The phrase "under God" was noticeably missing from the Pledge of Allegiance in NBC's broadcast of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament on Sunday—and the Chrisitian Defense Coalition wants some answers.
NBC has said it is "sorry if anyone was offended."
As the Christian Defense Coalition sees it, NBC's move requires more than an apology. The group is calling for the network to "fully explain" its motivation for nixing God from the nation's pledge.
"Like most Americans, I was stunned to see NBC remove the expression 'under God' from a televised reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. It is troubling to see a major television network deliberately remove the mention of God from the public square and rewrite history," says Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian Defense Coalition.
"It is clear that this was not an accident and the pathetic apology NBC offered to the public is not enough in addressing this controversy. Sadly, we are seeing an erosion of expressions of faith from the public square. It is critical as a nation we do all that we can to promote freedom of speech and expression," Mahoney continues. "This includes religious freedom. Whoever dreamed that a major American television network would 'censor' and remove the mention of God in a public broadcast? Sadly, this shows how the public mention of God is under attack in our nation."
The American Center for Law and Justice is sending a protest letter to NBC. ACLJ points out that NBC twice edited out the phrase "under God" in a televised feature Sunday highlighting the fact that the golf tournament was being held near the nation's capital.
"The fact is by trying to pay tribute to our nation and its heritage, NBC crossed a troubling line and offended millions of Americans by cutting the phrase 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance. The phrase 'under God' is not a throw-away line, an afterthought. It's been a critical part of the Pledge for more than half a century—a time-honored tradition," says Jordan Sekulow, director of Policy and International Relations at the ACLJ.
"NBC admits to editing out the phrase and its brief apology hours later was too little, too late. NBC and the USGA spent a great deal of time and money chronicling the history and heritage of America's most prestigious golf event. You'd think they'd get it—that America's history and heritage must be chronicled correctly—and that includes keeping the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance."
NBC could not immediately be reached for comment.
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