Over the weekend NBC began its coverage of the final round of the U.S. Open with a rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance. Omitted, apparently, was the phrase “under God.”
After an online firestorm, NBC issued an apology, which read, in part:
“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’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”
The phrase “under God” was not in the original version of the pledge, which was written in 1892 and adopted by Congress as the national pledge in 1942, not long after the United States became involved in World War II.
The “under God” was added in 1954, the same year Congress enacted the Communist Control Act amid virulent McCarthyism. Sadly, that manic atmosphere has reemerged, with all its hatred, fear, and divisiveness.
Lost now, as then, is the more important original language into which “under God” was inserted: “and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I never knew nor recited the pledge without “under God,” but those last seven words — “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” — are the ones that have stuck with me. I wish more Americans would express outrage that these concepts and precepts have been willfully and aggressively violated by so many for so long.