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Court rules Pledge of Allegiance 'unconstitutional'

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Good Gravy! All those diffences in one unit...what on earth was Baden Powell thinking of? Don't worry, that will all change when they get to be adults, perhaps dispite our best efforts to teach them a simple concept; Respect.

 

In the "pure" spirit of Scouting...

Bubba

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Packsaddle, speaking of the boys, the values we as scouters are teaching specifically include Duty To God. How do you handle that in your troop? Do you encourage boys to earn their religious faith emblems (which are offered by the national religious bodies representing Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, etc.)? Do you recognize those that do so in your Courts of Honor? Do you offer Scout's Own on camping trips and encourage boys to attend religious services at summer camp?

 

I hope you, and all the other posters on this thread, remember this responsibility. Scouting is not just an outdoors program to keep boys off the street. It is a values program that uses the outdoors as a teaching tool. And, as a voluntary leader in this organization, why wouldn't you want to promote those same values in our country? All Duty To God requires is acknowledgement of a higher power (deism, practiced by many of the founders of our country). All the Pledge does is make that aknowledgment.

 

Finally, "the Supreme Court has occassionally commented in dicta that the presence of 'one nation under God' in the Pledge of Allegience is constitutional" (footnote 12, p. 9130, Newdow v. USA). Given the public outcry and composition of the Suprement Court, I predict that this decision will soon be overturned and Mr. Newdow and his supporters will rue the day he brought his lawsuit.(This message has been edited by CubsRgr8)

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BubbaBear and CubsRgr8, Some more followup. I would like to think that if we learn to live together in acceptance of our differences as children, then we will be able to do the same later as adults. My experience has shown this to be possible. Actually I kind of enjoy the differences. Prejudice and intolerance seem to be learned early, almost inherited. By the way, I took a photo of a nearby American Flag (in reference to the 'indivisible' part of the pledge). If there is some way to post it I will. The file is 60K, not too large. Packsaddle

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Packsaddle...I think that is a keen observation.

Someone asked...where does it all stop? You have brought up the other end of the rainbow..."Where does it all begin".

 

There is no end, only beginnings. Life is a dynamic situation which only mutates to its surroundings.

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Packsaddle...Sorry! I had a sub-senior moment.

That was supposed to be an agreement with your statement...I got off on a wild tangent.

 

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"One nation, under God, indivisible..." Really?

 

 

The current debate over the pledge of allegiance is an interesting one. Theres more to the discussion than most are aware.

 

Back in 1892, the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovery of America, a man named Francis Bellamy penned the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States. Bellamys purpose? Well, the Baptist pastor and open socialist had one goal in mind: to promote a fanatic nationalism in young children and adults alike. That is, a sentiment toward the state, our federal government, of unwavering devotion.

 

But, government, rightly understood, is our servant not our master. At least that was the design of the framers who were grounded in this biblical concept. However Bellamy, who was later defrocked for his rabid socialist activism, thought he had a better notion. So did the National Education Association, who made him a prominent leader of their march to conform all children, and their parents, to the goals championed by Horace Mann, Robert Owen, and later by Thomas Dewey: to have the government educate all children in order that we have a nation of people who would think and act alike. The pledge was a step in the right direction.

 

As the country happily embraced the idea of government teaching their children, the general attitude of the culture naturally began to shift toward more government dependency, and away from reliance on the freedoms and liberties given us by God.

 

In 1954 the words under God were added to the pledge, but the damage had been done. Those two words could not sanitize the mantra of Bellamy and the clamoring culture that had warmly embraced it.

 

We wanted more, and we got it. Ten years later the Bible and prayer were taken out of the government schools. The government taking over healthcare for older Americans soon followed. A few years later the government sanctioned the murder of innocent unborn children. Soon to follow were other fruits from the halls of government learning: celebration of sodomy, sanctioning of Wiccan services (devil worship) on military bases, and the redefining of almost everything we used to hold dear; toleration was sanctified while the church has remained predominantly silent.

 

Two other words deserve our attention: nationalism and patriotism. Nationalism is the worship of the state, looking not only to the state for all perceived needs, but defending most any action or claim of power that it decrees. Patriotism is the worship of the God of the Bible set in action within a country: defending life, liberty and property against tyranny from government, both at home and abroad.

 

Our patriots wrote, Governments... [derive] their just powers from the consent of the governed. The Declaration of Independence also rightly notes that when Government becomes destructive of these Ends (as did the British Crown), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government...as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

 

Im not advocating secession, but by declaring our once great republic as one nation ...indivisible confines us to the whims of the state. Thanks to the Constitution, every 2 years we have the opportunity to change government. A free people understand freedom, government subjects understand only what the government gives them. Ideas have consequences.

 

No, adding the words Under God can not sanitize the pledge of allegiance to the state. In God We Trust embossed on our copper-nickel coins or printed on our fiat notes can not hide their inherent worthlessness. And putting prayer back into government schools will not redeem them, neither will vouchers. Looking for salvation through state dedication, inflation, education or medication can not save a country that has lost its soul. These faulty concepts were not birthed in the cradle of liberty, but in the halls of humanism.

