Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pledge Stopped Again

Once again the 9th Circus Court decided that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional. Of course the issue is yet again with the "Under God" line in the pledge. Now, I have no issue with athiesm or exactly how people want to believe in a higher power. But, everyone must accept the fact that our nation has a strong judeo-christian base. This base and belief in a higher power seems to resonate more in our country than any other. Historically such a term seems to make snse to me. I wonder this as well; how long until the 9th circuit deems the Declaration of Independence unconstitutional. Will we then be reverted back to United Kingdom rule?


At 9/14/2005 10:45:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Freaking liberals.

If you don't like the pledge, get out of America.

At 9/14/2005 10:52:00 PM, Blogger criticallythinking said...

Comparing current jurispudence, and looking at the pledge, it makes sense to ban it.

So long as rights are defined only in terms of positive action, it is hard to justify making a person who does not believe in god have to say "under god" in a pledge, even if our nation was founded on biblical christian principles.

The reason most of us get upset is because the ruling ignores the "lack of action" as a communicative force. I'm not saying that right, but the point is that when we take the words "under god" out of the pledge, NOT saying it anymore has MEANING.

In other words, if my child has to say a pledge, and that pledge deliberately excludes "under god", it will offend her, because she believes that we are a nation under god. Why should her offense at having to say a godless pledge have any less weight in the world of "rights" than the offense of an atheist having to say it?

The argument that the words "under god" are meaningless and therefore acceptable should be offensive to everybody. But an argument that to an atheist the words "under god" are meaningless, while to a believer the removal of god from the pledge has great meaning, should sway an objective court to the result that the LESS harmful course is to leave the pledge as it is.

If that doesn't, then maybe the fact that 90% of the people will have their rights violated by removing it, vs the 10% who have their "rights" violated by leaving it in.

Gee, that in fact is a good reason for the courts to leave the thing in the hands of the legislature, which is well-equiped to handle competing claims of harm and gain.

Infinitely more harmful though than taking "under god" out of the pledge has been taking the underpinnings of religious morality out of our public teaching and discourse, leaving the next generation with no moral compass, no clear sense of right and wrong (explaining parents and children trampling each other to get cheap computers in Richmond, and looters shooting at rescuers in New Orleans).

At 9/15/2005 07:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "under God" reference was a relatively recent addition (1950's) to a pledge that was first written in the late 19th Century. In any event, the legal problem is not the word itself, it is state coercion to use it. Most conservatives are or should be very wary of the government pushing us around on religious issues. To fully appreciate the legal problems involved, test your reaction if the Pledge were revised to say "under Allah". Of course, Allah is another word for God and, at some level has no more of a different meaning than "Dieu" or "Deus". But I still think a lot of folks would be concerned about the state requiring kids to say that. In any event, religion is best protected by keeping the government away from it. That includes schoolteachers and administrators. By the way, if we go back to England, we could have a Head of State (the King or Queen) who is also the Head of the Church. I'm an Anglican, but the rest of you would be left out. So let's just keep it the way it is and not get too worried about courts striking down state-imposed religious expression.

At 9/15/2005 09:43:00 AM, Blogger The Chief said...

This is one situation where the Progressive March to Make Everything a Religion-Free Zone is pretty ridiculous to me. The Establishment clause (and the so called seperation between Church and State) of the Constitution wasn't meant to seperate God from government, it was meant to prevent the official recognition of a religion, like in Britain. The Founders would have no problem with saying God in a the Pledge of Allegiance, in fact they would probably like to see the Almightly recognized a couple more times in it. God and government do not have to exist in their own seperate vacuums. No teacher I know demands that every student in a public school say the words "under God" and punishes you if you simply choose to not speak during those words. There is absolutely no practical or constitutional basis for this decision.

At 9/15/2005 10:48:00 AM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

Fair enough, TG, but Anon 0720 makes important points.

My guess is that the constitutional "out" lies in Justice Brennan's concept of "ceremonial deism" - that there are references to God in our civic life, particularly based on our history and origins, that do not rise to the level of state-compelled religious observance. Of course the flip side of that argument is that the under God reference can be saved (constitutionally) only by trivializing its religious content, not by magnifying it.

At 9/15/2005 12:35:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

The thing here is, there is no coercion to recite the pledge. Students who disagree with it (or whose parents disagree) may be excused and do not have to participate.

Too bad the Supreme Court threw Newdow's first case out on grounds that he did not have standing to bring it.

At 9/15/2005 01:56:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

I suspect that the analysis would be a bit like the analysis for school prayer - if the ritual of the pledge is a daily, group activity, there is a certain stigma that may attach to permitting kids to go outside to avoid the pledge. Besides, my experience (grantedly ancient) is that everyone just stands up and recites the pledge without any opportunity to bail out. The "coercion" isn't necessarily a gunpoint scenario, it's the state placing students in positions where they might be stigmatized for refusal to participate. I suppose we all ought to read the decision. In my law prctice, we joke that the lat thing anyone wants is to win in the 9th Circuit. They have a very high reversal rate.

At 9/15/2005 03:32:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Theres some issues that really push my buttons , and this is one of them.

People like Newdow are the reason why I am glad we have Robertson and Fallwell to counter balance.

Students already do not say the pledge, are disrespectful, and are disrespectful during Virginias moment of silence.

I am proud of America, and the pledge, and find myself for lack of a better word pissed off at people who refuse to say the pledge, or "under god"

At 9/15/2005 04:20:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

I agree entirely, TC, but that's not the issue that gets these things before the federal courts. Bad manners are rampant in this society. It is most annoying, whether in the classrooms, movie theatres, in the blogosphere or on the highways. Very little (if any) of that is constitutionally justiciable, however.


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