Reality Check: "Under God" and the Pledge of Allegiance

(FOX19) - During the U.S. Open, NBC created a patriotic montage that included children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  The problem, three words were missing "Under God and Indivisible"

The result of the omission of "under God" has created a huge backlash.  So much so that within 3 hours of that airing, NBC issued this apology.

"'...When we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open Championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being held in our nation's capital for the third time. Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. it was not done to upset anyone and we would like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it."

Some are coming to the defense of NBC by saying the words "Under God" were not part of the original pledge and that is true.  So where did they come from?

They seem to have begun with Abraham Lincoln during his Gettysburg address.  Though not all manuscript versions of the Gettysburg Address contain the words "Under God", all the reporter's transcripts of the speech as delivered do.  Which means Lincoln may have deviated from the text of the address and inserted this phrase:  "that the nation shall, under god, have a new birth of freedom."

In the 1950's the momentum to amend the pledge picked up steam.  Several groups like the Knights of Columbus pushed to amend the pledge based on Lincoln's words.  February 8, 1954, a bill was introduced by a Michigan Congressman to amend the pledge.

Congress passed the necessary legislation and President Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.  Since then there have been many challenges to the phrase under god as some claim it promotes the establishment of a national religion. but no effort has succeeded in removing the phrase.  Which brings us back to NBC.  In that same montage, NBC didn't miss the mention of god once, they missed it twice.

Here's what you need to know.

Whether the phrase "under God" was in the original pledge doesn't matter,  because it is the pledge now.  The bottom-line, NBC didn't have to include the pledge at all.  It wasn't a necessary part of their golf coverage.  If the omission of the words "under God" were intentional by NBC or not it was huge mistake.  It robbed the U.S Open of what should have been a patriotic moment by instead surrounding that piece with controversy.

That is Reality Check.

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