 

The United States are in need of redemption. My prayer is that these ideas will awaken a nation in love with itself and stir it to join me in repentance and restoration. Let us secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, recognizing that only our triune God is indivisible. He alone is the author of life, liberty, and justice. He and His standards alone are worthy of our allegiance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Those of you who have been following or participating in the thread titled "pledge", containing the poll posted by the person who claims to be a Second Class Scout, please look at the post directly above this one. Look familiar? It was posted on Saturday, the day BEFORE the same person started the "pledge"/poll thread. Then, after the same person was asked in the "pledge" thread to explain how his religious beliefs conflict with saying the pledge, he posted the same essay for the second time. (I did not actually compare them word for word, but the beginning, end and random points in the middle are exactly the same, and they look to be the same length, so I am assuming it is all exactly the same.)

 

I am not trying to cast aspersions, or maybe I am, but I am not stating them out loud. It certainly is suspicious. It does mean that this "manifesto," as I call it, was not written in response to the questions posted to this person in the other thread. It was a pre-existing message that was just dropped in there as well.

 

Of course, as was pointed out in the other thread, it is difficult to believe that this manifesto was written by the same person who has posted messages under the same name. Not only is the style different, and the content arguably different, but I know of few if any Second Class Scouts who could have written this. (Not that I give high marks to whoever did write it, but that would be casting aspersions again.)

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One more thing.

 

"So, Your Honor, the Pledge is unconstitutional because it says 'Under God'. Guess that means when you were sworn in with your hand on a Bible, and at the end of your oath repeated, 'So Help Me God' that makes your job unconstitutional , therefore you have no job, which

means your ruling doesn't mean s***."

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

 

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Or as George Burns said in the movies when taking the oath, "So help me me."

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Ed, what you are saying about the judge's oath might have some validity if the decision of the Ninth Circuit were an attack on God or religion. It is not. The decision is about whether a public school may require the daily recitation of a statement that expresses a belief in God, particularly when the statement about God was inserted into the Pledge for the express purpose of encouraging Americans to believe in God. It is a school prayer issue, and the Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment to prohibit organized school prayers.

 

By the way, I have finally read the decision and it never mentions the phrase "separation of church and state." It examines the various "tests" that the Supreme Court and various individual justices have proposed to determine whether a particular practice creates an "establishment of religion" (not just establishment of a religion, but "establishment of religion") in the context of a public school. Two of the three judges on the panel found that it "failed" all three of the tests. The link to the opinion has been posted in this thread, and I would recommend that everybody read it before commenting further; the legalese is relatively light.

 

As I have said, I think the Supreme Court or the full Ninth Circuit will overturn this decision, but if and when they do, it is quite likely that they will do so on the basis that the words "under God" in the Pledge have no real religious meaning or significance, or in other words, it is just a meaningless ceremonial phrase. I wonder whether those of you who dislike this decision would like that result any better.

 

But either way, there is no inconsistency between this decision and the fact that the money still says "in God We Trust" or the fact that Congress opens its sessions with a prayer. As the Ninth Circuit says several times in its decision (in different ways), the constitutional problem arises when government sends a message to some school children that they are "outsiders" by having the rest of the class recite a pledge that they cannot fully subscribe to.

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I wonder what Jesus would have done if someone (a Roman Legionaire) required him to recite a "Pledge of Allegiance" to a Roman flag to show his patriotism. My guess is that he would not be overjoyed to repeat it.

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NJCubscouter, I agree. Also, ACCO40, I suspect that Jesus (having advised his disciples to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's) would probably shrug off such an oath as unimportant. And I would agree. Oaths of allegiance are as personal as prayers...one person viewing it as personally profound, another as profane, another merely with disinterest. There is no way to assess what an idea really means to a person except through their actions, not their words. This situation has some relation to the hypocrits who try to 'hedge their bets' by attending church and participating in religious rituals with no real basis in belief. The real meaning and importance of an idea is an individual matter that cannot be imposed by forced recitation or forced participation. Interestingly, many of us tend to look down on countries where such oaths (or other practices) are forced on the public by dictators, and then we look down on our own people who exercise their individual choice not to participate in such oaths or who oppose forced participation...if they happen not to agree with us.

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Packsaddle, your post reminded me of something I saw on television in the early 70's.

 

"Interestingly, many of us tend to look down on countries where such oaths (or other practices) are forced on the public by dictators, and then we look down on our own people who exercise their individual choice not to participate in such oaths or who oppose forced participation...if they happen not to agree with us."

 

When President Nixon visit mainland China it was a very big event. All the major network news channels put on little snippets of video that showed us how life was like in "secretive" Red China. School children in uniform, everyone holding "the little red book", pictures of Mao everywhere, etc. It gave the impression that the chinese were all brainwashed, manipulated and tools/pawns of the communist government.

 

However, what I found as fascinating and enlightening was a piece one network did. It showed a similar piece about life in the USA. It showed a bunch of Cub Scouts, all in their little blue & gold uniforms (no Tiger orange or Webelos khaki in those days, the same uniform was worn throughout the tenure). It showed the "masses" of US school children all reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. The purpose was to point out that what we thought was horrible to suppress the "freedom" of the poor chinese children was being done in our country. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It also showed that trough the power of the media, they could shape almost any image they wanted.

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Acco40, Don't give the media too much credit. They merely choose the information to present...we form our own images based on that information. And those images are as diverse as we are. Just look at all the arguments in this thread! I was in China a couple of years ago and in spite of the best efforts of the central government, I observed widespread capitalism and efforts at individual expression (also greed and the other stuff that haunts humanity). And remember, we troop leaders also impose discipline on our troops as well, don't we? OK,...we TRY to impose discipline on our troops. OK,...we dream about imposing discipline on our troops. Oh well.

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