I recall my Daddy saying at the time that, "Putting 'under god' in the middle of the pledge is the same as putting 'Christians' at the end of it."
And indeed, that seems to have been the perception of many others over the past sixty years. As late as 2010, some atheist in Massachusetts sued the local school district for including the words "under god" in the pledge. The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of the school district, but the debate rages on.
Personally, I feel the problem with inserting "under god" into the pledge is not religious but grammatical. "One nation indivisible" is a continuous phrase, and it had a particularly poignant meaning when Francis Bellamy penned it barely thirty years after the end of the Civil War. Juxtaposing "under god" in the middle of it is like saying, "One nation with a population of 300 million including 50 million illegal aliens indivisible," or "One nation with a Disney Land theme park on the West coast and a Disney World theme park on the East coast indivisible." It renders Mr. Bellamy's clear and concise prose gibberish.
Actually, of course, the phrase "one nation under god indivisible" could only be interpreted to mean that god is indivisible. But while that may indeed be true, it was certainly not what the author of the pledge intended to say.
Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge of allegiance for publication in the September 1892 edition of The Youth's Companion in support of the magazine's James P. Upham's incentive to "instill into the minds of our American youth a love for their country and the principles on which it was founded, and create in them an ambition to carry on with the ideals which the early founders wrote into the Constitution." And therein lies the major reason for the incongruity of "under god" in the pledge.
The pledge of allegiance is a simple, concise statement of patriotism. Nothing else. There is really no conceivable reason to insert religion into it, and the attempt to do so can only be perceived as silly. To bastardize it by trying to turn it into a religious statement is like inserting "America the beautiful" into Amazing Grace.
American the beautiful,
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost
But now I'm found –
Was blind but now I'm a Republican.