Pledge of Allegiance Part II (Long, but good

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Stewart, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. Stewart

    Stewart Guest

    Sorry the story is long, but I think it is worth it. Sounds like this thing is heating up faster then those fires out west.


    June 26 — A federal appeals court declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional Wednesday, finding that the words “under God†amounted to an endorsement of religion. Reaction to the ruling, which President Bush called “ridiculous,†was swift, as the Senate voted 99 to 0 to urge the court to reverse itself and a House member introduced a constitutional amendment to preserve the pledge as written.

    IF ALLOWED to stand, the 2-1 ruling by a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco would prevent children in public schools in nine Western states from reciting the pledge.
    The decision, which was handed down in the middle of a fiercely contested midterm election season, triggered expressions of outrage from across the political spectrum.
    “The view of the White House is that this was a wrong decision, and the Department of Justice is now evaluating how to seek redress,†White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said in a statement. “... This decision will not sit well with the American people, and it certainly does not sit well with the president of the United States.â€
    Fleischer, who said Bush characterized the ruling as “ridiculous,†added that when the president visited Arizona on Tuesday to meet with people whose homes had been destroyed by wildfires, “the thing he said that brought the most warmth and hope to those people ... was, ‘Have faith in God Almighty.’ â€
    Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., offered a resolution condemning the ruling and re-affirming the use of the words “under God,†which Congress added to the pledge in 1954, at the height of the Cold War.
    The resolution, which passed 99-0, instructed the Senate’s legal counsel to seek to intervene in the case to defend the constitutionality of the pledge. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who is recuperating at home after heart surgery, was the only senator to miss the vote.
    After the vote, Daschle urged senators to show up Thursday morning to recite the pledge.
    It took only a few hours for a constitutional amendment to preserve the pledge to materialize. It came from Rep. Charles W. Pickering, R-Miss., who was thrown into a difficult battle for re-election against fellow Rep. Ronnie Shows, D-Miss., by the redistricting process.
    In a floor speech, Pickering called the San Francisco court’s ruling an “unfortunate assault on America’s tradition of recognizing the role of God in our country’s life and as a foundation of our liberties.â€
    “This most outrageous decision cannot and will not stand,†he vowed.
    Meanwhile, about 100 House members, led by Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., gathered on the east steps of the Capitol to recite the pledge and sing “God Bless America.â€
    “A judge who believes the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional doesn’t belong on the bench,†said Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas. “I hope the court returns all the taxpayer money they have been paid in currency marked ‘In God We Trust.’ â€
    Reaction was not unanimous, however.
    “We believe the court’s finding was correct and is consistent with recent Supreme Court rulings invalidating prayer at school events,†the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement. “... Schools can and should teach tolerance and good citizenship but must not favor one religion over another or belief over non-belief.â€
    The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the decision was long overdue.
    “Where you interject the controversy about religion into it, you turn a proclamation of patriotism into a religious creed, and that is something Congress should not do,†said Lynn, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
    In overturning the act of Congress that inserted the phrase “under God†in the pledge, the court said the language amounted to a government endorsement of religion, which, it said, violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,†the amendment says.

