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Court rules Pledge of Allegiance 'unconstitutional'

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I think we must look at what was the intent of the framers of the constitution. In my recent readings (see my note above about the Annals of America), I have found out a lot about the discussions at the time our country was founded. Yes, most of the men were Christians. Some wanted the words "Christian" or "Christianity" added to official documents. Most realized this was dangerous because they knew there were Jews and Muslims. They also knew of the arguments over the definition of "Christian". Many of them wrote that religion would be much better served if government did NOT claim to be for it. That if what you believe is THE TRUTH it will win, no need to force others. If they refuse to believe that is their problem as long as they follow the other rules of our country.


I will try to find links to some of the documents on line for those who may be interested in reading them.


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Robin was inscensed, "Holy Smoke Batman, I forgot a whole lot.


I apologize to all, I was half done with my post when it was time to take my son to the Vacation Bible School he is helping with and I got sidetracked on the flag, that wasnt my intent


First, read the below,


"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...."


I wonder if public readings of that document on public land will be soon considered unconstitutional ?


And then again, consider these words


"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."


The blessings of liberty???, Natures God???, their Creator??? I guess thats got to go as well.


Just what will Thomas Jefferson and George Washington et al think of us when the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution are declared unconstitutional?


(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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I knew I could find this somewhere:

The link is http://www.usflag.org/the.pledge.of.allegiance.html


It says:

On September 8,1892, the Boston based "The Youth's Companion" magazine published a few words for students to repeat on Columbus Day that year. Written by Francis Bellamy,the circulation manager and native of Rome, New York, and reprinted on thousands of leaflets, was sent out to public schools across the country. On October 12, 1892, the quadricentennial of Columbus' arrival, more than 12 million children recited the Pledge of Allegiance, thus beginning a required school-day ritual.


At the first National Flag Conference in Washington D.C., on June14, 1923, a change was made. For clarity, the words "the Flag of the United States" replaced "my flag". In the following years various other changes were suggested but were never formally adopted.


It was not until 1942 that Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance. One year later, in June 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite it. In fact,today only half of our fifty states have laws that encourage the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom!


In June of 1954 an amendment was made to add the words "under God". Then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower said "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of reigious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."



Notice, the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional 60 years ago. This is NOT something new and unique to the western states.


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The Declaration of Independence did not establish te Law of the Land - it was up to the Constitution to do that. "endowed...by...Creator" and "Nature's God" are from the Declaration, which was written under the old rules (if you will) and was basically the document saying, hey, we're tired of your game, we're now gonna make up our own.


But it was the Constitution that _defined_ that new game, and one of the first of the new rules was the Establishment clause.

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Wow, I can't believe I'm disagreeing with you!


Reading the Declaration of Independence and making a child say a "pledge" are 2 different things. You can read Declaration of Independence without believing in every word of it. To say the pledge should be meaningful and that you believe what it says, including that our country is "under God".


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sctmom quoted the website "in June 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite it (The PLedge).


I would have thought that would be enough to have the lawsuit thrown out. The way I understand it, the guy doesn't want his daughter to be forced to say the pledge in school.


I bet even though he doesn't say the pledge because the word GOD is in it, that he still uses the money!(This message has been edited by scoutmaster424)

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It looks like a lot of people here don't understand what the 9th court decision actually said. It held that:


1) the 1954 legislation adding 'under god' to the official pledge is unconstitutional, because it violated the first prong of the Lemon test; all legislation needs to have a secular purpose to be constitutional, and the only purpose to adding 'under god' to the pledge is religious.


2) public schools having official recitals of the post-1954 pledge violate the constitution by advocating the idea that monotheism is the 'official' religious view to have (especially where young schoolchildren are involved), and doing this violated the rights of Dr. Newdow (the plaintiff) in deciding what sort of religious instruction his daughter receives.


The court ruling is at:



Here's an URL that probably won't break from wraparound:



Merlyn LeRoy(This message has been edited by Merlyn_LeRoy)

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OGE - "So littlebillie, Do you think reading the Declaration of Independece on public land is unconstitutional, yes or no? I wasnt sure what your reply means"


Actually, I was simply pointing out the difference between the 2 documents, and saying that the Declaration, despite its wording, does NOT establish the US as a nation with a "house religion" or any religion, and maybe should not be cited to seem so


As far as reading the Declaration on public lands - this could be some interesting law. As a lead-in to some historical discussion or something similar - not a problem, I wound't think, because then you're discussing source documents and language, or whatever.


But as an invocation using selected words - well, that WOULD be precluded. Unless the public grounds were something involving a religious leader - maybe. Would a prayer be ok at some place dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr? Probably not strictly under the law, but.... very complex issue.


Anyway - this opens up the whole 'intent' or 'context' can of worms - certainly an problem that the right to bear arms is familiar with!


As far as the pledge goes, 'under God' has pretty plain intent. 'under heaven' (lower case) leaves it open for a lot more folk to apply what interpretation they'd like.


don't know if that answers your question, but in a nutshell - it depends!


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The troll is back.


Take a good look at the coins in your pocket, or purse as the case may be. Ever notice the "in god we trust" stamped into the metal? I found it on the penney, nickel, and dime. Scandalous.

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Taken from a webpage

"It may come as a surprise to many younger and even not so young persons that this was not always so, that the regular use of "In God We Trust" on US coins did not begin until 1908, "In God We Trust" was not made an official motto of the United States until 1956, and the motto did not appear on paper money until 1957. "


The phrase "In God We Trust" was not made the offical motto until 1956.


I point this out for anyone (including some of the political leaders) who are saying "the founding fathers are rolling over in their graves." That is taking things a wee bit too far, they never said the Pledge of Allegiance and choose the words of the Constitution with great care.


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I believe that the Federal Appeals court made a mistake by declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.


This is from the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.

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Let's everybody (and I mean the whole country) just calm down for a minute.


Yesterday, I was going to predict that not only would the Supreme Court overturn this decision (which I still think), but that this decision would never even go into effect in the territory of the Ninth Circuit, because either the panel or the entire Court would issue a stay. I chickened out from making such a prediction, but as it turns out I should have paid more attention to the 10th point of the Scout Law. While driving back to my office around 4 p.m. today, I heard on the radio that the panel had stayed its own decision. This is fairly common with decisions that are of major constitutional importance.


The issue may not even get to the Supreme Court, because every Court of Appeals has a procedure for the entire Court (in the case of the Ninth Circuit, I would guesstimate 15 to 20 or more active judges) to reconsider a decision of one of its panels. Rulings are not overturned in this way very often, but I would give it at least an even chance of happening in this case. If not, the stay will remain in effect, and the state's appeal will almost certainly be accepted by the Supreme Court, and I cannot imagine the current group of justices affirming this decision. (Of course, I couldn't have imagined a few other Supreme Court decisions either...)


As for the decision itself, I printed it out today and will read it tonight and hopefully will have a chance to comment on it. I find that news accounts of court decisions, especially broadcast media, almost never give you the full picture. It's not that they don't want to, it's that they don't really understand it and believe (probably correctly) that the public does not want to hear all the legal minutiae. Unfortunately, the minutiae is usually crucial to understanding the basis for the decision.

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The second link that Merlyn gives is to the actual document from the court. As NJ points out, what is on the news is not the whole document. It is very interesting to read what the details of what was really said by the court and the previous cases they looked at.


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