Pledging Allegiance

Where does “under God” come from?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Elk Grove United School District v. Newdow. Michael A. Newdow, the atheist who filed the suit, argued that inclusion of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First Amendment, which requires the separation of church and state. In this “History Lesson,” David Greenberg explained why communism, the Cold War, and an obscure sermon caused Congress to add the phrase to the pledge in 1954.