Abraham Lincoln Never Recited the Pledge of Allegiance

Abraham Lincoln, undoubtedly one of our greatest American presidents, never recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  I realize most of you never even considered that he might have … recited the Pledge of Allegiance, that is.  But, he was the first to use the phrase,  “nation under God”.  It was in the Gettysburg Address – “… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Lincoln’s use of this phrase was one of the arguments used by Congress to justify adding “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.  That, and the very real threat of a world wide takeover of Communism.

Remember, the U.S. had just come out of a horrible war.  The atom bomb (along with the birth of the development of nuclear weaponry) was not a distant concept.  To that generation of Americans, it was REALITY.  And Communism was no “textbook”  idea either.  The reality of Communist tanks rolling into one small defenseless nation after another was daily on the minds of Americans.  Hence, Communism plus the A-bomb was as real to our flesh-and-blood ancestors as rising unemployment rates is to us today.

So … what to do?  Well, our grandparents had an answer … not the whole answer, not the final answer … but an answer just the same.  Our grandparents (and for you younger readers, great grandparents) went back to the very core of why this nation was birthed in the first place … the freedom for individuals to recognize, acknowledge, worship and glorify God.   That’s right.  Not the right to bear arms … as important as that is.  Not the right to own property … as critical as that is.  Not the right to assemble or to vote or to speak freely or to have a fair trial by peers or the many other freedoms that we enjoy.  As important as each of those freedoms is … as critical as they are to our nation’s security and success … our ancestors did NOT get on a boat and cross an ocean to gain those freedoms.

No. Our ancestors risked their lives for God.  Nothing was more important to them than the ability to live their lives in such a way that they could worship God the best way they knew how … that was the driving force that caused so many to risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones.   And that is the bedrock foundation upon which the United States of America was formed.

So, in 1954 a small group of Congressmen proposed that “under God” be added to the Pledge of Allegiance.  Congressman Louis Rabaut, a Democrat from Michigan, said in a speech to Congress on August 20, 1954, “Indeed, the one fundamental issue which is the unbridgeable gap between America and Communist Russia is belief in Almighty God.”

President Eisenhower said this when signing the bill into law, “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.”

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln planted the seed that America is, indeed, a “nation under God”.  Ninety-one years later, America formally proclaimed this truth.  And they proclaimed it loudly and without shame or doubt … to the world.

Since that time, Americans everywhere recite it daily.  But, sadly, the history behind its origins has been lost … to apathy, to political correctness, to inattention and disinterest in our national heritage.

I hope that I can help revive this small part of American history – the history of the Pledge of Allegiance.  The history of the Pledge is the history of America.  Stay tuned for more.  And, in the meantime, if your interested, visit my web site, www.theuspledge.com and purchase my book.  I have uncovered American history you simply do not know.

Someone once said, “When you change what you know, you change what you put up with.”

Now you know.  Will you continue to put up with a revisionist form of American history?  I hope not.

Happy birthday, Abraham Lincoln (and George Washington)!  And thanks for reminding us that we are, indeed, “one nation under God”.

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