Why The Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Revised

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In "Why the pledge of allegiance should be revised,"Gwen Wilde argues that the Pledge of Allegiance contains content that is divisive for the country. Wilde feels that the phrase “under God” is one that is oddly placed due to the numerous individuals that do not believe in any religion or deity. Wilde provides a compelling argument by explaining that patriotic American citizens should not have to keep quiet at certain segments of the Pledge due to the presence of an unneeded phrase. The writer also accepts the fact that no one is forced to state the loyalty pledge but lack of reciting resorts to an individual being labeled as ‘unpatriotic.' Gwen also recognizes counterarguments such as the phrase "under God"being similar to "In God, we trust"that used on American money although fails to offer an effective rebuttal. Through the use of logos, pathos, and ethos, Wilde makes her arguments convincing the reader. Wilde effectively proposes the elimination of the words “under God” as it alienates patriotic Americans from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

            Wilde strongly emphasizes that the phrase “under God” should be eliminated from the Pledge of Allegiance. The writer believes that the American culture promotes everybody holding a different opinion and is subject to their own beliefs. The writer holds a solid argument because she explains that using a religious phrase that not everybody subscribes to, forces people to state something they do not believe. The American society is based upon the basis of freedom of speech and expression, and no one should have to be subjected to religious notions that they do not believe in. Wilde also takes into account that people do not have to state the Pledge of Allegiance because they have the constitutional right to stay quiet. However, she argues that due to the nature of the society, an individual has no option but recite the Pledge. People who do not quote the Pledge are likely to be labeled as unpatriotic by their peers.  

Wilde uses the rhetorical elements of logos, pathos, and ethos to provide a convincing argument. Through logos, she proves that there is a percentage of individuals that do not belong to any religious denomination when she states that only 70 to 80 percent of Americans are Christians (Barnet and Bedau 66). She uses pathos to appeal to the manner in which people get treated as unpatriotic when they do not recite the Pledge of Allegiance because it does not ascribe to their beliefs. Wilde also builds confidence in her ethos and shows credibility by using arguments that demonstrate her knowledge on the topic. She cites how President Eisenhower altered the Pledge of Allegiance and used her historical knowledge to explain the Pledge's flaw.

            Wilde also recognizes other counterarguments such as the use of “under God” in the Pledge of allegiance holds similar strength to “In God we trust” that is printed on money. Wilde argues that the contexts of the two phrases are significantly different. She explains that when individuals are involved in the transaction of money, they are never conscious of the phrase printed on the money. Also, one is not creating an affirmation of the statement “In God we trust” as one does when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. However, Wilde’s argument is weak and not very well supported regarding proving the contexts of both phrases are different. Not everybody is comfortable with the words “In God we trust” being on their money, similar to how she argues there are people uncomfortable with the religious phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance.

            In conclusion, Wilde offers a strong argument on why the Pledge of allegiance should be altered. She provides valid evidence based on the freedom of religion and expression that America has, whereby nobody should be forced to state a phrase they do not believe. Wilde uses rhetorical appeals such as ethos, pathos, and logos to make her argument convincing and appealing to the reader. Although Wilde shows awareness of counterarguments, she does not offer a convincing rebuttal. She fails to adequately prove that the context of a religious phrase on the dollar is different from the one on the Pledge of Allegiance.

Work Cited

Barnet, Sylvan and Bedau, Hugo. “From critical thinking to argument: A portable guide 4th

edition.” Bedford/St. Martin's, 2016.

November 24, 2023

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