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Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress, thank you for allowing me to speak today.

I do not stand before you with a hate filled heart.
I do not stand before you today wishing to destroy anyone's beliefs or ways of life.
I do not stand before you today hoping to achieve a victory for one group while hurting another.

Instead, I stand before you today in the hope that you listen open-mindedly.
That is all I ask.

In 1956, "In God We Trust" was adopted as the United States official motto. This motto has been on our coins since 1864 and on our paper currency since 1957. In 1954, the words "Under God" where added to the Pledge of Allegiance. The question of whether or not these phrases are constitutional has been argued on all levels, from the dinner tables of average Americans, all the way up to the Supreme Court. I personally believe that these phrases are unconstitutional, but the arguments for it have been so overused that I feel repeating them would be beating a dead horse.

No, instead I will bring up a new argument, one many do not think of, or realize.
These phrases, to put it simply, are completely and utterly un-American.

Does the phrase "Under God" represent all Americans?
Does the phrase "In God We Trust" represent all Americans?
The answer is simple, no.

The major religions that believe in one "God" are Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Baha'i' faith .These religions are also divided on their concept of "god" and have their own names for Him, such as Yahweh , Hashem, or Allah.

But what of all other religions, and world views?
These two phrases cannot represent Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Wiccans, Asturus, Druids, Jaisists, Atheists, Agnostics, Free-thinkers, Pantheists, Deists, Taoists, Unitarians, Panenthesists, Secular Humanists, Animists, Scientologists; and the list goes on.

These groups combined account for 81 million* Americans.
These two phrases fail to recognize 81 million Americans.

And yet we can justify having this as our national motto?
This motto closes the 'golden door' of America to all those who do not believe in this one "God".

Many argue that this nation is Christian, or founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs. And therefore the phrases are justified.
Since when has alienating your fellow countrymen become an American value?
Since when has the values of the Christian religion, or any other religion, become the values of America, its government, and its people?


People yell, scream, and bicker relentlessly that this nation was founded as Christian, that the founding fathers where all Christian, and so on.
To them I simply point to the Treaty of Tripoli, written during George Washington's presidency, and signed into law by John Adams. It states in Article 11, quote "The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" unquote.

And yet, in the case Newdow V. Rio Linda Union School District , the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals  upheld the words "Under God" in the pledge saying , quote, "the words where of ceremonial and patriotic nature" unquote
Patriotic nature?  
Does this court mean to say that 81 million Americans are unpatriotic?
Or that they cannot be patriotic if they do not believe in this one "god"?
What about all the non-monotheists who serve in our armed forces, work as judges, are police officers, and hold many other government jobs? They are Americans; they are just as American as anyone else.They wave flags, celebrate the Fourth of July, but they do not believe in the one "god".

Why should this make them any less American?

It shouldn't.

And they should not be alienated as "different" by the government of the country they love.

The national motto "In God We Trust" should be revoked, and removed from our currency.
And the phrase "Under God" should be removed from our pledge.

Ladies and Gentlemen of congress, I ask you to have a vote on this issue, tell the 81 million Americans that you represent them just as much as you represent the rest of country, vote to have both phrases removed.
That action will speak volumes. Do not go out and make speeches and say that you support all Americans but vote to keep the phrases today.
Because "Well done is better than well said."

Thank You.
This was my midterm for English class. We had 3 weeks to do this assignment; I did not look at it until 5pm the night before I had to deliver the speech. ..and then I wrote and memorized it so I only had to look at the paper twice. It was pretty awesome :lol:

:bulletblack:*The 81 million figure was taken from data at, which is based of the ARIS and NSRI data. I did some math adding up the estimated population of the Abrahamic Religions (Which there are four who believe in the god of Abraham and mind you some of them may say these phrases do not represent them either) and subtracting that from the US total population.

:bulletblack:The whole point of the speech was to address the “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and “In God We Trust” as our national motto and on our money, WITHOUT arguing its constitutionality.

:bulletblack:I kind of like the phrases "One nation of the people" for the pledge or taking god out and not adding anything since that was the original pledge anyways. And Go back to the ORIGINAL traditional motto "E Plurbis Unum" , "Out of many, one" Which represents american diversity instead of alienating anyone :shrug:

:eager: FEATURED:…

Related deviation:

This piece is actually very straight forward and to the point without being excessively wordy or rambling off topic at all. Your points are concise and meaningful, and you present your evidence and cite your sources clearly.

While I commend you for writing that you are not attacking or intending harm, perhaps the three "I do not stand before you..." sentences should be removed as they imply a negative note with the words "I do not", and instead lead off with "I stand before you today..." This I think would help put your audience in a more positive and receptive mindset rather than a negative one.

That being said, the rest is quite well written and you bring up excellent points to support your argument. The only thing that I would add is the point you made in your comments below where you stated "We are pledging allegiance to a "nation under god"" by stating that "In the Pledge of allegiance we are asked to "pledge allegiance to the flag of a nation under God", yet by doing so we exclude over 18 million Americans who do not follow the monotheistic religion of Christianity." or something to that general effect. This might help point out that though America was not founded on Christianity, we are falsely being made to believe it was and the implication that if one is not Christian, then one is not a Patriotic American.

Again, very well thought out and well written for something pulled together in a couple hours for an in-class assignment. I am very happy to see a high school student with a good and sharp mind. Too many children are raised into forced conformity and lose so much of the good they could bring to the world they will inherit as adults.
What do you think?
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