistic beliefs. That phrase moreover lacks for certainty, as the word “god” has hundreds of different definitions.

Whatever satisfaction religious adherents get from coercing others to say “under God” parallels that derived by die-hard Trump backers who exult in exclaiming “make America great again.” The pledge proponents never bother to define just what “God” prevails over our nation; and the “MAGA” spouters never bother to say just when America was once great nor what exactly made it great then.

It’s one thing to indulge feel-good secular sloganeering at partisan gatherings. But staging pious avowals at government meetings demeans our democracy.


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