I received a message from a conservative religious organization called "Grassfire Nation," exhorting me to reaffirm my support for "one nation under God." Since they have a website for comments and questions, I replied as follows:
Dear Mr. Connor and Grassfire:
The original wording in the Pledge of Allegiance was simply "one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all." It wasn't until 1954 that the phrase "under God" was added when President Eisenhower signed it into law. In so doing, he said that the phrase symbolized "the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty... reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future."
The addition of that phrase marked an unfortunate change to an otherwise honorable pledge, for it suggested that Eisenhower viewed the United States as something very close to a theocracy.
My understanding of our country's heritage is quite different -- that the United States welcomed people of all beliefs, religious or otherwise, so long as they respected the principles of "liberty and justice FOR ALL," which would include liberty and justice for atheists as well as for theists.
But if so, then the phrase "under God" has no place in the Pledge of Allegiance. To make this point even clearer, suppose that the Pledge had said, "one nation under Hinduism, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Would a Christian feel included? No? Then neither does an atheist under the current wording of the Pledge.