“Under God” Pastor Dies

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the expression, “You learn something new every day.”  Well, I learned something new today.  There was a time in U.S. history when the words “under God” were not part of the pledge of the allegiance. The man who was credited with helping to get these words into our pledge of allegiance died on Thanksgiving day.  I’m thankful for men such as George Docherty with a conviction and strong desire to see God honored.  Here is the brief history I read about George Docherty and “under God.”

ALEXANDRIA, Pa. – The Rev. George M. Docherty, credited with helping to push Congress to insert the phrase “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, has died at 97.

 

Docherty died on Thanksgiving at his home in central Pennsylvania, according to his wife, Sue Docherty.

She said her husband of 36 years had been in failing health for about three years.

“George said he was going to live to be a hundred and he was determined,” she said in a telephone interview Saturday. “It’s amazing that he was with us this long.”

Docherty, then pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, just blocks from the White House, gave a sermon in 1952 saying the pledge should acknowledge God.

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and was unfamiliar with the pledge until he heard it recited by his 7-year-old son, Garth.

“I didn’t know that the Pledge of Allegiance was, and he recited it, ‘one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,'” he recalled in an interview with The Associated Press in 2004. “I came from Scotland, where we said ‘God save our gracious queen,’ ‘God save our gracious king.’ Here was the Pledge of Allegiance, and God wasn’t in it at all.”

There was little effect from that initial sermon, but he delivered it again on Feb. 7, 1954, after learning that President Dwight Eisenhower would be at the church.

The next day, Rep. Charles G. Oakman, R-Mich., introduced a bill to add the phrase “under God” to the pledge, and a companion bill was introduced in the Senate. Eisenhower signed the law on Flag Day that year.

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4 thoughts on ““Under God” Pastor Dies

  1. Thanks for sharing this piece of history that few Americans are aware of. I was just thinking as I read through this: “Imagine the outcry if George Docherty had suggested this in todays climate.”
    The press, the ACLU, the various sodomite groups, the agnostics, EVERYONE would have been offended and resorted to mass hysteria over such a threat to the constitution. (The constitution that most of these same groups would like to do away with) In 2008, such a proposal would have genrated a media three-ring circus. How far this country has drifted.

    Thanks again for posting this. Have a blessed week in Jesus.

    Hi Timbob. I think you’re right about the mass hysteria if the “under God” addition to the pledge of allegiance were added today. Yes, we have drifted far. May God grant us the gift of repentance.

    timbob

  2. I don’t see how saying the phrase makes it any more true than not saying it. This is a total non-issue. Why should we care one way or the other? It’s not like having this phrase in the pledge saves people.

    You’re right, Helen. It’s not going to save anyone, but I believe it gives at least some honor to God and serves as a little reminder the principles upon which our nation was founded, principles that are in danger of being stamped out. To me, that’s important.

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