In August of 2020, President Donald Trump claimed Democrats removed God from the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention, but the televised DNC proceedings tell a different story. What’s the truth?
Did Democrats remove "God" from the Pledge of Allegiance at the DNC?
The claim gained momentum on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2021 when Peggy Hubbard, a former U.S. Senate candidate, wrote on Facebook that the DNC removed the mention of God from the Pledge of Allegiance out of fears that it was “offensive.”
“The DNC omitted, One Nation Under God. From the pledge of allegiance [sic],” Hubbard wrote. “It was thought to be offensive and may trigger some people.”
Hubbard, by the way, is a retired IRS analyst and military veteran who ran to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate in 2020 but lost to Mark Curran in the Republican primary in March.
Citing independent fact-checkers, Facebook flagged Hubbard’s post as “partly false information,” and linked to the PolitiFact post on the topic. Per PolitiFact, Democratic caucus members omitted the line “one nation under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during two DNC meetings: The LGBTQ Caucus meeting and the Muslim Delegates Assembly on Aug. 18.
The line, however, was included when DNC participants recited the Pledge of Allegiance during the second, third, and fourth nights of the televised DNC proceedings,” PolitiFact notes.
“[Hubbard’s] Facebook post contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression,” the post asserts. “We rate it Mostly False.” The site also notes that Hubbard hasn’t responded to its request for a comment.
Snopes, another fact-checking site, posted a similar assessment of the viral claim. “This statement is misleading at best,” Snopes stated. “The DNC did not omit ‘under God’ from the pledge, nor did they forbid its use. In fact, during every recitation of the pledge before each night’s events — the 2020 DNC lasted four nights — the phrase 'under God' was included.”
In a comment on her post, however, Hubbard wrote an all-caps rebuttal to at Facebook’s fact-checking. “THE INDEPENDENT FACT CHECKER CAN BLOW IT OUT HIS A--!” she wrote. “I SAW THE MAN OMIT ‘ONE NATION UNDER GOD’ MYSELF!”
Trump tweeted the same claim on his Twitter account on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020 (prior to his Twitter account being suspended in January of 2021). “The Democrats took the word GOD out of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democrat National Convention,” he wrote. “At first I thought they made a mistake, but it wasn’t. It was done on purpose. Remember Evangelical Christians, and ALL, this is where they are coming from-it’s done. Vote Nov 3!”
Video from the convention telecast on Thursday shows Cedric Richmond Jr. — son of Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) — reciting the pledge and including the “one nation under God” line.
The mention of “under God” was officially added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, after President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill on the topic into law. The mention of God has faced various legal challenges over the years, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2004 to keep the line in the Pledge, according to Smithsonian Magazine.