In WW1 and WW2, the words Gott Mit Uns (God [is] With Us) were on German soldiers' belt buckles.
In a recent (2008) book, Masters and Commanders; How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945, the author said that German soldiers -- whether advancing, fighting in place, or retreating -- were 50 % more effective than Allied soldiers. They killed three Allied soldiers for every two German soldiers the Allies killed.
I doubt that research has been done showing that "with God" makes soldiers more effective killers than "under God".
I live in a veterans retirement community and residents regularly see me not joining in their pledges of allegiance to the flag. I challenged them; I told them that when they swear an oath to the Constitution (which we all did when we entered the military), we can talk. I swore that oath again six months ago when I was appointed to the county's Commission on Aging.
In conversations I tell people of the 1940 US Supreme Court case, in which the Court held that the Pledge's purpose is to bring school children into the political culture. I add that we have people here who are in their second childhoods, "so I guess it's okay." People have chuckled; I hope they continue chuckling.
No one has given me any flak. One pal who finds humor in my refusal, while nearby and saying the Pledge, says "one nation under Tom". I'm okay with that.
I also remind people that a Demo administration lied us into a war in Viet Nam and a Repub administration lied us into a war in Iraq. Add to that the great concern that both parties have for the wealthy and the little concern they have for the middle and lower classes.
When I'm ready to "up the ante", I will tell people I will no longer stand while they pledge. The federal appellate courts for Florida and nearby states have ruled Americans have this right too.
Do you let the Pledge make tracks in your brain cells, strengthening any jingoist impulses you might have?
Every activist started with small actions, Joann.