A new study by The Seidewitz Group, commissioned by the American Humanist Association with support from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, reports that 34 percent of Americans support removing the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
The study, conducted in May of 2014, responded to a 2013 poll by Lifeway Research, which stated that only 8 percent of American adults felt that “under God” should be removed from the Pledge. Unlike the Lifeway Research poll, the survey done by The Seidewitz Group included a brief description of the history of the Pledge of Allegiance, including the information that “under God” was only added as recently as 1954 in response to the Cold War and that some Americans feel that the Pledge should focus on unity rather than religion.
“The current wording of the Pledge marginalizes atheists, agnostics, humanists and other nontheists because it presents them as less patriotic, simply because they do not believe in God,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We are encouraged by these findings, which suggest with even a small amount of education, more Americans are in favor of restoring the Pledge to its original wording.”
One thousand American adults were surveyed. Among Christians, 21 percent supported the removal of “under God” from the Pledge. Forty-three percent of individuals of other faiths and 62 percent of individuals who identified with no particular faith also supported removing the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Over 90 percent of individuals who identify as atheists are in favor of the removal of the phrase “under God.”
In response to these survey results, the American Humanist Association will be announcing the launch of a new campaign on Sept. 8, 2014.