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← Court clears reciting of Pledge of Allegiance at Western schools

Court clears reciting of Pledge of Allegiance at Western schools - Comments

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 1 by aquilacane

I don't sing Oh Canada because of the god ref. It makes me feel stupid.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:11:00 UTC | #448776

root2squared's Avatar Comment 2 by root2squared

I don't see why kids should be brainwashed into pledging allegiance to a country, leave alone "under god". It's the same concept - blindly having faith in your accident of birth.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:12:00 UTC | #448777

david k's Avatar Comment 3 by david k

The majority opinion seems quite troubling. It's giving justification based on "unification", being "proud of ideals", and "striving to be a nation under god"(whatever that entails). It never adresses why saying god doesn't violate the establishment clause. Maybe a case could be made why it doesn't(although I would disagree), but the fact that no effort was made seems telling to me.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:22:00 UTC | #448779

Meph's Avatar Comment 4 by Meph

Guess what, the court is wrong.

"Millions of people daily recite these words when pledging allegiance to the United States of America." = argumentum ad populum

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:25:00 UTC | #448780

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 6 by Tyler Durden

"Millions of people daily recite these words when pledging allegiance to the United States of America."
Thus proving the existence of the Christian God - well, I'm convinced. Where do I sign up?

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:26:00 UTC | #448782

Atom322's Avatar Comment 5 by Atom322

This makes me sooooo mad. The pledge of Allegiance as it is now, with the "Under God" bit, was NOT created by the founding fathers, who did NOT create this nation with the intention of creating any nation under god. The "Under God" bit was introduced in the 1950's during the McCarthy witch-hunts. Since the communists rejected religion, American's wanted to be everything the USSR wasn't. And so, in a move of furthering ourselves from the "EVIL" communists, the government decided, without the country's consent, to add those two disgusting words to the pledge.
That's the ONLY reason it's in there, as something to separate us from communists. Little did the gov of the 1950's know, Christianity is the closest thing to communism that one can get without actually becoming a communist.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:26:00 UTC | #448781

bluebird's Avatar Comment 7 by bluebird

Our sons did not recite the PoA at school. They are strong, independent thinkers.

Per the currency, the court ruling was 3-0.
I like the idea of 'universal currency' (QUID) for earth, too- no fuss, no muss:

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:34:00 UTC | #448785

remijdio's Avatar Comment 8 by remijdio

They could always just sing the first stanza of the national anthem.

"The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our republic was founded..."

Proud recitation always makes everyone feel united with the rest of the country! Doesn't it?

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:40:00 UTC | #448788

david k's Avatar Comment 9 by david k

I'm always using the pledge as a vehicle to explain to my students what propoganda is and indoctrination. And I'm really talking about Country(Nationalism), not God.(Have to be careful about God in the classroom) Take a look at the pic of the kids(hands on heart in a trance) in the article. That gives me shivers and still would even if they took out the God part. How bout "Pledging allegiance" to one's "Conscience" instead.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:43:00 UTC | #448789

david k's Avatar Comment 10 by david k

Terrible at grammar, thats why I do science and math.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:46:00 UTC | #448790

debaser71's Avatar Comment 11 by debaser71

Whenever I go to my daughters' school functions they do the PoA. I recite it but I leave out the "under god" part. I get all out of sync with the crowd. Also, IMO, "one Nation, indivisible" sounds and flows better. So IMO the phrase:

"one Nation, indivisible"

should be like a mantra.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:52:00 UTC | #448791

david k's Avatar Comment 12 by david k

Debaser71 I do the same at school, and believe it or not, no student has ever noticed.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:56:00 UTC | #448792

LabSpecimen's Avatar Comment 13 by LabSpecimen

I disagree with this part of the ruling

They [Founding Fathers] believed that the people derive their most important rights, not from the government, but from God:

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.

What the court fails to understand here is that the Founding Fathers were a product of their time. Of course they believed in a Creator. Where else could we have come from, back in the 1770s? We know better now.

But still... I conclude that the Court's hands were a bit tied. It's the pledge that is at fault here, and this Court's ruling wasn't going to change the text of the pledge. That's where we need to focus our efforts, I believe.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:00:00 UTC | #448794

blitz442's Avatar Comment 14 by blitz442

12. Comment #468815 by david k

And if anyone ever calls you on it, just say that you are using the original version, not the politicized version from the 1950s.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:09:00 UTC | #448796

PrimeNumbers's Avatar Comment 15 by PrimeNumbers

This all makes me think fascism. LIttle kids pledging without really knowing anything about their country, getting indoctrinated from an early age. Scary.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:12:00 UTC | #448798

keddaw's Avatar Comment 16 by keddaw

At least reciting the pledge is, for the moment, optional.

