Essay about Analysis of Gwen Wilde's Why the Pledge of Allegiance Should be Revised?

Submitted By ryanandrew6
Words: 945
Pages: 4

A New Pledge? With the so-called “War on Religion” many argue that religious artifacts, phrases and practices should be excluded from government affairs. We’ve seen numerous cases where federal judges order the removal of the Ten Commandments from courtrooms such as the one in Dixie County Florida in 2011. Another popular one is removing crosses from federal land like Arlington National Cemetery or the case that removed the cross from Mojave National Preserve; however these cases seldom succeed in inducing the opposing side. On the other hand, one who actually does is Gwen Wilde in her essay “Why the Pledge of Allegiance Should be Revised?” in which she argues that the words “Under God” should be stricken from the oath in order to keep patriotism and religion separate. She has countless arguments that help her to prove her point, such as atheism and religions that worship other “Gods.” Wilde’s has a simple thesis that says in her opinion “the words ‘Under God’ are inappropriate,” and she supports this thesis with strong and well-articulated arguments that succeeds in effectively swaying the reader. Before beginning her argument Wilde gives a brief history of the Pledge so that a reader can better understand where her views come from as many do not know it’s history and others believe that it was written by the founding fathers. In her condensed version Wilde specifically mentions that the original pledge did not include the phrase “Under God,” however at this point it had not been federally ratified in US Flag Code. She also notes that the words of the Pledge have been changed several times before notably in 1923 when the words “my flag” were changed to “the flag” in order to not offend immigrants (Wilde 53). This helps her with her argument as it confirms that the pledge can and has changed especially for the purpose to be un-insulting, as that is one of her arguments. She ends with the final version we recite today being chosen, sanctioned and approved by President Eisenhower. Wilde begins her analysis with her most prominent argument which is present throughout her essay; that the Pledge of Allegiance “requires” all school students to say something they may not believe in (53). She references the opponent’s argument that students do not have to recite the pledge or just the phrase “Under God” if they wish not to and the associated court cases. She counters this by saying that many students are susceptible to peer pressure and may be persuaded to recite the Pledge in its entirety stating that “peer pressure does compel all but the bravest to join in the recitation” (Wilde 53). To reinforce her argument that simply not saying the pledge isn’t enough she introduces a scenario where a student “remains silent” during the Pledge and can therefore be “open to the charge that one is unpatriotic” effectively countering the argument (Wilde 54). This is her main motive for the change; this proves to be an effective argument with sound reasoning. Wilde continues to effectively refute common arguments against altering the Pledge of Allegiance. She claims that most common argument is different variations of “under God” and other religious rhetoric is present in many facets of government such as in courtrooms and most notably money. As many argue that the words “in God we trust” that appear on our currency is equivalent to the “under God.” To counter Wilde makes the point that exchanging currency is not the same as saying the pledge. She claims that when we spend money we are “concentrating on the business transaction” not God, whereas when we recite the pledge we are directly affirming our faiths (Wilde 55). The convinces the audience that Often when arguments are made for removing religious rhetoric from