    Some scholars have argued that the phrase “establishment of religion†refers to “established†churches — official churches supported by taxpayer dollars, which some states had at the time the Constitution was adopted in 1789. Connecticut and Massachusetts maintained their tax-supported Congregational churches until the 1820s.
    According to this view, the Establishment Clause was simply intended to prevent Congress from setting up a national, taxpayer-supported church.
    But in the past several decades, courts have used the Establishment Clause to outlaw state financial aid to church-connected schools and to ban the display on government property of a Christmas crèche with a banner proclaiming “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.â€
    “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. He was joined in the decision by Judge Stephen Reinhardt.
    The court said that an atheist or a holder of certain non-Judeo-Christian beliefs could see the phrase as an endorsement of monotheism — a belief in a single god.
    The appeals court noted that when President Dwight Eisenhower signed the 1954 legislation, 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.â€
    The court also cited Supreme Court decisions saying students could not hold religious invocations at graduations and could not be compelled to recite the pledge.
    But even when the pledge is recited in a classroom, the appeals court said, a student who objects is confronted with an “unacceptable choice between participating and protesting.â€
    “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,†said the court, which has frequently seen its decisions overturned by the Supreme Court.
    In a dissent, Judge Ferdinand Fernandez said the phrase had no tendency to establish religion or suppress anyone’s ability to exercise the religion of his or her choice, “except in the fevered eye of persons who most fervently would like to drive all tincture of religion out of public life.â€
    He said the ruling, if it stood, would preclude the singing of “God Bless America†and “America the Beautiful†in schools.
    The 9th Circuit covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state, and only those states are directly affected by the ruling. However, it will not take effect for several months, to allow further appeals. The government can ask the full 9th Circuit Court to reconsider, or it can take its case to the Supreme Court.

    The case was brought by Michael A. Newdow, a Sacramento atheist who acted as his own attorney.
    Newdow objected because his second-grade daughter was required to recite the pledge at the Elk Grove Unified School District.
    He sued, and a federal judge dismissed the case. The 9th Circuit’s decision Wednesday remanded the case back for trial.
    “I’m an American citizen. I don’t like my rights infringed upon by my government,†Newdow said in a recent interview.
    Newdow called the pledge a “religious idea that certain people don’t agree with.â€
    Newdow, a physician, filed a similar suit in Florida on behalf of his daughter in 1998, but that suit was dismissed because his daughter was not yet of school age. He filed the suit ruled on Wednesday after his daughter began attending public schools in Sacramento.

    NBC’s Pete Williams,’s Tom Curry and Alex Johnson, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
  2. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is well known for being the most liberal appeals court in the nation and the one most over ruled by the US Supreme Court.

    I have no doubt, if it goes that far, the US Supreme Court will rule against the 9th Circuit.

    It sure doesn't surprise me to read the ACLU agreed with the ruling. But have they ever done anything besides spending grant money, tax payer dollars and contributions? I can't remember them accomplishing a whole lot. Perhaps they need to be hailed as unpatriotic and pressure applied to them with their assertion in this case!

    Thank God our National Anthem has no mention of God in it or it might be the next target of such an idiotic assault on what our country stands for. But, then again, leave it to the extreme liberal leftists to argue that any phrase might construe an inferrence to religion.

    I believe anyone who agrees with the ruling to be unpatriotic and to be admonished to a high degree.


    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  4. Wayne

    Wayne G&G Newbie

    That about says it all Joe

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Thank you Wayne!
  6. NRAJOE--Very cool avitar -- kind of patriotic. I'm sure there is one athiest somewhere on this gun site. Oh well YOU ARE OUTGUNNED. SUE ME.!!!!!:full:
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2002
  7. Stewart

    Stewart Guest

    Very appropriate, nice avitar.

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Yeah but he's not on here right now...thank GOD!

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Thanks Stewart, think anyone will question my love of country or GOD?
  10. I haven't a clue who you are typing about. hehe!
  11. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    Dale- Actually, the national anthem does refer to God, in the third verse.
  12. Stewart

    Stewart Guest

    I see that the reason I could not reply under the original post for the Pledge of Allegience is because someone closed it. Here is my response to the last post there.

    My first question (Phacopsrana) is why in the world are you replying to me about a response I sent to Lenny? Had you taken the time to read my post you would see by the way that it started that it was intended for him.

    But now that you have me on the topic of reading and understanding let me continue. I read several of your posts and this time you did put the correct president, Eisenhower not FDR. From the articles I read it was not necessarily an endorsement of only the christian faith but recognition of the almighty.

    Reference my right to run up and down the streets reciting the pledge, I invite you to get your reading glasses and read the article again. If the court decision is upheld childern in 9 western states would no longer be allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegience in school.

    As far as spliting hairs on the actual name I am not even going to get into the religous discussion in depth other than to say read the bible.

    So please, the next time before you assume, take the time to read.