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sctmom

Court rules Pledge of Allegiance 'unconstitutional'

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Merlyn,

1st prong of the lemon test? If you are refering to the establishment of religion, I think you are wrong. Having the words "under God" no more establishes a religion than a congressman using the phrase "good God" in a speech on the floor! And what about the rest of the ammendment that assures the freedom of religion and free speech? What religion is using the words "under God" establishing. Catholic, Presbyterian, Jewish, Islam, Mormon, Unitarians? I see no establishment of religion by using the phrase "under God". If this keeps up, Farenheit 451 will come true!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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The first prong of the Lemon test is from the 1971 decision Lemon v. Kurtzman:

 

First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose;

second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither

advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not

foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion."

 

When congress passed a law whose sole purpose was to add 'under god' to the pledge, it only had a religious purpose. Under the guidelines of the Lemon test, the law is unconstitutional because congress had no secular reason to create such a law. Striking this law does nothing to restrict your speech or anyone else's speech, because you can still add 'under god' (or anything you like) when reciting the pledge.

 

And the usual canard about 'god' not establishing a specific religion has never been the standard the supreme court uses; they don't use such a narrow standard, they use ones like the Lemon test above. South Carolina tried to require all notary publics to be theists just a few years ago, and they lost bigtime, even though all they required was a belief in one or more gods; this requirement still violated the first amendment, even though it didn't establish a specific religion.

 

If you'd bother to actually read the decision, the judge explains all of this in some detail. And it isn't a standard I made up, the supreme court did decades ago; if you don't like it, your complaint is with them.

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Methinks that anyone howling in protest over the Pledge of Allegiance and/or the words "under God" is mighty insecure in his personal beliefs or non-beliefs.

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If you believe in God and that this is a nation "under God", why do you have to have everyone say it in the Pledge? Our founding fathers knew that THE TRUTH will prevail without making it a civil law.

 

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to build upon "why do you have to have everyone say it in the Pledge?"

 

Since God is NOT Vishnu (for example), or something a Wiccan subscribes to, and since some are not allowed to write or speak the name of G*d, reverting to the pre-1954 version allows MORE Americans to honestly and sincerely take the pledge. How is that a bad thing?

 

I still think "...one Nation, under heaven..." is a way to go. You want heaven to mean God? It can. You want it just to mean the sky? It can. You're a pantheist? No problem.

 

At the least it's a possible interim pledge til this thing gets properly ironed out.

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This decision though wrong was the wrong question to ask at this time. This High Court could simply change the lemon test, which would then get more people upset. This whole question comes under the topic of things you don't want to ask because the answer once given may not be what you expect or really want. Everyone should try to solve their problems at the local level. The person who raised this question should have explained to his child that this is what other people believe. You can't make for a sterile environment someone will be upset somewhere. Now to answer those who ask if it were a Christian Prayer and a Jewish child. That is specific to a religion not general as in this case, in my opinion.

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Well, I do not consider the Pledge of Allegiance as a pray. I am also not a "word smith", would they be happy if or under god's, or under gods', or just under gods???? I just say level it the way it is -- under god.

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Here is something interesting for you...when I was going through Woodbadge, one of the staffers had us say the pledge with one very simple modification...he removed the comma in the phrase "...one nation, under God.... Say that to yourselves (both ways, with and without the comma) and tell me what you think.

 

Jake

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After reading the decision itself, I agree with the facts that the phrase "under God" was added illegally because the intent was to push Christianity.

 

I do wonder about the parents who expect everyone to change just because of their beliefs. I went to a non-church private school in the 1970's. Girls were allowed to wear slacks and jeans, just no shorts. One family did not allow their girls to wear slacks or jeans. As far as I know they did not try to make everyone else quit wearing slacks. If they tried it did not get far. Another girl could wear slacks but not jeans. Her mother told her that others could wear what they want but she didn't believe any kids should wear jeans to school. One year our family TV died. My father would not replace it -- didn't have the money and he felt we could live without it. We went for over a year without a TV. Everyday I heard the other students and the teachers talk about TV. One teacher even assigned a couple of historic specials for us to watch. I had to do an alternative assignment or spend the night with a friend to watch it. Did I feel "left out"? You bet, I was 13 years old. But then again I always felt "left out" about something. My parents only ate wheat bread, all the other kids had white bread sandwiches. I was told to get over it. I know God is a more serious subject than bread, my point is kids will always feel "different" and "left out".

 

Yet, on the other hand some of the same people who want to make God mandatory in schools do not want birth control pills or condoms talked about. Think over that one for a minute..... I don't mind other children having to ignore what I want said, but I want my children to only hear things I agree with? Hmmmmm?????

 

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Responding to Sctmom "If you believe in God and that this is a nation "under God", why do you have to have everyone say it in the Pledge? " -

 

I have no problem with "under God" being either in or out of the Pledge. I have no problem with any individual choosing to not say those two words, or even choosing to not say the Pledge at all. Mr. Newdow may be an atheist if he wants to. He can raise he daughter to be an atheist too if he wants. They dont have to say under God if they dont want to. They dont even have to stand and recite the Pledge at all.

 

The point is not whether under God should or should not be included in the Pledge. The fact is that those words ARE part of the Pledge. I have a major problem with tinkering with the wording to satisfy the sensitivities of Mr. Newdow. Our country has many significant issues to deal with without wasting time trying to avoid hurting the feelings or sensitivities of those that don't believe in God. A person secure in his non-belief in God should have no problem with the rest of the country saying "under God". As a country we need to move on to real issues. Its almost inconceivable to me that the court would hear his lawsuit at all, let alone agree with him.

 

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Mr. Newdow reminds me of the "picky eater" that Little Dove wrote about in another thread.

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I just read an article written by the AP which said that the author of the pledge did not want "United States of America" included.

 

The author, Francis Bellamy, apparently was a socialist editor and Baptist minister, and supposedly wrote the pledge at the request of Benjamin Harrison as a proclamation of the newly created "Flag Day", a salute to the flag.

 

This story is based upon an interview with a decendant who claims tht this was written to his father by his great-grandfather shortly before his death.

 

 

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FScouter,

The Pledge has been "tinkered with" several times, the last one being adding the phrase "under God".

 

I recently read the book John Adams by David McCullough. A great book I recommend to everyone. The more I learn about our founding fathers, I think they would be appalled that we pledge allegiance to a flag! I think many would consider that the same as pledging allegiance to the King. Also, they specifically said the government was in charge of "civil laws" not religion. Yes, most were Christians but they realized how quickly simple little things could get out of control.

 

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