USA (MNN) — Christians in the United States say religious bigotry is rearing its ugly head.
Over the weekend, in their broadcast of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament Sunday, June 19, NBC removed the phrase "under God" from a produced patriotic video of the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Director of the Washington, DC based Christian Defense Coalition Patrick Mahoney says, "As they got to the point of 'one nation, under God' it was edited out. It was deleted."
NBC needs to "fully explain" their motivation in removing the phrase, says Mahoney.
An apology by NBC saying they "are sorry if anyone was offended" does not go far enough in addressing this troubling and deliberate rewriting of history and the removal of the mention of God from the public square.
Mahoney says, "We are calling and demanding from the network: why did this happen? Why did they do this? This is especially troubling in light of the fact that we're seeing a public erosion of public expressions of [Christian] faith."
Mahoney adds, "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.
"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."
Is this religious bigotry? Mahoney says, "It is religious bigotry. If you put this in any other context, if you put this in any other venue, people would be outraged.
"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."
According to Mahoney, "Ninety percent of the hostilities toward public expressions of faith are directed toward one faith tradition, and that's the Christian faith tradition. That's very alarming and very troubling."
Unless Christians become more outspoken about their freedoms, Mahoney says, "We are headed toward religious oppression in this country. And it's events like we see at the U.S. Open with NBC Network that sort of bring the dragon out of its lair prematurely and expose the underbelly of what's really going on."