Indivisible? That may be the biggest problem. The Federal government is too big and too powerful and repeated secessions may be the only way to break it down and start again. Best done while the Federal deficit is huge, then you can start again with a new Constitution and zero debt.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:18:00 UTC | #448799

debaser71's Avatar Comment 17 by debaser71

btw I recommend everyone reading the dissenting opinion. At least not everyone is a religious two faced pious liar.


"Were this a case to be decided on the basis of the law or the Constitution, the outcome would be clear. Under no sound legal analysis adhering to binding Supreme Court precedent could this court uphold state-directed, teacher-led, daily recitation of the “under God” version of the Pledge of Allegiance by children in public schools. It is not the recitation of the Pledge as it long endured that is at issue here, but its recitation with the congressionally added two words, “under God” — words added in 1954 for the specific religious purpose, among others, of indoctrinating public schoolchildren with a religious belief. The recitations of the amended version as conducted by the Rio Linda Union and other school districts fail all three of the Court’s Establishment Clause tests: The recitation of the Pledge in its historic secular version would not fail any of them. Only a desire to change the rules regarding the separation of church and state or an unwillingness to place this court on the unpopular side of a highly controversial dispute regarding both patriotism and religion could explain the decision the members of the majority reach here and the lengths to which their muddled and self-contradictory decision goes in order to reach the result they do.

To put it bluntly, no judge familiar with the history of the Pledge could in good conscience believe, as today’s majority purports to do, that the words “under God” were inserted into the Pledge for any purpose other than an explicitly and predominantly religious one: “to recognize the power and the universality of God in our pledge of allegiance;” to “acknowledge the dependence of our people, and our Government upon the moral direction and the restraints of religion,” 100 Cong. Rec. 7590-91 (1954); and to indoctrinate schoolchildren in the belief that God exists, id. at 5915, 6919. Nor could any judge familiar with controlling Supreme Court precedent seriously deny that carrying out such an indoctrination in a public school classroom unconstitutionally forces many young children either to profess a religious belief antithetical to their personal views or to declare themselves through their silence or nonparticipation to be protesting nonbelievers, thereby subjecting themselves to hostility and ridicule."

I don't know how to bold but here IMO is the money quote

"Only a desire to change the rules regarding the separation of church and state or an unwillingness to place this court on the unpopular side of a highly controversial dispute regarding both patriotism and religion could explain the decision the members of the majority reach here and the lengths to which their muddled and self-contradictory decision goes in order to reach the result they do. "

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:22:00 UTC | #448800

blitz442's Avatar Comment 18 by blitz442

From "Life in Hell", 16 Dec 94,

I pledge allegiance to and wrap myself in the flag of the United States Against Anything Un-American and to the Republicans for which it stands, two nations, under Jesus, rich against poor, with curtailed liberty and justice for all except blacks, homosexuals, women who want abortions, Communists, welfare queens, treehuggers, feminazis, illegal immigrants, children of illegal immigrants, and you if you don't watch your step.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:27:00 UTC | #448801

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 19 by Cook@Tahiti

15. Comment #468821 by PrimeNumbers

>This all makes me think fascism

Me too. Hyper-nationalism plus childhood indoctrination was a combination present in Nazi Germany. Leads to 'My country, right or wrong', basically a secular religion, even without the 'Under God' aspect.
All a leader has to do to reinforce the adoration of his people is wrap himself in the stupid flag, another quasi-religious icon.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:28:00 UTC | #448802

debaser71's Avatar Comment 20 by debaser71

Speaking of Nazi's. If you all recall here in the US the children used to do the PoA with the extended hand, the zieg hail Hitler thing. There's some good images on google for this. stuff/1892_pledge_of_allegiance2.jpg

Also, when I was a senior in high school (this was in the 80's during the coldwar) we were shown pictures of little Russian (commie bastard) children doing a pledge to Lenin. Funny how american can poke fun of other country's silliness and not look in the mirror.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:33:00 UTC | #448803

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 21 by DocWebster

I stopped reciting the pledge when Carter was in office.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:46:00 UTC | #448804

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 22 by Jos Gibbons

The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our republic was founded and for which we continue to strive: one Nation under God

So saying something on which not everyone agrees, and such that those who don't agree with it are increasing in number faster than, and outnumber all but one of, the subsets of people who agree with it characterised by the details of how they think about it, apparently serves so well to unify the nation that the rest of the amendment is insufficient alone for the purpose. I ask anyone who thinks this way to watch the following, an earlier version of the pledge lacking "under God":
Tell me honestly, does that sound utterly inept as a piece of patriotism or of unification?
Millions of people daily recite these words when pledging allegiance to the United States of America

So we should keep doing it because we're already doing it on a massive scale? Oh, I see. So the problem with political corruption, where it exists, is always a matter of there not being enough of the stuff.
This decision is a victory for common sense...Recitation of the pledge is a patriotic exercise, not a religious prayer...

