— Prior to 1954, the words "under God" were not in the pledge of allegiance. They were added under pressure from Christian leaders in a time of heightened nationalism and Communist fear in America. This period in American history was heavily authoritarian and ripe with the automaton conformity of its citizens. Today, only 3/4 of Americans believe in the Christian god mentioned in the pledge. Therefore, tens of millions of US citizens are left out.
Interestingly, the pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist Socialist minister. He wrote the original Pledge in August 1892 as a tribute to the 400th anniversary of Columbus' "discovery" of the continent and for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. It was meant to bring a sense of national solidarity to schoolchildren and citizens. His original pledge also included the word equality alongside liberty and justice. It was not included in the official pledge. It should be noted the official pledge was adopted prior to both Civil and Woman's Rights in America.
If we are truly a inclusive country, with liberty, justice and equality for all, the pledge should revert to its original form.
p.s. I spent the entire day Sunday re-installing Windows XP on Stephy's laptop using the Toshiba recovery disc ... then trying to get everything back looking the Classic way; still fighting with that ... and I'm trying out IE8. Also used a free program called "Revo Uninstaller" to get rid of all the pre-installed crapware (AOL, etc).