Story last updated at 2:11 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2002

Time to change the pledge
Dear Editor,

"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

You may not know this, but that was the original Pledge of Allegiance written by Francis Bellamy, a clergyman, and then publicly used for the first time in schools on October 12, 1892, for Columbus Day. A change was made in 1924 for Flag Day where "my flag" was replaced by "the flag of the United States of America."

In 1954, during the Cold War, "under God" was added to set this country apart from those "godless communists." After the change, President Eisenhower stated, "From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every city school and every rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."

I ask the Christians who make up the majority of this community: put yourselves in the position of the minority for just a minute. Imagine you believe in something other than the Judeo-Christian god, you're a student and your class says the pledge every morning. You get to the part "under God," which makes you feel uncomfortable. Are you unpatriotic because you don't believe that part of the pledge? Why does it have to include "under God" if our country has separation between church and state?

You're not able to identify? Then imagine you're a Christian in the minority. The rest of the country believes there is no God, and the pledge actually reflects this by stating "one nation, under "no God." Wouldn't that bother you?

Our nation won't crumble if we just remove the "under God" phrase. Let's change the Pledge of Allegiance back so that it reflects ALL people of this nation.

Emily Johngren