Both of these claims are made absurd by the fact that they imply the pledge as it existed before it was edited in the 1950s was unpatriotic and contrary to common sense, both of which predated the change, and neither of which require theology. What makes these ideas even more stupid is that the pledge was amended on several prior occasions, always in minor ways (changing the syntax a bit but not really the content), without adding theology. Did multiple congressional analyses of the issue get it wrong in the past? Or is this one of the clearest ever examples of a legal precedent formed by a long-standing consensus, only to be completely ignored by historical revisionist liars?
a court system that has too often seemed to be almost allergic to public references to God.

Because it's NOT SUPPOSED TO reference God, idiot. You may as well describe the court system as allergic to violating separation of powers. Every other aspect of the nation's politics has an obsession with inserting as many public references to God as possible, including worst of all the be-most-religious contest that is the US Presidential Election, a de facto violation (by the electorate) of Article 6's prohibition of a religious test for public office.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:55:00 UTC | #448807

Christopher Davis's Avatar Comment 24 by Christopher Davis

I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't support Michael Newdow or lawsuits such as this one. It's not that I support the wording of the PoA or the necessity of it being recited by school-children (I don't), it's just that I think these are the wrong battles to be waging at this time.

The wording and recitiation of the PoA as well as what is written on U.S. currency is truly insignificant when contrasted with issues such as the the teaching of evolution (and now even the proper teaching of history) in U.S. high schools. Also, the Christian Right is making unprecedented inroads into the U.S. political process and lawsuits such as these simply help to it to portray their opponents as a bunch of "God-haters".

Whether we like it or not (and I realize most of us don't) more than 80% of the U.S. population believes that some sort of "God" exists, telling them they are wrong isn't going to accomplish anything. I believe any indoctrination suffered by children subjected to the recitation of the PoA can be easily offset by a good science and history curriculums...that is where the focus should be. Lawsuits such as this are a waste of time and resources, and I believe they damage the ability of atheists to speak out against more pressing issues.

On the bright side, at least the PoA makes no mention of Jesus...yet.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:01:00 UTC | #448809

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 23 by hungarianelephant

A woman identified only as Jan Roe was a key plaintiff, arguing she did not believe in God. She claimed the daily recitation interfered with her right to direct her child's upbringing

Boo! Hiss!

No, wait, weren't we against the right to direct your child's upbringing? This is all so confusing.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:01:00 UTC | #448808

Brian The Coyote's Avatar Comment 25 by Brian The Coyote


I always get the creeps when I get to that line too. That line was only added in the late 70's or early 80's too.

What creeps me more is the line in the pre-amble to the constitution that says something about "recognizing the supremacy of god". I'm told that preambles to legislation have no force in law but I shudder to think what some fundie might reference that when trying to assert their right to some horrific act.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:04:00 UTC | #448810

debaser71's Avatar Comment 26 by debaser71

IMO fight them at every turn, on every front, over every issue. No matter how small. My actions, and inactions, are not dictated by those who I oppose.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:05:00 UTC | #448811

jimbob's Avatar Comment 27 by jimbob

Out with "one nation indivisible" and "E pluribus unum," and in with god. Now the nation is divided by religious intrusion. Yep, that's really what the founders intended!

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:07:00 UTC | #448812

CShepGuy's Avatar Comment 28 by CShepGuy

I recited the pledge hundreds of times in school when I was younger. I never believed in God, and actually the rest of the pledge was meaningless to me also. I wasn't against it, I was indifferent. It was a bunch of words that a teacher told me to say, which meant nothing. Looking back, it does seem kind of creepy that we make kids do it, though. But I guess I am trying to point out that most of us were not actually indoctrinated, at least no one I know, by the pledge.

With that said, this court decision is the most weak and obviously flat-out wrong decision I've ever heard. Those justices know it's unconstitutional. They just have no balls. The dissenting opinion is refreshing to read and gives me hope that more judges will pull their heads out of their asses. It's not a court of popular opinion. They are supposed to apply law.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:35:00 UTC | #448813

keddaw's Avatar Comment 29 by keddaw

Funny how the people who want this in are very religious Christians who, by reciting the pledge, actually break the commandment: Thou shall not worship false idols.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:52:00 UTC | #448819

sara g's Avatar Comment 30 by sara g

When I was about 10 I learned (or maybe I heard about a court case declaring) that I could not be forced to say it. I can only vaguely remember what creeped out my child's mind about it, but I have never said it since. Sometimes teachers over the years tried to force me, but the students never had anything to say about me standing up for my right to refrain.

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:54:00 UTC | #448820