(Photo: Reuters / Chip East)
NBC apologized for omitting “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance but Christians are now demanding an explanation from the network.
During Sunday’s U.S. Open broadcast, the audience noticed that in the video of children reciting the oath, “under God” was noticeably edited out twice. Viewers immediately headed to social networks and began posting complaints via Facebook and Twitter.
An NBC commentator said three hours later, “It was not done to upset anyone and we’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”
According to Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Christian evangelist Pat Robertson, although NBC admitted to editing the pledge, it “was too little, too late” and the omission dishonors the American tradition.
He said in a statement Monday, “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.”
“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."
The Rev. Patrick Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition also issued a statement, saying, “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.
“Who ever 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.”
Dan Gainor, VP of Business & Culture at the Media Research Center, also weighed in by pointing out that “NBC has unquestionably committed an act of religious bigotry designed to offend Christians.”
Gainor is calling on NBC to “identify and fire the employee or employees responsible.” Otherwise, the “network is guilty of deliberately giving aid and comfort to religious bigots.”
He also added that Media Research Center, an organization that educates the public and media on bias in the media, will begin sending letters to leaders of top Christian denominations “calling on them to hold NBC’s feet to the fire and demand the network fire those responsible.”
The organization urges “religious leaders to educate their congregations to NBC's attack on faith and join us in publicly denouncing the network.”
Currently, NBC has not made any comments regarding the demands.