America’s Pledge of Allegiance is neither long nor complicated: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Only 31 very powerful words until NBC television decided that was four words too many and edited the phrase “one nation under god” out of the version of the pledge it broadcast leading up to the start of the final round of the PGA United States Open golf tournament Sunday.
While much of the media takes glee in bashing God and presenting a purely humanist viewpoint, it appears that most of the public thinks that NBC went too far this time. Recognizing the intense blowback, NBC apologized for the omission later in the broadcast:
Shortly after the piece aired, NBC Sports host Dan Hicks apologized for the cut. “We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago and when we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open Championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being held in our nation’s capital for the third time,” Hicks said. “Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone and we’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”
Of course there are those that blast NBC for apologizing:
“Stupid NBC should have stuck to their guns,” wrote heatherewf on Twitter. “Under God has no place in a pledge to a country based on religious tolerance.”
“heatherewf” misses the point so badly it would be difficult to understand if not for the teachings of “political correctness.” Political correctness teaches that “religious tolerance” means that you can’t talk about God, involve God in the community in anyway without being “intolerant” of non believers and that any opinion to the contrary renders you a “religious fanatic.” The “politically correct” extend this ridiculous argument even further by trying to argue that their version of “religious tolerance” is required under the United States Constitution. All of this is of course wrong.
America was founded based upon Judeo-Christian principles – the “politically correct” may not like that truth, but that is the truth. The United States Constitution does prohibit congress from enacting any law “respecting an establishment of religion” or impeding the free exercise of religion. This amendment was put in place to prevent the creation of an official “state religion” something that many had fled Europe to avoid. If someone at Al Jazeera in Iran had pulled a stunt relating to the Koran like the one pulled at NBC, they would have lost their tongue or their life – that is religious intolerance.
Notice that the First Amendment prevents the government from taking any action to impede the free exercise of religion. That is the little tidbit that the “politically correct” would like you to forget. The “politically correct” act as if the constitution prohibits religious discussion when in actuality the constitution does just the opposite, the constitution allows everyone to express their religious viewpoint and practice their religion in their own way. An atheist has no more right to tell me how and where to pray than I have the right to tell the atheist he is legally required to believe in God.
As a corporate enterprise, NBC has every right to espouse whatever viewpoint it wishes. As a corporate enterprise, NBC must suffer the consequences if its consumers differ with the opinions it espouses.