NBC Omits ‘Under God’ From Pledge at Golf’s U.S. Open on Father’s Day


Reaction Was ‘Immediate and Almost Universally Negative’ Notes Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network


Philadelphia, PA—Often a Father’s Day tradition, watching golf on a warm June afternoon is about as American as a summer sports fan can get.


But Sunday’s airing of the U.S. Open Championship was definitely not on par with many Americans after NBC edited out the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, not once but twice.


A pre-taped segment featuring children reciting the Pledge, running alongside patriotic images to start the U.S. Open, left out the key phrase, along with “indivisible” and “one nation.”


Immediately after the airing of the Pledge to start the final round of the U.S. Open, angry tweets on Twitter and irksome Facebook posts around the country caused NBC to issue an on-air apology during the tournament.


NBC’s decision to edit out the “under God” portion of the Pledge—inserted in 1954 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower—was curious at best, and undoubtedly controversial. Yahoo Sports reported that the reaction by viewers was “immediate and almost universally negative.”


“This is just another example of how trying to please everyone really pleases no one,” said Colin Hanna, president of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network and Let Freedom Ring. “If NBC thought that removing the words ‘under God’ from our nation’s Pledge of Allegiance would go unnoticed, they are truly out of touch with American viewers. On a Sunday—on a day to celebrate our fathers—is there a more insensitive decision to save a few seconds of air time? I for one am thankful for those who responded and forced the hand of NBC to admit their mistake. When will we learn that we simply can’t assume that America is ready to completely remove God from our culture?”


Later in the telecast, U.S. Open broadcaster Dan Hicks apologizes for the gaffe on behalf of NBC, saying, “It was our intent to begin our coverage of this U.S. Open championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being here in our nation’s capital for the third time. 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.”


The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network is a group of biblically faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy who affirm the authority of Scripture, take seriously Jesus’ command to be the “salt and light” to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues; examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in our political process on a non-partisan basis.


The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network is a project of Let Freedom Ring, Inc., a 501 c(4) non-profit organization.


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