FLASH: U.S. Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional

Joined May 26, 2001
An Appeals Court in San Francisco has just ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional due to its inclusion of the phrase "under God," which is in violation of the separation of church and state. The words were added by an act of Congress in 1954 (I actually remember having to learn the new version in first grade, after learning the old one in kindergarten).

Note: I originally mis-identified which court passed down this ruling. I apologize for the error, and hope it did not cause too much consternation.
Joined Jun 25, 2002
The specific case involved in this decision was that of an Atheist family that objected to having their child exposed to the pledge every day in school. The ruling specifically refers to the pledge being recited in public schools. I wonder when "In God We Trust" on our currency will be challenged, it was added about the same time the Pledge was altered during the anti communist hysteria of the 50s.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
I believe it was handed down by the 9th court which is the most liberal in the states. I'm sure the supreme court will over rule this
Joined Oct 28, 1999
I'm not trying to stir things up and certainly respect everybody's beliefs, but can't we just leave the Pledge of Allegiance alone? It is part of the country we live in; which, if it is not the country of choice, there are no walls surrounding it.
That's all.
Joined Jun 25, 2002
The problem with this is that the same argument could have been made almost 50 years ago when the Pledge was changed to include the "under God" line. So, at what point do you want to leave it alone? By rights that portion should never have been added.
Joined Feb 11, 2002
It's a matter of separation of church and state, as stated in the Constitution...
I heard everyone was up on the Capitol steps saying the pledge, meanwhile our economy is tailspinning due to corporate corruption...
In God we trust indeed...
Joined Jul 2, 2001
As a person who is blessed (?) woth not needing alot of sleep, I read alot. One of my favorite subjects is the formation of this great nation. Over and over in the federalist papers the founding fathers profess their love of God and that this nation was born to serve him. No where in the Constitution of these great United States will will find the phrase "Separation of Church and State" what it does say (I paraphrase) is that there will be no state established religion(similar to the church of England). The phrase separation of church and state came from a letter that Thomas Jefferson had wrote a colleague around the turn of the new century in explaining the Constitution. Had the court read the entire letter into the record, the whole arguement would be mute as T.J. acknowledged that this Country was formed on a Belief in God and that w/o him This Country would fall. The whole case centers around a fathers wish that his daughter not say the Pledge. She was not being forced to in any way shape or form. What a crock. It shows how important it is to confirm the right judges to the federal bench as it is a lifetime appointment.

And as far as the CEO's cheating, on the cover of USA Today sports section 90% of CEO's admitted to cheating on their golf scores. I do alot of business on the golf course and if I see someone cheating I won't do business w/ them as I see that as a major character flaw. If they are willing to cheat themselves what is to stop them from cheating me.
Joined Feb 11, 2002
Sorry fodigger - I smoked a lot of pot in high school - I know that Constitution thing was in there somewhere...
never the less my sentiment still stands.

Joined Aug 4, 2000

In the 60's, if you wanted to achieve Consciencious Objector status, the best chance was with the 9'th circuit court of appeals in SF. Being located across the bay from Mario Savio's free speech movement in Berkeley, the two synergized. Hence, the Berkeley Daze of the 60's. Yeah, liberal. Vive La Revolucion!!! Pot in every pot!
Joined Sep 21, 2001
Well put, Fodigger.
I try not to weigh in on these threads, but here goes. My defination of "Religious differences".

"Old Time religion"- I'm right, you are wrong.
"New Age religion"- You are right. I, however are more right than you.
I wish we could agree to disagree. I THINK that is what they were trying to say in the Constitution. I'm not much of a law scholar or theologian. I'll be in the kitchen. At least there I know when I'm screwing up...
Joined Jun 25, 2002
Technically, according to constitutional law the ruling was correct.

However, especially in light of the recent groundswell of "Patriotism" it was grossly politically incorrect and does not stand a chance of resisting being overturned.

Interesting as the Republicans are scrambling to make this an anti-democratic issue when the judge who ruled was a republican appointee.
Joined Nov 29, 2001
Stopped in to read the boards and stumbled upon this thread. (We bought a house, woo hoo! More on that later.)

This story represents in vivid color, the total exploitation of the rights people enjoy in this country. If this guy doesn't like "under God" he can pack up his family and move them to a place that doesn't say "under God." The planes land here, but they take off too.

I sincerely hope his fifteen minutes of fame are over soon. Any coverage of this guy on TV nauseates me.
Joined Mar 3, 2002
As this country was founded mostly by people fleeing from the oppression of the various religious establishments in Europe, each spending LOTS of time and energy oppressing and killing each other when they had the advantage, the founding fathers not unreasonably in my opinion decided not to have any of that here.

And though the framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights may have individually had strong personal religious beliefs (or not), they felt the best buffer against such barbarous and oppressive behavior was to eliminate any governmental sponsership of religion.

Each of us has the right to believe (or not) in any religion or diety as long as we do not impose it on others. The price we pay for this freedom of belief is that we lose the right to have governmental sanctioning of our beliefs over those of others. In this case, those who believe in a diety are free to practice those beliefs in their homes, churches, even on TV. And those who do not believe are entitled not to have the beliefs of others imposed upon them by governmental agencies such as public schools. (I would guess that sectarian and other private schools that do not receive funding from the state are still free to invoke God in their pledge of allegiance.)

We need not only look to history to see what mischief is brought about when the State becomes the agent of religion - any religion. We can look at today's newspaper or newscast. For the most part Christians have decided to tolerate each other's beliefs (with some exception); and for the most part Jews and Muslims are similarly tolerated in our country (though we read of scattered exception to that). We are very fortunate here, for even today people are slaughtering each other over religious (and tribal) beliefs in many other parts of the world.

As for the Pledge itself, substantive issues aside, I think it flowed better the old way. And I doubt that anyone will be carted away for muttering in "under God" for themselves any more than for making a private prayer before they take an exam, etc. At issue is whether it may be foisted on others who may not share the same beliefs.
Joined Mar 13, 2001
One of the judges on the panel (9th Circuit) just put a stay on his own decision! What's up with that? Afraid not to be re-elected are we?
Joined Jun 25, 2002
If this guy doesn't like "under God" he can pack up his family and move them to a place that doesn't say "under God." The planes land here, but they take off too.

Hmmm, there's a sterling example of tolerance... :confused:

"I may disagree with everything you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it."

Rumpole... er, oops! Voltaire
Joined Jul 28, 2001
I say the country should spend numerous hours,days and years discussing this. It's very important!!.
Joined Dec 8, 1999
I think the problem here is that some people are forgetting the words that come right after "under God". Goes a little somethin' like this: "indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".

Or, at least think of it like this. No one ever gets offended by something that is not said. Is it so hard to not say something, and offend no-ones personal liberties?

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