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Old 06-26-2002, 02:48 PM   #1
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Pledge of Allegiance and a federal court

http://www.cnn.com


Pledge of Allegiance ruled unconstitutional
June 26, 2002 Posted: 3:04 PM EDT (1904 GMT)



SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- For the first time ever, a federal appeals court declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional Wednesday because of the words "under God" added by Congress in 1954.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the phrase amounts to a government endorsement of religion in violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause, which requires a separation of church and state.

"A profession that we are a nation 'under God' is identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are a nation 'under Jesus,' a nation 'under Vishnu,' a nation 'under Zeus,' or a nation 'under no god,' because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion," Judge Alfred T. Goodwin wrote for the three-judge panel.

The appeals said that when President Eisenhower signed the legislation inserting "under God" after the words "one nation," he wrote that "millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."

The court noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has said students cannot hold religious invocations at graduations and cannot be compelled to recite the pledge. But when the pledge is recited in a classroom, a student who objects is confronted with an "unacceptable choice between participating and protesting," the appeals court said.

"Although students cannot be forced to participate in recitation of the pledge, the school district is nonetheless conveying a message of state endorsement of a religious belief when it requires public school teachers to recite, and lead the recitation of, the current form of the pledge," the court said.

The case was brought by Michael A. Newdow, a Sacramento atheist who objected because his second-grade daughter was required to recite the pledge at the Elk Grove school district. A federal judge dismissed his lawsuit, but the 9th Circuit ordered that the case proceed to trial.

"I'm an American citizen. I don't like my rights infringed upon by my government," he said in an interview. Newdow called the pledge a "religious idea that certain people don't agree with."

The government had argued that the religious content of "one nation under God" is minimal.

But the appeals court said that an atheist or a holder of certain non-Judeo-Christian beliefs could see it as an attempt to "enforce a 'religious orthodoxy' of monotheism."

Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Old 06-26-2002, 02:55 PM   #2
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I think they need to get over it.
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Old 06-26-2002, 03:47 PM   #3
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I think it's about time.
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Old 06-26-2002, 03:56 PM   #4
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WOW! In most school already u dont have to say it !
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Old 06-26-2002, 04:14 PM   #5
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Well..the 9th Circuit Court is notorious for having their declarations thrown out of the Supreme Court...or so I have been told...

I don't say the Pledge...not because of the 'under God' part...but as an American Indian the words "liberty and justice for all' kind of get stuck in my throat.

However I respect why others want to say it..and so far most people have respected my decision not to say it...

I knew this would come up eventually...and it will come up again if it gets thrown out..

If you don't want to say it...don't say it...and don't harass anyone who doesn't want to...

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Old 06-26-2002, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by dream wanderer

I don't say the Pledge...not because of the 'under God' part...but as an American Indian the words "liberty and justice for all' kind of get stuck in my throat.

understandably...

what tribe?

I hated saying the pledge when I was a kid because I didn't understand the concept of pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth. I know it's a symbolic patriotic thing, but I think it's dumb and mechanical and at the age of 6 made me feel like a sheep. I remember this vividly. I believe in God, though.
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Old 06-26-2002, 04:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by dream wanderer
but as an American Indian the words "liberty and justice for all' kind of get stuck in my throat.
i can totally understand why. i'm an american indian too (well, my great grandmother was a full-blooded cherokee, so it's not really that much) and when i heard the things they had to go through after the europeans came here so many hundreds of years ago, i was shocked, even moreso at the way the history teachers made so lightly of it. like as the forefathers, they had a dream to make this entire country theirs, and anyone who got in their way deserved to be forced into living in small reservations.

i wouldn't consider myself anti-american, but after all the things we've done in our history to innocent people....

but i agree. it is about time they got rid of it.
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Old 06-26-2002, 04:33 PM   #8
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It's not pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth, but to the country and the ideals of the country.

I don't know how I feel about the ruling. I mean part of me says this case is dumb and should have never been brought to trial ...

But ... the other part of me says that forcing religion on others is not right and one of the ideals of this country is religious freedom. We should let people believe (or not believe) whatever they want. I have always tended to believe that there is already too much mixing of church and state ...
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Old 06-26-2002, 05:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by JessicaAnn
It's not pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth, but to the country and the ideals of the country.

Believe me, I understand this. I was relaying a memory from the age of 6 and at that age it confused me. Even later when I understood what it really meant, it made me feel like a robot to repeat it in that mechanical way in which the pledge is recited. I felt the same way about saying 'the blessing' at the dinner table.
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Old 06-26-2002, 07:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
[B]

understandably...

what tribe?

[B]
Eastern Cherokee from NC... we are of course seperated from The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma by a little incident known as the Trail of Tears..


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Old 06-26-2002, 07:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I think it's about time.
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Old 06-26-2002, 09:00 PM   #12
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they are cleaning up.
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Old 06-26-2002, 09:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
I think they need to get over it.
I think I have to agree with Sula here. Considering that so many nations around the world have "official religions" and blatant theocracy in greater measures, it makes this seem a bit trivial to go through all of the courts with it.

I went to elementary school with a kid who belonged to the Jehovah's Witness faith, and he sat out the Pledge of Allegiance daily. We didn't have a problem with him, he didn't have a problem with us. Likewise, an atheist could say the Pledge and simply leave out "under God."

Imagine this: a school cafeteria serves ham and cheese sandwiches on the menu on Thursdays. There is an Orthodox Jewish student who attends the school. Do they completely delete ham and cheese sandwiches from the menu and serve only kosher food? or do they accomodate him with an alternative menu? In my opinion, the latter is more practical.

No matter what laws you impose upon me, I will always consider my nation to be "below" my God. He comes first in my life. If you instruct me not to say "under God," I will defy your order.

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Old 06-26-2002, 09:38 PM   #14
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I'm Canadian, but if I were American I would choose not to say the Pledge because, as Bama mentioned, I'm a Jehovah's Witness and though we respect the country and the flag we don't believe in saluting them, pledging to them, etc. However, this subject brought something else to my mind. American money, or at least some of it, has the motto "In God We Trust" on it, right? So, is this likely to be challenged as well? It would seem pretty major to change all the money, but if people feel that the God reference in the Pledge imposes religion on them, you'd think they would feel the same about that motto on the money.
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Old 06-26-2002, 09:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by scatteroflight
American money, or at least some of it, has the motto "In God We Trust" on it, right? So, is this likely to be challenged as well? It would seem pretty major to change all the money, but if people feel that the God reference in the Pledge imposes religion on them, you'd think they would feel the same about that motto on the money.
Great point...I guess these people who feel that they are having religion forced upon them by reciting the Pledge should stop spending our government printed currency with the "G" word on it.
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